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Fake or Real…

Is it April 1st-?-This was lifted from the Daily Mail on 23/11/22… & David Blakey discovers the largest Roman coin hoard accidentally – who is David Blacky

Ancient Roman coin thought to be FAKE after being discovered in Transylvania over 300 years ago is almost certainly authentic – and proves the existence of ‘forgotten’ leader Sponsian, study claims

  • The coin, unearthed 300 years ago, depicted a leader named Sponsian 
  • It was believed to be a forgery, as it differed from other Roman coins 
  • There are no other historical records that Sponsian ever existed, but a new analysis suggests the coin is indeed authentic

A forgotten Roman emperor has been saved from obscurity as a coin long thought to be fake has finally been authenticated.

The coin, unearthed 300 years ago, depicted a leader named Sponsian who was in power during the 260s BC.

It was believed to be a forgery, as it differed from both the manufacturing process and the general style of Roman coins from the time.

There are no other historical records that Sponsian ever existed, but a new analysis suggests the coin is indeed authentic.

A forgotten Roman emperor has been saved from obscurity as a coin long thought to be fake has finally been authenticated

Who was Sponsian? 

A forgotten Roman emperor has been saved from obscurity as a coin long thought to be fake has finally been authenticated

The team suggests Sponsian was an army commander in the Roman Province of Dacia during a period of military strife during the 260s BC.

Coins have always been an important symbol of power and authority in Rome. 

The researchers believe Sponsian may have authorised the creation of locally produced coins, some featuring his own image.

Only four coins featuring Sponsian are known to have survived to today.

The coin comes from a small hoard unearthed in Transylvania in 1713 which found their way into collections around Europe.

Some ended up at The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, where they remained hidden in wooden cabinets until now.

Researchers from University College London closely analysed the coins – three of which depicted other known Roman emperors – using a range of techniques, including light microscopy and ultra-violet imaging.

On the Sponsian coin, they discovered micro-abrasion patterns typically associated with coins that were in circulation for an extensive period of time.

The researchers also analysed earth deposits on the coin, finding evidence that after its use the coin was buried for a prolonged period before being discovered.

Together, the new evidence strongly indicates the coin is authentic, the team said.

They suggest Sponsian was an army commander in the Roman Province of Dacia during a period of military strife during the 260s BC

Researchers from University College London closely analysed the coins – three of which depicted other known Roman emperors – using a range of techniques, including light microscopy and ultra-violet imaging

Coins have always been an important symbol of power and authority in Rome. 

The researchers suggest Sponsian may have authorised the creation of locally produced coins, some featuring his own image.

Only four coins featuring Sponsian are known to have survived to the present day.

Paul Pearon, the lead author of the study, said: ‘Scientific analysis of these ultra-rare coins rescues the emperor Sponsian from obscurity.

‘Our evidence suggests he ruled Roman Dacia, an isolated gold mining outpost, at a time when the empire was beset by civil wars and the borderlands were overrun by plundering invaders.’

Curator of Numismatics at The Hunterian, Jesper Ericsson, said: ‘Not only do we hope that this encourages further debate about Sponsian as a historical figure, but also the investigation of coins relating to him held in other museums across Europe.’

The discovery was published in the journal Plos One.

How England spent almost half a millennium under Roman rule

55BC – Julius Caesar crossed the channel with around 10,000 soldiers. They landed at Pegwell Bay on the Isle of Thanet and were met by a force of Britons. Caesar was forced to withdraw.

54BC – Caesar crossed the channel again in his second attempt to conquer Britain. He came with 27,000 infantry and cavalry and landed at Deal but was unopposed. They marched inland and after hard battles, they defeated the Britons and key tribal leaders surrendered.

However, later that year, Caesar was forced to return to Gaul to deal with problems there and the Romans left.

54BC – 43BC – Although there were no Romans present in Britain during these years, their influence increased due to trade links.

43AD – A Roman force of 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent and took the southeast. The emperor Claudius appointed Plautius as Governor of Britain and returned to Rome.

47AD – Londinium (London) was founded and Britain was declared part of the Roman empire. Networks of roads were built across the country.

50AD – Romans arrived in the southwest and made their mark in the form of a wooden fort on a hill near the river Exe.  A town was created at the site of the fort decades later and names Isca. 

