The Numismatics of the Bosporus:
Concerning the Reasons for Trimming and Replicating Staters
M. M. Choref
Nizhnevartovsk State University
The study of numismatics implies not only the study of coins of official status and their replicas. It is also important to trace the duration and nature of their use in the process of circulation. This problem is especially relevant for transitional periods in history, as, for example, the Era of the Great Migrations, when imitations could be made not only by local subjects, but also by barbarian newcomers. In this case, it is important to determine what prompted the latter to create such replicas. This article examines the practice of both trimming and creating replicas of Bosporus staters. It studies the traces of such modifications on the coins of Rhescuporis IV, in which images of one of the emperors were removed from the reverse. This article concludes that this operation was conducted by private individuals, as the retouched coins were in circulation together with unmodified versions of the same coins. It likewise concludes that these staters were trimmed in keeping with the political preferences of the population. The study of such modifications of cast replicas is similarly of interest. There are visible traces of retouched images and inscriptions. Such operations were conducted most likely to give these coins the best presentation. As a result, these coins became votives, that is, traditional offerings to local gods, while users of these coins became carriers of Bosporan culture.
Keywords: history, archaeology, numismatics, Bosporus, fourth century AD, replicas, trimming