Limes denarius: coin of the Limes (border areas of the Roman Empire)


Limes denarius, the beginning of the 3th century (approximately): Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Limes)

Limes denarius, the beginning of the 3th century (approximately): Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Limes)

Limes denarius is a term used in modern numismatics to denote a large number of contemporary imitations / forgeries of Roman denarii. The metal, size and quality of production of such "coins" were very diverse. The main feature: imitation of the design (sometimes quite remote) of the original denarii of Rome.

The most common in the collection are bronze copies of silver Roman denarii. All of them used border areas (for example, representatives of the tribes of Chernyakhiv culture in the lands of modern Ukraine) and had no legitimacy within the Roman Empire.

According to one of the main assumptions, these coins appeared on the border lands as counterfeits of full-fledged silver denarii. The outskirts of the Roman empire were often inhabited by relatively backward peoples in terms of technology and culture. There, low-quality forgery was easily presented as the original and was relatively calmly perceived by residents. Substitution often went unnoticed... 

There is another interesting version about the appearance of limes (defective) denarii: it is believed that such coins appeared for security reasons. When the inhabitants of the Roman Empire (for example, soldiers or merchants) went outside the Empire, overcoming the Limes (fortified border), the threat of being robbed increased sharply. Therefore, travelers took with them all-bronze or silver imitations of denarii, used them in border areas. Returning to the quiet lands, they exchanged them for a full-fledged silver coin. Thus, limes denarii, according to this version, already then played the role of a kind of credit money. That is, we are talking about coins that had a face value much higher than the actual.

Contemporary imitation/copy of Julia Domna's silver denarius.

DIANA LVCIFERA: goddess Diana Lucifer with a torch (the name "Torch of Hope").

IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG: Julia Pia Felix Augusta (Julia, the pious, fortunate, and venerable).

Blurred inscriptions (fuzzy legend) are characteristic of limes denarii.

Unknown frontier mint (limes: frontier zone of the Roman Empire).

  • Alloy (probably: tin-bronze): 18 mm - 2.2 g
  • Reference price: 11.8$

COIN LIMES DENARIUS — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. LIMES — BORDER AREAS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (the beginning of the 1st millennium AD): limes denarius = denarius (nominally)

The name of the limes denarius coin, is directly related to the term limes. Literally "limes" translated as border. This refers to the fortified border of the Roman Empire, which was defended by legionnaires. It turns out that the "limes denarius", relatively speaking, can be considered a border denarius.