ROMAN EMPIRE Aurelian 270-275 AD antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Aurelian, 270-275 AD, antoninianius, no date (273 AD), Siscia mint, officina 5, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, Reverse: Sol advancing L between seated captives, R hand raised, left holds whip, ORIENS AVG, V, XXI, billon, 21mm, 3.67g, SR11573, porous,aVF

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Aurelian was a general, possibly involved in the murder of Gallienus. Acclaimed by his troops, he proceeded to vanquish other rival generals, defeat barbarians, build a larger wall around Rome, defeat the breakaway Emperors in Gaul and Palmyra, and reunite the Empire. He reformed and standardized the coinage as well.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.