Barbarous Radiates

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figgis
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These are common finds and are basically coins of the 3rdC “Gallic Empire” produced outside of the official mints, largely in Gaul and Britain, from around 270-286. They aren't forgeries as such, but smaller contemporary copies of existing coins. “Barbarous” refers to their local production and “Radiate” the spiky headwear of the emperor the coin was struck for. The official mints turned a blind eye towards their production as the coins provided much-needed small change at a time when the Empire was in upheaval and distribution difficult.

Some are quite well done but most were struck from rather crude dies (or moulds) and the reverses can be especially bad, with stick-figure deities carrying items associated with other deities entirely. They really can be all over the place, and while the obverses are generally better, the legend can vary from good to meaningless gibberish.

Usual candidates:
Tetricus I
Tetricus II
Claudius II Gothicus
Victorinus
Postumus

Less common:
Gallienus, Quintillus, Aurelian, Carausius, Probus, Tacitus.

Here is one of Tetricus I or II. The radiate crown is often the giveaway of a barbarous coin, being crude and over-emphasised. Lord knows what's going on with the reverse.
Tetrici.jpg

This Tetricus crown looks more like a crysanthemum:
Tetricus.jpg

This is one of Victorinus. Again the crown is crude and the legend uneven (note the oversized 'S' by his characteristic, curved conk). As for the reverse... Mr Tickle advancing left holding a stick. Fluffy ball in field.
Victorinus.jpg

Interestingly, I've found three of these coins in one field, all seemingly from the same die or mould.

Online info:
An online search brings up hundreds of sites and examples - more than Mr Tickle up there could shake his stick at, from
A brief one
to
Chapter and verse

Their story is a fascinating one and the coins themselves have bags of character, making them well worth investigating :thumbsup:
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HolzHammer
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Thanks for that figgis- very informative.
Are there other obvious groupings of ‘barbarous’ coins or were they only really being produced during the “radiate’ era?
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figgis
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Their production is wider than the radiate coins above, but I've limited this post to barbarous radiates as that's what you're most likely to find here.

Have a look here for more types :thumbsup:
Pete E
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figgis wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:38 am Their production is wider than the radiate coins above, but I've limited this post to barbarous radiates as that's what you're most likely to find here.

Have a look here for more types :thumbsup:
As someone who knows nothing about Roman coins, thats very interesting...if we go back to that first coin, what would the genuine article made in Roman coin look like/be called?
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figgis
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If you have a look here you'll see a huge difference, particularly the reverses :D :thumbsup:
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figgis wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:09 am If you have a look here you'll see a huge difference, particularly the reverses :D :thumbsup:
So it's a local "version" of a denarius then?
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figgis
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Another name for the radiate is "Antoninianus" and the presence of a crown on the emperor (or crescent moon beneath the bust of an empress) denoted a doubling of the value to two denarii and was started off by Caracalla (mind you, he only put 1.5x the silver content into these "double value" coins, so was onto a right little earner!). They started off as silver, but...
By the late 3rd century AD, antoniniani were almost entirely made of bronze reclaimed from melted-down older issues like the sestertius. Vast quantities were minted, with a large percentage of the circulating stock being contemporary forgeries, often with blundered legends and designs. Individual coins were by then practically worthless, and were lost or discarded by the millions. The resultant situation was not unlike the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic in 1920s Germany, when paper money was printed in reckless abundance. The coin ceased to be used by the end of the 3rd century, when a series of monetary reforms attempted to arrest the decline by issuing new coinage.
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figgis wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:33 am Another name for the radiate is "Antoninianus" and the presence of a crown on the emperor (or crescent moon beneath the bust of an empress) denoted a doubling of the value to two denarii and was started off by Caracalla (mind you, he only put 1.5x the silver content into these "double value" coins, so was onto a right little earner!). They started off as silver, but...
Thanks again; very informative indeed!
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figgis
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A cracking article on barbarous radiates by Dr Andrew Brown of the BM here
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alloverover
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figgis wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:05 pm A cracking article on barbarous radiates by Dr Andrew Brown of the BM here
The first coin in that artical reminded me of a Claudius immitation I had a few years ago, Minerva reverse, iron core, very dodgy signal as you can imagin with the iron bursting out through the bronze outer of the coin :thumbsup:
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figgis
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Most Romans give me a dodgy signal, Phil, but I've not had an iron core as yet, so lord knows what sort of signal that's give me :shock: . In point of fact, many of my barbarous seem to be made of better alloy than the kosher varieties :D
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alloverover
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figgis wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:52 pm Most Romans give me a dodgy signal, Phil, but I've not had an iron core as yet, so lord knows what sort of signal that's give me :shock: . In point of fact, many of my barbarous seem to be made of better alloy than the kosher varieties :D
Here it is just out of interest :thumbsup:
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Pete E
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figgis wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:52 pm Most Romans give me a dodgy signal, Phil, but I've not had an iron core as yet, so lord knows what sort of signal that's give me :shock: . In point of fact, many of my barbarous seem to be made of better alloy than the kosher varieties :D
Some of the Roman bronzes posted on here are in better conditio than the majority of the George coppers I find!
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figgis
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I think that's true for pretty much all of us, Pete :thumbsup:
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