Obverse: IMP C ALLECTVS P F AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust of Allectus facing right.

Reverse: VIRTVS AVG, Galley right with mast and rigging and four rowers. Waves below, mint mark Q L in ex.

Sear: 13870. RIC: 55. [London, AD 294-296].

Diameter: Weight:

A wonderful billon quinarius of Allectus with a striking depiction of a galley, minted in London during Allectus' short reign between AD 293-296. The story of Carausius and Allectus is one of the most remarkable in the history of Roman Britain, and it also has a few parallels with the current political climate. Carausius was of very humble origins, and as a young man he had earned his living as a sailor. Later when he joined the Roman army, his naval skills proved a valuable asset. By the mid 280's he had risen high in the ranks, and was given command of the Channel fleet, with the task of confronting the Frankish and Saxon pirates who were raiding the coasts of southern Britain and northern Gaul. Carausius saw this as an easy opportunity for personal enrichment and, rather than attacking the pirates before they raided, he would wait until afterwards when their boats were laden with booty. As soon as emperor Maximian heard of this betrayal, he ordered the arrest and execution of the rebel. Carausius however, was pre-warned and set sail from Boulogne with the entire Channel fleet, taking Britain by force and annexing off the island province. Carausius, the original Brexiteer, managed to rule as emperor of Britain for the next seven years until Allectus, his chief minister, assassinated him and took the province for himself. Allectus lasted less than three years before the western caesar Constantius re-invaded Britain and met Allectus’ forces in battle. Allectus himself perished on the battlefield. This remarkable coinage celebrates the Channel fleet, the source of the rebel regime’s power. A scarce and historically important coin with an attractive green patina, discovered by metal detectorist in Norfolk.

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