An ancient gold coin proves that a third century Roman emperor who was previously considered a fictional character really existed.
According to a study published in the journal Plos One, a coin bearing the name Sponsian and his likeness was found more than 300 years ago in Transylvania, Romania, but was dismissed as an artifact. When it was first discovered in 1713, at first, experts assumed it was real. However, in the mid-19th century, some suspected that it was a counterfeit coin due to its crude design.
In 1863, a coin expert from France also concluded that the coin was definitely not genuine. Now, however, when Professor Paul Pearson, from University College London, looks at photographs of the coin, he suspects that the verdict may be incorrect.
Follow BBCMr Pearson contacted the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow, where the coin was kept in a cabinet and examined under a microscope. He discovered that scratches visible under the microscope showed that the coin was in fact in circulation 2,000 years ago.
Just published – a detailed study of Roman emperor coins #sponsian. Long considered fakes of the 1700s, we thought they were the real thing! Read open access here:https://t.co/POT6SgbUrUpic.twitter.com/PzqYs9ucou
– Paul N Pearson (@pnp_history) November 23, 2022
Separately, the Hunterian Museum also confirmed that the coins had been buried in the ground for thousands of years, meaning it was unlikely that someone had forged them more recently. “In an academic paper published yesterday, the team behind the discovery has revealed evidence that the coins, long considered counterfeit, appear to be authentic!” the museum wrote in the caption of the Twitter post.
📢New research on ancient gold coins at The #Hunter@UofGlasgow revealed a lost Roman Emperor named #Sponsian. In an academic paper published yesterday, the team behind the discovery revealed evidence that the coins, long considered counterfeit, appear to be authentic! pic.twitter.com/UUr9yo3Oub
– Hunter (@hunterian) November 24, 2022
Talking to BBCMr. Pearson said: “What we found was an emperor. He is a character that experts have considered fake and erased. But we think he is real and he has a role to play. in history.”
Researchers believe that Sponsian was a local military officer forced to assume supreme command in the Roman province of Dacia (modern-day Romania) severed during a period of chaos and civil war around 260 AD. Congregation. One way for him to impose his power is to mint coins with his image on them. Thus, according to the researchers, this theory explains why these coins do not resemble those from Rome.
This discovery is of particular interest to the history of Transylvania and Romania and is currently being described as a moment to literally rewrite European history.
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