When Romans let and Saxons ruled, all ex-Roman towns were called a ‘ceaster’. this was called ‘Exe ceaster’ and a merger of this eventually gave rise to Exeter.   

75 – 77AD – Romans defeated the last resistant tribes, making all of Britain Roman. Many Britons started adopting Roman customs and laws.

122AD – Emperor Hadrian ordered that a wall be built between England and Scotland to keep Scottish tribes out.

312AD – Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal throughout the Roman empire.

228AD – The Romans were being attacked by barbarian tribes and soldiers stationed in the country started to be recalled to Rome.

410AD – All Romans were recalled to Rome and Emperor Honorious told Britons they no longer had a connection to Rome.

But if this new Emperor was part of the roman dynasty, then where are his other coins or mentions by the ancient scribes, most if not all emperors liked to participate in sponsorship, with a trophy wall, column, or statute, to lay claim to his greatness, this now opens up a whole new area of questions this does look a beautiful coin… But…

The question is, was Sponsian a local chief, to a country, area, or someone bigger within the wheels of the Roman empire…

SPON by the Daily Mail…

If i am allowed to be opinionated i think the coin is genuine and we need to break down the wording on the coin, as opposed to reading the words as Sponsian, mainly because the date given is supposed to be from 260AD-? a time of major crises in the powerhouse of Rome…

Now the word sponsian is Latin, meaning Roman Law, a suretyship accessory to the spoken word (-oral contract-), and is meant only for Romein Citezions…

Broken down below is the main context from Merriam-Webster

sponsion noun spon·​sion ˈspänchən plural-s


1-Roman law: suretyship accessory to oral contracts and available only to Roman citizens
2-: the act of becoming surety especially: a formal pledge made on behalf of another
3-: an act or engagement on behalf of a state undertaken by an agent not specially authorized or by one who exceeds the limits of his authority and requires for validity ratification by the state…

Word History-Etymology-Latin sponsion-, sponsio, literally, solemn promise, pledge, from sponsus (past participle of spondēre to promise solemnly) + -ion-, -io -ion


So, my interpretation of the wording of the coin is;

I-IMP = Leader of the military; –

SPONSIAN – = i make an oral contract to the people of Roma

so should the words on the coin be translated into;

“I Leader of the military make you the citizens of Rome a contract of protection – ?”


& Salonius seems to fit the bill, although he did not last long it appears he did have coins minted, which is important as he has a radiated Diadem as well, and appears to be the only one, as others opted for amongst other things the laurel reef…


so let’s see who was the head of Rome then… This was commonly known as the crisis of the third century-235-284, and the most likely one was Saloninus, but he has his own coins…


If i am allowed to be opinionated i think the coin is genuine and we need to break down the wording on the coin, as opposed to reading the words as Sponsian, mainly because the date given is supposed to be from 260AD-?

Also, the word sponsian is Latin, meaning Roman Law, a suretyship accessory to the spoken word (-oral contract-), and is meant only for Romein Citezions…

Broken down below is the main context from Merriam-Webster

sponsion noun spon·​sion ˈspänchən plural-s


1-Roman law: suretyship accessory to oral contracts and available only to Roman citizens
2-: the act of becoming surety especially: a formal pledge made on behalf of another
3-: an act or engagement on behalf of a state undertaken by an agent not specially authorized or by one who exceeds the limits of his authority and requires for validity ratification by the state…

Word History-Etymology-Latin sponsion-, sponsio, literally, solemn promise, pledge, from sponsus (past participle of spondēre to promise solemnly) + -ion-, -io -ion


So, my interpretation of the wording of the coin is;

I-IMP = Leader of the military; –

SPONSIAN – = i make an oral contract to the people of Roma

which means; As the leader of the military i make an oral contract to you the people of Rome


so let’s see who was the head of Rome then… This was commonly known as the crisis of the third century-235-284, and the most likely one was Saloninus, but he has his own coins…

On the front of the coin is VG, which is quite important, on earlier coins of the Imperatorial period the abbreviation ‘AVG’ may be used to designate membership in the Auguries, one of Rome’s four principal priestly colleges. i know the A is missing but it might not be, as the person in charge of the mint, the moneyer just simply left it off, which is not unheard off..

Most people know AVG, on later coins, appeared when Octavian had the honorific title bestowed upon him by the Roman Senate on 16th January 27BC, AVG is an abbreviation for Augustus, every successor adopted this as an indication of their supreme authority…

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