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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Recovery of the Empire ▸ AurelianView 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.


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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
SH24849. Gold aureus, MER-RIC 1584, Göbl MIR 127q, pl. 74 (O96/R298); BnF XII 424, pl. 13 (same dies); Estiot 1999-I 58 (same dies); RIC V 15, aEF, edge bump at 10 o'clock, weight 4.459 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, issue 3, mid 272 – end 272; obverse IMP CL DOM AVRELIANVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis across chest with small Medusa head in center; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus, helmeted, cloaked, holding spear in right and trophy across left shoulder, walking right, captive before; ex Harlan Berk; SOLD


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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
SH47767. Billon denarius, RIC V-1 71, BnF XII 185, Göbl MIR 135f2, MER-RIC 1799 var. (also draped), superb EF, near full silvering, excellent full strike, weight 2.779 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, issue 10, end 274 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, B left, VSV in exergue; SOLD


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SH04033. Copper as, RIC V-1 80 var., Choice VF+, superb glossy lime green patina, weight 7.130 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 270 - 276 A.D; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Emperor and empress clasping hands, above and between them bust of Sol right; RIC does not cite variety without mint mark in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; very scarce denomination; SOLD


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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).
SH35074. Billon denarius, MER-RIC 1844, RIC V-1 73, Venèra 1496, BnF XII 238, Choice EF, bold strike, perfect centering, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, early - Sep 275; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond against shoulder in left; a bound captive seated left at feet with head turned right, A in exergue; scarce late denarius; SOLD


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

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According to Estiot, this coin is only the 5th published specimen, and of excellent quality for the issue.
SH26269. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-1 104, Estiot 378, Venèra 1571 - 1572, aEF, weight 4.531 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDI LEGI (harmony with the legions), Concordia standing half left between four standards, P in exergue; very rare; SOLD


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RA87276. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 2671.1 (this coin, the only specimen), VF, many cleaning marks, closed edge crack, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, issue 7, phase 2, Apr – Nov 274 A.D.; obverse IMP C L DOM AVRELIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Mars on left in military dress, standing right, long scepter in left hand, receiving globe from Sol, on right standing left, whip in left hand, resting with right foot on a bound captive in oriental dress seated left, head turned right, XXI•P in exergue; extremely rare, the only specimen know to MER-RIC and otherwise unpublished; SOLD


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The epithet Invictus in the obverse legend translates, "the invincible" or "the undefeated."

In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
SH63723. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-1 301, aEF, much silvering remaining, weight 4.175 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 274 - 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS INVICTVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT OR-BIS, Aurelian on right standing left, extending right to woman standing confronted and offering him a wreath, star lower center, KA•Γ• in exergue; rare; SOLD


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.
RA08799. 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 gVF, weight 3.00 g, maximum diameter 21.7 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; SOLD


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There is only one obverse die recorded for this type.
RA77606. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 2150 (12 specimens), RIC V-1 225, BnF XII - (noted p. 354), Verona TNRB 9 14044, Venèra -, VF/F, scratches, edge splits, weight 3.414 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issue 5, end 271 ? autumn 272; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed and draped bust left with paludamentum, seen from rear, spear pointing forward in right hand, shield on left shoulder; reverse IOVI CONSER (to Jupiter the protector), emperor on left, standing right, in military dress, short scepter in left hand, receiving a globe from Jupiter, on right, standing left, long scepter vertical in left hand, *T in exergue; very rare; SOLD


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

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RX84546. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5467; Geissen 3090; Milne 4435; Curtis 1810; BMC Alexandria p. 307, 2372; SNG Hunterian 4780; SNG Cop 882; Kampmann 106.44; Emmet 3961.5, EF, well centered, small flan cracks, slight corrosion, weight 7.900 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 273 - 28 Aug 274; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AYPHΛIANOC CEB, laureate bust right; reverse ETOVC over E (year 5) within wreath; ex William M. Rosenblum; SOLD




  




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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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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.
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Catalog current as of Monday, December 17, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Aurelian