Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Barbarous Radiates

Today I got two new barbarous radiates through the mail.

For those who don't already know barbarous radiates (or barbs as I'll call them from now on) were imitations of the antoninanus mostly produced during the anarchy of the third century.

As you can see below the locals were not so adept at cutting ides and the result is often a wonderfully picasso-esque portrait. Unfortunately on these two examples the die cutter was unable to form letters so I can't tell exactly who they are supposed to be but all the same they are a fun addition to any collection due to their individual style.

Why they were made is a bit of a mystery as they are not the same as a contemporary forgery. They are generally much smaller in size than an actual antoninanus. The two examples above are only about 15mm across in comparison to another ant I have of Tetricus which is about 19mm and a lot thicker.

Some argue that these coins were minted as small change during a period where the Empire was so unstable that usable coinage was limited. The coins would not be used in trading with Romans and were instead reserved as a local currency.

Anyway as I have to go to work I will leave you with a link to some good articles and sources on imitations for you to glance through and get a better picture of these wonderful specimens.


Saturday, 6 June 2009


Welcome to my new blog. I'm about to start writing my dissertation on Severan coingae so when I start that I will be posting up my take on my research but until then I will mostly be posting new additions to my collection.

To start off with here are a few pieces I bought a few days ago.

Septimius Severus AR Denarius "Restitvtor Vrbis"
Septimius Severus Denarius. 201-210 AD.

Obverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG laureate head right
Reverse: RESTITVTOR VRBIS Roma seated left holding palladium & spear, round sheild below.
RSC 606. 2.95g 18mm

Severus Alexander Æ Sestertius "SPES PVBLICA"

Obv: IMPALEXANDERPIVSAVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: SPESPVBLICA - S C across field, Spes advancing left, holding flower and raising skirt.

232AD (Rome).

Maxentius AE Folles. 307-308AD, Ticinum Mint

Obverse: MAXENTIVS PF AVG, Laureate bust right
Reverse: CONSERV VRB SVAE, Roma seated facing, head left, in hexastyle temple, PT in ex.

RIC VI 91, 6.83g, 25mm

I usually only buy Severan coinage but the style of the text on the Maxentius Folles was just so beautiful I had to have it.

I also buy a lot of uncleaned coins as I find it really fun trying to find out what is underneath centuries of dirt so hopefully once my new tripod arrives I will start posting up pictures of some of my works in progress for you to follow. If anyone wants to join me in this then you can find uncleaned coins and the occasional other treat in my ebay store here