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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Recovery of the Empire ▸ TacitusView Options:  |  |  | 

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

Tacitus was an elderly senator in the reign of Aurelian, and after the latter's death was selected as Augustus by the senate. After personally leading his army in a successful campaign against a Gothic invasion, the emperor, aged around 75, died.


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Mars holds both the implements of war and the olive branch of peace. "Peace through strength" is an ancient phrase and concept implying that strength of arms is a necessary component of peace. The phrase has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century A.D., to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
RA84987. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3408 (96 spec.), RIC V 145, BnF XII 1681, La Venèra 1565 - 1604, Gloucester 727, Maravielle 785, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1573, Choice VF, silvering, well centered, some light corrosion, weight 4.335 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 2, early ? June 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI PACIF (to Mars the peacemaker), Mars advancing left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, olive branch raised in right hand, transverse spear and oval shield in left hand, S in exergue; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA83503. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3539, RIC V 82, BnF XII 1604, Hunter IV 3, Venèra 549 - 561, Gloucester 690, Maravielle 708, Navis-Mühlen 142, Choice EF, well centered, much silvering, light marks, weight 3.342 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, issue 3, early 276 ? June 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing slightly left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, Γ in right field, XXI in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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RA85073. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 4036 (32 spec.), RIC V 208, La Venèra 2424 - 2425, BnF XII 1806, Ciron IV 399, Choice EF, well centered and struck, much silvering, weight 4.530 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Victory on left, standing right, palm in left hand against left shoulder, with right hand presenting wreath to Tacitus, emperor standing left, wearing military garb, holding long scepter vertical behind in left hand, T in exergue; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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Although he looks quite young in the portrait, Tacitus was about 75 years old when he was made emperor and died after ruling only about seven months and personally leading his army in a successful campaign against a Gothic invasion.
RA90828. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3485, BnF XII 1559, Venèra 59 - 81, RIC V 89, SRCV III 11782, gVF, well centered, traces of silvering, slightly coarse green patina, tiny edge chip, weight 3.689 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, emission 2, Nov - Dec 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse LAETITIA FVND (well-founded rejoicing), Laetitia standing left, wreath in right hand, grounded anchor in left, XXIB in exergue; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess of good luck and success. She was a prominent symbol of wealth and prosperity and, during the Empire, she played an important role in Rome's state religion. Since it was considered the duty of the emperor to promote public happiness, almost every emperor struck coins dedicated to Felicitas.
RA84377. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3443, RIC V 140, Hunter IV 48, Venèra 1880 - 1923, BnF XII 1700, Thibouville 2298, Gloucester 736, Maravielle 796, VF, well centered on a broad flan, some porosity, weight 3.880 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 2, early - Jun 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse FELICIT TEMP (happy times), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, caduceus in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, V in exergue; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB46802. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3325, RIC V 65, Bastien IX 93, BnF XII 1487, Venèra 1223 - 1233, Normanby 1292, gVF, near full silvering, weight 3.749 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issue 7, May - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse TEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing left, long grounded caduceus vertical in right hand, scepter in left hand, A left, * right; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA67086. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3267, Bastien IX 48, RIC V 69, BnF XII 1434, Venèra 1164 - 1171, Maravielle 750, EF, grainy, weight 3.631 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issue 1, Nov - Dec 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear in left hand; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RA47000. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3257, RIC V 44, Bastien IX 30, BnF XII 1406, Venèra 1139 - 1143, VF, well centered, much silvering, weight 3.904 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issue 1, Nov - Dec 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, no mark; scarce; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RB48408. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3368, BnF XII 1653, Venèra 1307 - 1328 (LV 1859), RIC V 158 corr., VF, perfect centering, some silvering, some earthen encrustation, weight 3.991 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 1st emission, Nov - Dec 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus seated left, feeding snake rising from altar, T in exergue; $36.00 (€30.60)
 


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB49569. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3283, RIC V 25, Bastien IX 54, BnF XII 1442, Venèra 1173, Hunter IV 18, VF, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issue 3, Jan 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing left, holding two flanking standards, BA in exergue; $32.00 (€27.20)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCCLTACITVSAVG
IMPCMCLTACITVSAVG
IMPCMCLTACITVSINVICTAVG
IMPCMCLTACITVSPAVG
IMPCMCLTACITVSPFAVG
IMPCMCLTACITVSPFAVGVIRTVS
IMPCMCLATACITVSAVG
IMPCMCLATACITVSPAVG
IMPCMTACITVSINVICTVSPFAVG
IMPCTACITVSINVICTVSAVG
IMPCTACITVSPFINVICTVSAVG
IMPCTACTIVSAVG
IMPCLTACITVSAVG
IMPCLTACITVSPFAVG
IMPTACITVSINVICTVSAVG
MCLTACITVSPAVG
MCLTACITVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

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Estiot, S. Monnaies de l'Empire Romain Volume XII - 1, D'Aurélien à Florien (270-276 après J.-C.). Bibliotheque nationale de France. (Paris, 2004).
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Catalog current as of Sunday, November 19, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Tacitus