Roman Empire

Florian, Emperor AD 276

RIC 24 corr.; BN -; Estiot 7a (this coin); Calicó 4135 (this coin illus.), Extremely Fine

Ticinum. VIRTVS F-LORIANI A-VG laureate and cuirassed bust of Florian left, holding spear over far shoulder and round shield decorated with horseman spearing fallen enemy motif on nearer. Reverse: VIRTV-S AV-GVSTI, Mars advancing right, holding spear and carrying trophy over far shoulder; before him, bound captive seated right.

Ex NAC 33 (6 April 2006), 576; De Sartiges Collection (Ars Classica XVIII (10 October 1938), 460 ; Consul Weber Collection (Hirsch XXIV, 10 May 1909), 2394

M. Annius Florianus, or simply Florian, was a half-brother of Tacitus who served as Praetorian Prefect during his brief reign. Following the death of Tacitus, Florian was proclaimed emperor and received the recognition of the Senate and the western provinces. However, he was challenged in the East by the revolt of a military commander named M. Aurelius Probus. Although Florian had won victories against the Goths, he was no match for Probus, who used guerilla tactics and the heat of a summer heat wave to break the morale of his army. Finally, in September AD 276, Florian’s exhausted soldiers rose up and killed him.