Roman Empire, Dacia, M. Brutus, AV Stater, so-called "Koson-Stater" (50-29BC)
To the coin image: Rare variant without monogram.
Obv.: magistrate striding l. between two lictors, below KOSWN
Rev.: Eagle l. with wreath and sceptre
Condition: Extremely fine (EF)
Historical facts about the legendary "Koson Gold Stater
This interesting gold coin has been known since 1520, when the Dutch scholar of Renaissance humanism Erasmus of Rotterdam tried to explain it.
It is immediately noticeable that this coin type imitates Roman denarii of the late Republic. The obverse is modelled on a denarius minted by M. Iunius Brutus in 54 BC to commemorate the expulsion of the Tarquinians by his ancestor L. Iunius Brutus. The reverse is modelled on a denarius of Q. Pomponius Rufus, minted in 73 BC. This imitation of Roman republican coins did not happen by chance. The images on the obverse and reverse of the coin illustrate Brutus' republican ideas. The coins were struck by Brutus to pay Dacian troops to fight for him against Marc Antony and Octavian (Augustus) at the Battle of Philippi. In the double battle of Philippi, west of the city of Philippi in Macedonia in October/November 42 BC, the Roman triumvirs Marcus Antonius and Octavian (the later Emperor Augustus) were victorious in two encounters over the supporters of the Republic, Marcus Iunius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, who had also been among the leaders of the assassination attempt on Gaius Iulius Caesar.
Legendary coin finds in Transylvania
Coins with the inscription KOSON have been discovered in several large hiding places in Transylvania. The largest group was discovered in 1543 and contained several thousand coins and objects made of gold. It was rumoured that this hiding place was discovered in a locked chamber under the river Strei, identified as the river Sargetia and also mentioned by Dio Cassius. Further research refuted this and placed the treasure in one of the Dacian castles in the Orăştie Mountains, probably near Sarmizegetusa Regia (archaeological site of the ancient capital of the Dacians (1st-2nd century AD).
Research on the "Koson Stater"
The explanation of KOSWN as the name of a Dacian king has been a Renaissance invention. Consequently, a king KOSWN(OS) is not known. Probably KOSWN is the Greek transcription for COS . No other coin issued before the middle of the 1st century BC shows a Roman senator walking between two lictors!
In 2002 there were the first investigations of the Kosonstater with archaeometallurgical examinations like XRF, micro-PIXE and micro-SR-XRF.
Now there are further enlightening results. These investigations were carried out at the National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering in Bucharest, at the Institute for Synchrotron Radiation of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and at the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (Padua). In the meantime, it is known that a distinction must be made among the Koson staters between those with a monogram (group 1) and those without a monogram (group 2).
During the investigations it turned out that the Koson staters of group 2 contain tin and antimony, which is not the case with those of group 1. This means that there are two different sources of gold. Group 2 coins are made of gold found in the rivers of Dacia and Romania. It is identical to the gold found in the bangles from Sarmizegetusa, the capital of the Dacian kingdom. This proves that it is ancient, but probably not Roman.
It is the only gold coin minted in Dacia (today northern Greece or Romania).
Literature references: 8 Erasmus, trans. R.A.B. Mynors (1988). Collected Works of Erasmus vol. 8: Letters 1122 to 1251, 1520 to 1521. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. P. 37.) and Stephanus Zamosius (István Szamosközy) in 1593 (Zamosius, Stephanus (1593). Analecta lapidum vetustorum et nonnullarum in Dacia antiquitatum. S. 101-2.)
You will receive the Koson stater in a premium case with a certificate of authenticity.