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Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years.
Also see: ERIC - CLAUDIUS II
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Claudius II. (M. AURELIUS, surnamed GOTHICUS) was born in Illyria on the 10th of May, A.D. 214 or 215. His family descent was so obscure that even the name of his father remains unknown. But indebted for distinction to his own talents both as a soldier and a statesman, he acquired the confidence of Trajanus Decius, by whom he was entrusted with the defense of Thermopylae against the northern invaders of Greece. ---Valerian gave him the rank of military tribune, and in A.D. 259, made him governor of Illyricum, and general in chief of all the provinces on the Lower Danube. The fame of Claudius in the wars, which the indolent Gallienus had to sustain against the usurpers who rose under his distracted reign, induced the Senate to honour him with a statue. Having been summoned to assist at the siege of Milan, where Gallienus was engaged in suppressing the revolt of Aureolus, it was believed, but not on any assured authority, that he gave his assent to the plot, which resulted in the assassination of the prince, whom he succeeded about the twentieth of March, AD 268. The choice of the army was enthusiastically confirmed by the Senate. Claudius fulfilled, with a character unchanged, and a reputation undiminished, the expectations and wishes of the Romans. He seemed to have only one wish, that of restoring to the republic its ancient liberty and its original splendor. After having destroyed Aureolus, and gained a decisive victory over a large body of the Alemanni, on the shores of the Lago di Garda, near Verona, he commenced the arduous task of re-establishing order and discipline. It was to this end that he decreed laws, which had they been followed out and obeyed, would have ensured the welfare and happiness of the empire. In AD269, Claudius took the consulship, and the same year marched to the encounter of a more formidable enemy than had, up to that period, menaced the power of Rome. The different tribes of barbarians, known under the general appellation of Goths, having collected a fleet of more than two thousand vessels, at the mouth of Dniester, embarked on board of it no less, it is said, than 320,000 men, who were landed on the shores of Macedonia; and thence advanced to meet Claudius, who after a terrible battle fought near Naissus, in Dardania, (AD268), gained a great victory; 50,000 of them having been slain in one day. The following year the emperor succeeded in either destroying or dispersing the remainder: these achievements, gained for him the title of GOTHICUS. He then prepared to turn his arms against Queen Zenobia, and the usurper Tetricus; but at that moment, a pestilence which the Goths had brought with them into the confines of the empire, proved fatal to their conqueror. He was attacked by this widely spread epidemic at Sirmium (Sirmich), in Pannonia, and died there in the month of May, AD270, aged 56, after a reign of about two years, recommending with his parting breath, his general Aurelianus as the worthiest candidate for the purple. This heroic prince is described to have had a tall and robust person, a broad countenance, and eye full of fire. He was dignified in his manners, calm in disposition, temperate in his habits. A foe to effeminacy, he delighted in warlike exercises; and set an example to his soldiers of a life subjected to the greatest fatigues and privations. To believe his panegyrists, he was of all the emperors the most beloved during his reign, and the most regretted after his death. There is no doubt, however, that he was a prince of great merit, and of splendid public qualities. The Senate heaped honors of every description on his memory; a golden buckler (see clipeus votinus) bearing his image, was placed in the Curia Romana; and a golden statue, six feet high, was erected to him in the capitol, at Rome.
This emperor is styled on coins, at first simply IMP. CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG. or IMP. C. M. AVR. CLAVDIVS AVG. ---After his victory over the Alemanni, and his still greater victory over the Goths, we read his portrait IMP. C. M. AVR. CLAVDIVS GERM. GOTHICVS. --- After his death DIVVS CLAVDIVS GOTHICVS and DIVVS CLAVD. OPT. IMP.
The following are amongst the rarest and most remarkable reverses in the coinage of Claudius Gothicus.
GOLD - CONCORD EXERCI. A woman with to cosigns; one which she holds erect in her right hand, and the other under her left arm--a singular feature in such a type.
INVICTVS AVG. Helmeted head of Claudius --- MEMORIAE AETERNAE. Rome within a temple.
The above two are valued at 300 fr. each by Mionnet.
PAX EXERC. Peace. Brought £15 15s. at the Thomas sale.
VIRTVS CLAVDII. Emperor on horseback riding over prostrate figures.
Engraved in Akerman. Descr. Cat. ii. pl. 10, No. 2. A finely preserved specimen of this very rare aureus brought £14 10s. at the Thomas sale.
Victoria AVG. A Victory standing; at her feet are two captives; one kneels, and is raising up his hands; the other is seated. --[This beautiful and extra rare coin brought £27 10s. at the Thomas sale. It is now in the British Museum. Se an accurate engraving of it, prefixed to the foregoing biographical notice of this emperor].
BRASS MEDALLIONS - ADVENTVS AVG. Emperor on horseback, with Victory and soldiers. Valued by Mionnet at 50 fr.
CONSECRATIO. Altar lighted -- MARS VLTOR, marching with trophy -- MARTI PACIF. With olive branch.--The above three are valued by Mionnet at 40 fr. each.
CONSECRATIO. Square altar.--Valued at 60 fr.
FIRST BRASS---IOVI VICTORI. Jupiter standing --- 60fr.
SECOND BRASS---VIRTVS AVG. Military figure.
THIRD BRASS---DEO CABIRO. One of the Cabiri.
REGI ARTIS. Vulcan standing.
VIR. AVG. Minerva and one of the Cabiri.
REQVIES OPTIMORVM MERIT. Figure veiled and seated.