Barbarous Radiates for sale
The term "barbarous radiates" refers to the common unofficial imitations made in Gaul and Britain during the period of the so-called "Gallic Empire," formed in 260 when that part of the Roman Empire was split from the rest under the usurper Postumus (260-269) and lasting until 273 when the Gallo-Roman emperor Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II abdicated (and were allowed to live in retirement!) in favor of the victorious central emperor Aurelian (270-275). Barbarous radiates imitated current issues, not issues from the distant past, usually of the Gallic emperors. Some, but but only a small fraction, imitate coins of the central emperors and the great majority of those are imitations of consecreation issues of Claudius II (268-270). An imitation of Galienus is a rare find and it is very unusual to find a barbarous radiate whose prototype must be from Aurelian (270-275) or later. Imitations under Postumus are scarce and mostly close to full size. Imitations under Victorinus area also scarce. They are often smaller than official coins. A large majority of imitations are of Tetricus I and II (270-273). Few of them are nearly full size--most are significantly smaller or much smaller and many are tiny. Unfortunately, the tiny ones rarely show a pleasing design.
Full-size imitations are somewhat unusual. The great majority are distinctly smaller than their prototypes, and many are much smaller or very much smaller. Official Gallo-Roman coins were often poorly made, especially under the Tetrici, so one might expect it to be difficult to drawn the line between "official" and "unofficial." But it takes a very unusual barbarous radiate to approach the style and quality of even the poor official coins. Yes, the line is fine, but the fraction of coins close to the line is small. Under the Tetrici the official coins may be poorly struck and the reverses struck from very worn dies, but the portrait styles and obverse lettering are usually quite good, whereas their imitations rarely have portraits of good style.
To order, write me at
I accept PayPal and shipping in the US would be $2 under $25, $3 up to $50, $4 up to $100, and an additional dollar for each hundred thereafter. $3 more to other countries.
The following coins in over-and-under format were bought in 1991 as part of an English collection of barbarous radiates being sold by Baldwin's.
May 1, 2017: Postumus, Victorinus
Feb. 21, 2017. Revised. Recent Victorinus, who is far scarcer than the Tetrici.
Take a look!
Barbarous radates of Postumus tend to be nearly full size (unlike those of the Tetrici). Postumus and Victorinus are far scarcer than the common barbarous radiates of the Tetrici.
Pretty good style
Smaller, but very good dies
Could this one be official?
21 mm max flan. Large.
encrustation on reverse
It is hard to find a Victorinus, and when you do (as on vcoins), it might just be a misattributed Tetricus II.
Barbarous radiates, c. 270-273AD, of Divvs Claudius, which is scarcer than the common barbarous radiates of the Tetrici.
Left: Claudius II, DIVO. CONSECRATIO, altar 16 mm. [$12]
Right: Claudius II, SPES, 19-17 mm. [$10]
..ESV TETRICVS C ...
PAX AVGG ?
20-18 mm. Full size, therefore large for a barbarous radiate. [$8]
19-18 mm. [$8] Also full-size.
Small Tetricus II.
11-10 mm. Portrait well-centered and clear. [$5]
16 mm. Victory standing left COMES AVG ?
Victorinus -- much scarcer than coins of the Tetrici.
lovely green patina
Pax standing left
Altar, snake, scepter
Altar, snake, and rudder
Remarkably nice portrait
Sol advancing left
Spes left, raising skirt
17-16 mm. [$8]
PIETAS AVGG with priestly symbols
This appears to be a cast fake ancient imitation, thus the good style.
Casting lug obvious. [$9]
Tetricus II, oblong flan. 18-14 mm.
Nice orientation for getting the reverse type on the flan!
Victory advancing left
cast ancient imitation. 16-15 mm.
...ICVS PF AVG
Virtus left AVGG
Nice reverse Salus
Letters bold and garbled.
8 mm. Tiny!
Nice head on the flan. Reverse not clear.
Yellow metal (from melted down sestertii?)
It is hard to find a nice portrait on one so small.
Reverse has a facing figure holding scepter(?) with no legend.
All of these below are from England. Most were from Baldwin's in London, bought 1988-1996
Tetricus II. Larger than official coins! 21-20 mm and thick. Could this be an poorly-done official piece?
From Baldwin's in 1991 [$6]
Tetricus. 19 mm.
LAETITIA AVG reverse
Unusual full-size imitation with literate legends. [$13]
Tetricus I. 17 mm.
Hilaritas standing right holding palm and staff.
Remarkable lettering. [$19]