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Little is known about him (his name in Latin translates simply as chosen or elected) but he was treasurer to Carausius, an officer in the Roman navy who seized power in Britain and northern Gaul in 283.

Allectus celebrated the new ‘independence’ of Britain by assassinating Carausius and assumed command himself, governing a rebel empire through two fleets controlling the Channel and the North Sea. Constantius launched an invasion to depose him in September 296 that left Allectus dead on a battlefield, probably at Silchester.

Offered with a £70,000-100,000 estimate, the coin sold at Dix Noonan Webb (24% buyer’s premium) on June 6 for £460,000.

The winning bid (the finder will share the proceeds with the landowner) was a house record for the auction house which five years earlier (September 2014) sold one of only 22 examples of the ‘heifer-reverse’ aureus minted during the reign of Augustus for £400,000.