Roman Empire

Aemilian, Emperor AD 253

RIC 1; RSC 2, Extremely Fine

Rome. IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Aemilian right. Reverse: AP-OL CONSERVAT, Apollo standing facing, head left, holding olive branch and resting hand on lyre.

M. Aemilius Aemilianus (Aemilian), was appointed governor of Moesia Superior by Trebonianus Gallus and tasked with maintaining peace on the Danubian frontier. When the Goths began to make new incursions acrosss the river in AD 253, Aemilian won a signal victory, which he followed up with an invasion of Gothic territory. Encouraged by these successes and disgusted by the failures of Gallus and Volusian, the army proclaimed Aemilian emperor. Gallus and Volusian were soon killed and Aemilian gained the recognition of the Senate by promising to give up his power once he had fully secured the northern and eastern borders of the Empire. Evidently the Conscript Fathers were rather more gullible in the mid-third century than in earlier times. In any case, Aemilian’s promise was never put to the test since his own army mutinied and killed him upon learning that Valerian, a rival emperor, was marching from the Rhine frontier at the head of a much larger force. Aemilian had only reigned for three months.