ROMAN EMPIRE, Tacitus, 275-276 AD, antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Tacitus, 275-276 AD, antoninianius, 276 AD, Rome mint, officina 5, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, Reverse: Uberitas standing L, VBERTAS AVG, XXIE, billon, 21-22mm, 3.02g, SR-11818, small planchet crack, some crust rev., aVF

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The details of the rise and reign of Tacitus are, for the most part, obscure. His coins, for such a short reign, are not notably scarce.

The Roman Empire was a system of theoretically constrained autocracy. The Emperor was supposed to be accepted by the Senate, which was supposed to be representing the people. It became difficult to restrain the autocrats. The succession problem was never solved. Many Emperors were murdered. In the 4th century AD the Empire was split for administrative purposes into eastern and western branches, the west devolving into local kingdoms in the 5th century AD, while the eastern branch continued as what we call the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

“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.