UNCERTAIN GERMANIC TRIBES, Pseudo-Imperial coinage. Mid 3rd-early 4th centuries. 'Aureus' (Gold, 21 mm, 6.15 g, 9 h), Ulów type, imitating one of the barracks emperors. ONO∞N NONBNTOIΓT Laureate, draped and cuirassed imperial bust to left. Rev. OSMCIIIΩIIIIOΩNOΩMIIII (starting at 12 o'clock) The emperor riding on horseback to right, wielding uncertain weapon in his right hand; all within beaded inner circle. Bursche, Ulów, fig. 1-2 (same dies). Sergeev 220 var. (same reverse die, but with bust to right). With original suspension loop attached. Minor scratches and the flan slightly bent, otherwise, very fine.
From the Aurum Barbarorum Collection.
While the portrait on this beautiful imitative aureus is reminiscent of the latter barracks emperors - most notably of Claudius II and Aurelian - the ingenious reverse is without parallels. Bursche suggested Roman Provincial coins from Moesia as prototype, or it perhaps goes back to Aurelian's wonderful aureus showing him on horseback (Calicó 4031) or to Tacitus' double aurei with a similar reverse (Calicó 4122-4123), but the Germanic artist here decided to place the emperor and his warhorse within a beaded inner circle, hereby creating the illusion of a small raised medallion within the imitative legend.