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Esunertos and other people only known through their coins!

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 29, 2023 4:04PM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

Wikipedia says Esunertos, aka Iisuniirtos or Iisvniirtos, was a male ruler in the western Thames basis in what is now the UK in the latter part of the first century BC. He's only known from 3 coins. Here's some information on him and his coins.

This coin was discovered in March and auction on Sept 28, 2023 by Spink. Did anyone here pick this up?

What other people are only known from their coins?


  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Plenty of other people are only known from coins.

    In the Roman series, "Emperor Domitian II", also known as "Domitianus", is known from only a tiny handful of coins found in Britain and France. For over a century, only one coin was known, and everyone assumed it must have been some kind of fake - until a couple more finally turned up, in proper archaeological context, just a decade or so ago. There are several folks named "Domitianus" in the surviving ancient records, but none of them seem to be a really good match for someone claiming to be an Emperor in France. As such, the coins are the only definitive proof of his existence.

    In the ancient Greek and Roman Provincial series, local city magistrates are often named on the coins, and those coins are often the only records of their existence.

    In the Axumite Empire (ancient Ethiopia), the kings named on the surviving coins often don't match up with the names on the lists of kings preserved in the Ethiopian Orthodox church records - which is taken as evidence that the written list is largely a work of fiction, created to attempt to give an air of continuity and legitimacy to the more modern monarchs of Ethiopia. But for the actual Axumite king themselves, the coins are their only records.

    In the Islamic series, the Emirate of Sind was a breakaway state on the edges of the Caliphate, situated in what is now Pakistan. They converted to the Ismaili sect of Islam, deemed heretical by most other Muslims, and when Sunni dynasties reconquered the territory around AD 1005, they seem to have burned all the old records of the Sind state alongside the more general extermination of Ismailism. The coins are the only records of their existence.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • NapNap Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Several early British Anglo-Saxon rulers are only known from their coins.

    Here's a coin of king Eadwald of East Anglia, fl. ca. 796-798

    And one of a later but still largely unknown king Aethelstan of East Anglia ca. 820s-840s

    These coins can be dated and assigned to East Anglia partly because of style, partly because of findspots, and partly because the same moneyers who produced their coins also produced coins for the Mercian kings when Mercia had dominance over East Anglia. The history of Mercia is largely forgotten, but still is better recorded than East Anglia.

    Here are a couple of others, two Viking kings of York, Cnut and Siefred, who are sometimes tentatively reconciled with semi-contemporaneous Irish Vikings, but in reality they really didn't make it into the history books. These two kings may have ruled jointly.

    Cnut, king of Northumbria ca. 895-900

    Siefred, king of Northumbria ca. 895-900

    There are a number of other British kings, who actually did make it into the history books, but just a one-liner to tell you that they ascended or died. Essentially, nothing is known of them apart from their name and maybe a date.

    Aelfwald II, king of Northumbria ca. 806-808

    Redwulf, king of Northumbria ca. 844

    I did place a bid on the Esunertos coin, but backed off after it blew away the estimate. I don't usually collect Celtic coins.

  • rec78rec78 Posts: 5,660 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Then there is the current women's quarter series.

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