Four gold coins found in Transylvania (Romania) attest to the existence of a new and almost unknown Roman emperor, Sponsianus, around AD 260, who ruled over the then Roman province of Daciaaccording to an investigation released this Wednesday.

The pieces, which are in the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, They were found in 1713 in the Transylvanian region and were considered by experts to be false until now.when a collaboration between the universities of Glasgow and College London has allegedly proven its veracity.

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“They have engraving the title of ‘Imp’, from Imperato, which means supreme military commander, only reserved for emperors. He wears a crown, which is part of the imperial symbols, and has a Roman name…”, describes Professor Paul Pearson, leader of the research.

Along with these, in that find were well-known emperors represented, such as Gordian III (238-244) and Philip the Arab (244-249), “all of them located in the third century,” says Pearson.

Its surfaces are “covered with scratches, apparently natural traces, also with deposited dirt and sediments”, according to the academic from the University of College London, which led them to conclude that “either they are a very sophisticated fake or they are authentic“.

Four gold coins found in Transylvania (Romania) attest to the existence of a new and almost unknown Roman emperor, Sponsian, around 260 AD, who ruled the then Roman province of Dacia.

For this reason, they were subjected to an image and spectroscopic analysis, to closely observe these patterns, the deposit of materials and the earth attached to the coins, to be able to compare them with others used in Roman times.

In close observation by the Glasgow Art History Technique group and the London Department of Earth Sciences, “all the elements of the earth” were found in “sediments, deposited materials and remains” glued to them, says Pearson.

“The most incredible” as evidence, says the academic, was finding the mineral silica, which achieves the foundation and compaction of the earth with “the same appearance as coins that have been genuinely buried“.

In the analysis, “stripes of all lengths and sizes in a very significant way” are also observed in their wear, “explains the professor, from the”same way as real coins, indicating that they were in circulation“.

The province of Dacia, coveted for the number of gold mines, “was the most difficult for the Romans to conquer, the last to get and the first to give up“, contextualizes Pearson.

The historical sources, he maintains, throw up a contradiction, Dacia was left “undersupplied” and “lost by Rome, during the Emperor Gallianus (260-268 AD)”, and also the population “abandoned it in an orderly manner to the south, near the Danube” during the rule of Aurelian (270-275 AD).

The hypothesis that would repair the disagreement of that decade is that of “a population that took care of its own defense and who lost contact with Rome who established his own regimePearson proposes.

This would explain how these coins were made by hand, “because there was no official mint”, and for this reason they have long been considered false, defends the leader of the investigation.

Its circulation through the region and over a long period of time would respond to the remoteness of the rest of the empire and its self-sufficiencyas well as the cornering by different peoples such as the Goths, to the east, or the Carpi, in the Carpathian Mountains, says the professor.

What would have happened to all the coins that circulated? In the opinion of the investigators, “they would have been withdrawn as they were not official at that time (…) and maybe they were cast during that time (270 AD)”, for this reason “they would be so rare”, the academic speculates.

That is the hypothesis embodied in the more than 200 pages of research, called Authentication of the coins of the ‘Roman emperor’ Sponsianowhich now lends itself to being addressed by historians and specialists.

Thus, Pearson concludes, “if Sponsiano existed and our hypothesis is correct, would have been an important local commander, with no intention of fighting for the Roman Empire and taking care of the people of Dacia” with the title of emperor, as documented by the coins.