Roman Empire

Aurelian, Emperor AD 270-275

RIC 182 (Rome); BN 424; Calicó 4048 (Siscia), Superb Extremely Fine

Mediolanum, AD 274/5. IMP CL DOM AVRE-LIANVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right. Reverse: VIRTVS AVG, Mars walking right, holding spearand trophy; at feet to right, captive seated right.

Ex Tkalec (22 April 2007), 320

The able commander L. Domitius Aurelianus , or simply Aurelian, was proclaimed emperor by the army shortly after the Senate raised Quintillus to the purple. Once the latter was out of the way, Aurelian spent his entire reign fighting to restore the crumbling Empire and end the so-called Crisis of the Third Century. He first campaigned against the Alamanni and the Iuthungi on the Rhine and Danube frontiers before erecting new fortification walls to protect Rome from the barbarians. In AD 272, Aurelian overthrew the rebel Palmyrene Empire of Zenobia and Vaballathus and then immediately marched into Gaul to defeat Tetricus and bring an end to his breakaway Gallic Empire. Zenobia and Tetricus both adorned Aurelian’s spectacular triumph in AD 274. He planned to follow up these impressive achievements with a great war against Sasanian Persia, but was prevented by his untimely death in AD 275—murdered by soldiers fearful of punishment.