Study of coins from an ancient treasure showed that the “fictitious emperor” was a real historical figure

(ORDO NEWS) — A hoard once thought to be fake has turned out to be genuine, indicating that the mysterious Roman Emperor Sponsianus was a real historical figure.

The coins bear the name and image of the enigmatic historical figure Sponsian, whose existence was previously questioned by experts who suggested that these coins were the work of sophisticated 18th-century swindlers.

But scientific analysis of these coins, carried out very carefully, showed that the coins are genuine artifacts of the third century, and now scientists confirm that the emperor Sponsian was also real.

“We are absolutely certain they are genuine,” said Professor Paul Pearson of University College London, who led the study.

“Our evidence suggests that Sponsianus ruled Roman Dacia, an isolated gold-mining outpost, at a time when the empire was engulfed in civil wars and the frontier lands were overrun by robbers and invaders.”

The hoard of coins was discovered in Transylvania, on the territory of modern Romania, in 1713. Some of them depict recognized Roman emperors of the third century, including Gordian III and Philip the Arab.

But four of the coins bear the name and image of Sponsian, which is not found in any other historical record.

Scholars speculate that Sponsianus was a military leader who assumed power over the Roman enclave and founded the local mint.


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