Tetricus I, Gallic Empire, Mid 271 - Spring 274 A.D.

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Tetricus I succeeded to the throne of the Gallic empire after the death of Victorinus. After three years of rule, the power of the separatist state had declined and in 273 A.D. Aurelian invaded. Tetricus I immediately abdicated rather than fight the vastly superior forces of Aurelian. Tetricus and his son were both honored by Aurelian and they lived quite comfortably in Rome.



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Obverse| Legends|



Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany)
Uncertain Gaul
Treveri (Trier, Germany)


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TETRICVS (Caius Pesuvius, commonly called Tetricus pater or senior), one of those who took the name of Augustus during the

troubled state of the empire, under Gallienus. This prince belonged to a family of high distinction in the senate and had been honored with the consulship. Being governor of Aquitania at the time when the usurper Marius died, Tetricus was induced by persuasions of that extraordinary heroine Victorina (mother of Victorinus senior), to accept the title of emperor from the legionaries in Gaul, AD268.  Already in great repute for valor, prudence, and good principles, he disarmed envy by his unpretending simplicity and conciliated general good opinion by the equity of his administration. His first act of sovereignty was to give the rank of Caesar to his son Tetricus.  He next undertook to reduce the revolted city of Autun, and succeeded after a six months' siege.  But, although he maintained himself in government for more than five years, including the period of Claudius II's reign, yet frequent mutinies amongst his soldiers, who were continually threatening to depose him, rendered his crown insecure and his existence wretched and unsafe.  Disgusted with the slavery of his situation, and anxious to regain the tranquillity of private life, he applied for succour to Aurelian, who, on his return from the East, advanced with his victorious army as far as Catalaunum (now Chalons-sur-Marne), delivered Tetricus from the power of his rebellious troops, and resumed for the Roman empire, the possession of those Gallic provinces, which the revolt of Postumus had detached from it.  In thus surrendering himself, his son, his army, and his imperial authority into the hands of Aurelian, he did not escape the deep humiliation of having to follow the triumphal chariot of that proud conqueror; by whom, however, according to Treb. Pollio, he was afterward treated with the utmost benevolence, friendship, and confidence.  Among the honors heaped on him by the emperor, who called him his colleague, was his nomination of the important Italian province of Lucania.  Tetricus died in retirement, at a very advanced age, in what year is not known, and, as his coins of consecration show, he was placed in the rank of divinities, "a remarkable circumstance," observes Beauvais, "in the instance of a man who for many years before had renounced the title and sceptre of supreme power."
His style, on coins, is, by himself, IMP. TETRICVS AVG. --IMP. C. C. PESV. TETRICVS P. F. AVG.-- in association with his son, IMPP> TETRICI. AVGG. -- IMP. INVICTI PII. AVGG.
There is a gold medallion of this prince, said to be unique, on the obverse of which, with the inscription IMP TETRICVS, is seen the bust of Tetricus as emperor; in his right hand is an olive branch, in his left a scepter surmounted by an eagle.  This medallion, according to a memoir of De Boze, is composed of two thin leaves of gold stamped together, and mounted in an ornamented circle of gold with two loops.
His gold of the ordinary size are of the highest rarity; base silver and billon very rate: third brass extremely common.  The money of Tetricus senior, of Roman die, was fabricated in Gaul.--Among the third brass, of which the number extant is very considerable, there are not a few of which the workmanship is most barbarous, and the legend undecipherable.

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