EGYPT Claudius II 268-270 AD billon tetradrachm year 3 (270 AD

$40.00

EGYPT, Claudius II, 268-270 AD, tetradrachm, year 3 (270 AD), Alexandria mint, Obverse: laureate bust R, ΑΥΤ ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟΣ ΣΕΒ, Reverse: eagle standing R, head turned L, wreath in beak, LΓ, billon, 20mm, 10.93g, E3878, aXF

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Claudius II, nicknamed Gothicus for his victories over them, was a general in the army of Gallienus. He was a member, with several other future Emperors, of the conspiracy that assassinated Gallienus. He passed his entire two year reign at war, and died, uncharacteristically for the time, of plague, rather than by assassination. He was popular, and was deified after his death.

During the early centuries of the Roman Empire Egypt was considered the personal property of the Emperor. There was a tendency to run it as an extractive business in which profits were not reinvested. The coinage was debased to keep it in the country and to make it harder for the populace to make a living. The reference we use on this web site for coins of Roman Egypt is Alexandrian Coins, by Keith Emmett.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.