Roman Barbarous Imitation

Date: 200 - 400 CE
Western Europe

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Item Description:

 These so-called "barbarous imitation" coins were produced by various Germanic tribes who lived in and around the Roman Empire during the 3rd and 4th centuries CE. They were meant to copy existing Roman designs, but earned the name "barbarous" due to their typically crude details. For example, the people copying the designs usually did not speak Latin, and as a result the Latin legends on the imitation coins are often nonsensical.

We currently offer two types of Roman barbarous imitation coins, as detailed below.

Barbarous Radiates (circa 3rd century CE):

Imitative coins with this design were mostly produced in Gaul (modern France), and copy the designs of antoninianus coins from three main Gallic emperors of the time: Tetricus I, Tetricus II, and Postumus. They feature so-called radiate busts of these emperors, named for the sun-like crown atop their heats. Barbarous radiates are typically much smaller than officially issued antoninianus coins, and would have been easy to tell apart—therefore, it's suspected that these were not meant to pass as official Roman currency but rather to boost the economy during a coin shortage.

Constantine Barbarous Imitations (circa 4th century CE):

These attempt to imitate the design of coins from the Constantinian dynasty, beginning with Constantine the Great in 306 CE. Counterfeit Constantinian coins generally came from the outskirts of the Roman Empire, in regions like Britain, Gaul, and the Danube. Most were produced as a reaction to monetary reforms put in place by the emperor, like when Constantine increased the percentage of silver in certain coins—which meant that counterfeit coins containing no silver could be made for cheaper.

Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

A real antoninianus of Tetricus II

An official Roman antoninianus of Tetricus II, which many of these barbarous radiates attempted to copy. (image source)

Your order will include:

  • The historical item(s) shown above
  • Glass top leatherette display box
  • Information card and Certificate of Authenticity

Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.

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