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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Recovery of the Empire| ▸ |Aurelian||View Options:  |  |  |   

Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

L Domitius Aurelianus was born in Sirmium about 207 A.D. Of humble background, Aurelian rose in the ranks to become one of Rome's greatest generals. Proclaimed emperor around 270 A.D., he quickly crushed the various usurpers, restoring to its largest extent except for the Dacia, which was abandoned permanently. Aurelian then embarked on a series of public works meant to restore the empire's shattered infrastructure. His brilliant rule was cut short by a court conspiracy ending in his assassination in 275 A.D. Rome in 271 A.D.


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

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Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA91545. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3113, BnF XII 1259, Göbl MIR 353a8, Venčra 10809, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Hunter IV -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, traces of silvering, areas of slight porosity, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, H below, seen from front; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA87980. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3103, BnF XII 1241, Göbl MIR 353a2, Hunter IV 5, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Choice gVF, well centered, brown tone, areas of porosity, somewhat ragged edge, weight 3.112 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, B below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $135.00 (€118.80)
 


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 275, Aurelian prepared a campaign against the Sassanids in Asia Minor. In Thrace, while waiting to cross the Bosphorus with his army, he ordered severe punishments for corrupt soldiers and made a list of high-ranking officers marked for execution. In September, Aurelian fell victim to a conspiracy of the Praetorian Guard and was murdered near Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey).
RX91483. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5477; Geissen 3096; BMC Alexandria p. 306, 2362; Milne 4456; Curtis 1773; SNG Cop 883; Kampmann 106.54; Emmett 3923, EF, well centered, excellent portrait, edge splits, weight 7.948 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 274 - 28 Aug 275 A.D.; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AVPHΛ IANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), eagle standing left head turned back, wreath in beak; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


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In 271, the Juthungi invaded Italy and sacked the city of Piacenza. A Roman army of 15,000 men under Aurelian was ambushed and defeated at the Battle of Placentia. The Juthungi then moved towards a defenseless Rome. Aurelian rallied his men and defeated the Germanic tribes on the Metauro River, just inland of Fano. After this near disaster, Aurelian began construction of a new defensive wall to protect Rome. The Aurelian Walls, 19 kilometers, enclosed the city with fortifications.
RA88938. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 2931 (13 spec), BnF XII 1151, Venčra 10109, Gloucester 500, RIC V 355 var., Cohen 259 (20f.) var., VF, well centered, glossy near black patina, small edge splits, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 3rd issue, end 271 A.D.; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, one globules behind shoulder; reverse VICTORIA GERN (sic), Victory walking left, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 411 (13 Dec 2017), lot 451 (misattributed); rare; $115.00 (€101.20)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA89963. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3102, BnF XII 1239, Göbl MIR 353a1, Hunter IV 1, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Choice VF, well centered, traces of silvering, edge slightly ragged, weight 3.355 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, A below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA89964. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3113, BnF XII 1259, Göbl MIR 353a8, Venčra 10809, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Hunter IV -, Choice aVF, full boarders strike, weak centers, light deposits, weight 3.242 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, H below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RA91227. Billon antoninianus, SRCV III 11539, Cohen VI 82, Hunter IV - (p. cx), VF, desert patina, oval flan, small edge split, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Milan(?) mint, c. 270 - 271 A.D.; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna seated left on wheel, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, exergue off flan; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 April 2019), part of lot 942; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA87978. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3103, BnF XII 1241, Göbl MIR 353a2, Hunter IV 5, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, VF, well centered, some corrosion, part of edge a little ragged, weight 2.694 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, B below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA89966. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3107, RIC V-2 381, BnF XII 1248, Hunter IV 7, Göbl MIR 353a5, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Choice gF, well centered on a tight flan, little wear but weak centers, weight 3.476 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, E below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA89967. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3107, RIC V-2 381, BnF XII 1248, Hunter IV 7, Göbl MIR 353a5, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, gVF, well centered, traces of silvering, bump on reverse forehead, marks, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, E below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; $90.00 (€79.20)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

AVRELIANVSAVG
AVRELIANVSAVGCONS
AVRELIANVSPAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSINVICTAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSINVICTVSAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSPAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSPFAVG
IMPAVRELIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSINVICTVSAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSINVICTVSPAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSPAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSPFAVG
IMPCAVRELIANVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPCDAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPCDOMAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPCLDAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPCLDAVRELIANVSPFAVG
IMPCLDOMAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPCLDOMAVRELIANVSPAVG
IMPCLDOMAVRELIANVSPFAVG
IMPCAESLDOMAVRELIANVSAVG
IMPDEOETDOMINONATOAVRELIANOAVG
SOLDOMIMPROM
SOLDOMIMPROMANI
SOLDOMINVSIMPERIROMAN


REFERENCES|

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Bland, R. "The Coinage of Vabalathus and Zenobia from Antioch and Alexandria" in NC 171 (2011).
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Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I. 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
Estiot, S. "Le double trésor de Colonne (Jura), terminus 298 AD" in TM XVII (1998), pp. 107-180.
Estiot, S. "Le Trésor de Maravielle" in TM V (1983), pp. 9 - 115.
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Estiot, S. Monnaies de l'Empire Romain Volume XII, D'Aurélien ŕ Florien (270-276 aprčs J.-C.). Bibliotheque nationale de France. (Paris, 2004).
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Milani, L. Il ripositglio della Venčra, Monete romane della seconda meta del terzo secolo. (Rome, 1880).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Pflaum, H., P. Bastien, "La trouvaille de monnaies romaines de Thibouville (Eure)" in Gallia XIX (1961), pp. 71-104; Gallia XX (1962), pp. 255-315.
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. 3: The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Schmidt-Dick, F. ed. Die römischen Münzen des Medagliere im Castelvecchio zu Verona. TNRB 9. (1995).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Aurelian