Roman Empire

Quintillus, Emperor AD 270

RIC -; Biaggi 1575 (this coin); Calicó 3968 (this coin illus.), Superb Extremely Fine

Mediolanum. IMP C M AVR QVINTILLVS AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust of Quintillus right. Reverse: FIDES EXE-RCITI, Fides standing facing, head left, holding two standards.

Ex NAC 34 (24 November 2006), 64

Although the army chose Aurelian, an able cavalry commander, to succeed Claudius II as emperor the Senate endorsed Claudius’ brother, M. Aurelius Claudius Quintillus, as emperor. The ancient sources disagree about how long Quintillus reigned in AD 270 with some indicating a reign as short as 17 days and others as long as 177. The end of his reign is also variously reported. He may have been murdered by is own soldiers in reaction to his enforcement of strict discipline. On the other hand, he may have committed suicide out of fear of Aurelian. One of the few certainties about the reign of Quintillus is that the reverse of this aureus proclaiming the “Fidelity of the Army” must be taken with a large grain of salt.