Roman Imperial coin, bronze, (AE) Billon antoninianus. Struck during the reign of Lucius Domitius Aurelianus Augustus in Mediolanum (Milan), 270-275 C.E. The radiate head of Aurelian faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP AVRELIANVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the seated figure of Fortuna, the goddess and personification of fortune and luck, faces the left and holds a cornucopia in her right hand and a rudder in her left hand with the inscriptions "FORTVNA REDVX" surrounding image. Reverse images and inscriptions based on Sear and Coin Project references; images and inscriptions faded and difficult to decipher.
Date range: 270-275 C.E.
Remarks: Born of humble parents at Sirmium about 207 C.E., Aurelian adopted a military career, and by his skill, courage, and bodily strength he ultimately became one the Empire's greatest generals, his reputation as a commander of cavalry being particularly high. Some time after the death of Claudius Gothicus, he was proclaimed emperor by his troops at Sirmium, and after the suicide of Quintillus, he was left as undisputed master of the Empire. During his short reign he completely restored the Roman Empire to its former extent, with the exception of Dacia which was finally abandoned in 271 C.E. In addition to his military exploits, he gave much attention to domestic affairs, including a reform of the coinage. He increased the size and weight of the antoniniani and there appears to have been an improvement in the technique of applying the silver wash, as specimens still showing the silverly coating are far more frequently encountered than with pre-reform coins. Whilst proceeding towards the East to attack Persia in the summer of 275 C.E., Aurelian fell victim to a conspiracy of certain of his chief officers. The assassination took place at Caenophrurium in Thrace, the emperor then being in his sixty-eighth year. Aurelian's coins were minted in Rome, Lugdunum, Milan, Ticinum, Siscia, Serdica, Cyzicus, Antioch, Tripolis, an unidentified mint, and possibly Vienna.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol III, 2005), #11538, pg 422
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|
|Place of Origin||Europe/Italy/Milan|