- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Explore Our Website And Find Joy In The History, Numismatics, Art, Mythology, And Geography Of Coins!!! NumisWiki Is An Enormous Unique Resource Including Hundreds Of Books And Thousands Of Articles Online!!! The Column On The Left Includes Our "Best of NumisWiki" Menu If You Are New To Collecting - Start With Ancient Coin Collecting 101 NumisWiki Includes The Encyclopedia of Roman Coins and Historia Nummorum If You Have Written A Numismatic Article - Please Add It To NumisWiki All Blue Text On The Website Is Linked - Keep Clicking To ENDLESSLY EXPLORE!!! Please Visit Our Shop And Find A Coin You Love Today!!!

× Resources Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
How to
Index Of All Titles


Aes Formatum
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Armenian Numismatics Page
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Julius Caesar - The Funeral Speech
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Serdi Celts
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite

   View Menu


Aureolus was one of the many tyranni or usurpers that sprang up, in various parts of the Empire, during the reign of Gallienus. A Dacian by birth, and (if Zonarus is to be credited) in his youthful days a shepherd. Aureolus rose in the army and became governor of Illyria under Gallienus. He rescued Gallienus out of the rebellious hands of Macrianus and his son, only to later revolt himself. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Illyria, or rather in Rhaetia, about the year 267 C.E. Defeated by Gallienus shortly afterwards, he shut himself up in Mediolanum (Milan). He was saved from his besiegers by the assassination of Gallienus, only to be slain by the troops of Claudius II Gothicus, in 268 C.E.

The Revolt That Killed Two of Rome 's Finest Men

By Max Paschall

Aureolus was one of the many forgotten revolutionaries of his time. But he was not similar to other rebels in the fact the he defected from a good position, wealth, and fame to become a forgotten outlaw. He sought refuge with his enemy, and died of betrayal.

Marcus Acilius Aureolus was a Dacian shepherd who rose through the ranks to become one of Rome 's finest generals. He served as Gallienus ' governor in Illyricum. In 260 he eliminated the rebellion of Ingenuus in Pannonia and Moesia. He sent his deputy commander, Domitianus, to destroy the Syrian legions of the Macriani. Domitianus came out victorious, although the Macrianian revolt continued for another 8 months. But in 262, the revolt of Ingenuus was re-ignited by Regalianus. Aureolus stamped out this rebellion as well.

Sassanians and Sarmatians used cavalry in battle with the Romans with great victory. Gallienus saw this and made a cavalry troop of his own and put Aureolus, who was now his best and most trusted general, at the head of it. They called them the Equites, or "horsemen."

Billon Antoninianus of Gallienus.

Although they were very expensive, they worked amazingly well in the war against Postumus (which commenced from 263 to 265), who was battling Gallienus, the current emperor, for the throne. Gallienus trapped Postumus in a Gallic city one time. It was almost Postumus ' death, but at the brink of victory Gallienus was shot with an arrow on one of the attacks. Gallienus pulled back from the siege and became cautious of Postumus despite the emperor 's indefinitely larger forces.

AE Antoninianus of Postumus.

He had Aureolus to go to Raetia to train more troops. He was then assigned to go and defend Milan, the gateway to Italy, from Postumus while Gallienus was in Greece fighting the Goths and Heruli. But Aureolus changed sides and became Postumus ' ally either in Raetia or en route to Italy. Either way, before reaching Milan, Aureolus was attacked by some of Gallienus ' forces in Pontirolo at the Po Valley. Aureolus was injured and they retreated to Milan where they were besieged first by Claudius II Gothicus, then by Gallienus. Gallienus had Claudius II look after the reserves in Ticinum.

AE Antoninianus of Claudius II Gothicus.

While in Milan, the troops garrisoned there proclaimed Aureolus emperor. But in the middle of the siege in September of 268, Gallienus was murdered by his closest staff; undoubtedly Claudius II had a hand in the murder for he was proclaimed the new emperor. Aureolus then bribed Claudius II to spare his life, directly after which he surrendered to Claudius. But Claudius did not keep his word, and soon after Aureolus surrendered the rebel was executed.

AE Antoninianus of Aureolus. Struck in the name of Postumus. Coin from the
author 's personal collection. It has the tell-tale "P" in exergue, and the word "AEQVIT"

on the reverse.Although Aureolus did not mint coins in his own name, he did however mint them in his ally, Postumus ' name. There was a series of antoninianii, or "double denarii", that were minted during Aureolus ' stay, which have different gods, goddesses, and personifications on the reverse. But one thing they all have in common is the distinct P, S, or T in exergue. They are the different officinas (mint workshops). P is for PRIMA, or first. S is for SECVNDA, or second. And T is for TERTIAE, or third. And most of the coins have the inscription of AEQVIT, EQVIT, or EQVITVM. The Equites (as I explained before), were Aureolus ' horsemen. Therefore the three inscriptions above are in the honor of the cavalry which Aureolus controlled. There is also a series of gold aurei which Aureolus supposedly minted. Unfortunately these gold coins are undoubtedly modern fakes.

The Handbook of ROMAN IMPERIAL COINS, by David Van Meter
Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, by David L. Vagi, Vol. I
AUCTION VI Pegasi Auctions, p. 44, #534., ending April 8th, 2002

Dictionary of Roman Coins

Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

AUREOLUS (Marcus Acilius) - one of the many tyranni or usurpers that sprang up, in various parts of the Empire, during the reign of Gallienus. A Dacian by birth, and (if Zonarus is to be credited) in his youthful days a shepherd, he rose in the army, and at length became governor of Illyria under Gallienus, whom he rescued out of the rebellious hands of Macrianus and his son, only, as it would seem, to revolt afterwards against his own sovereign. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Illyria, or rather in Rhaetia, about the year 267 C.E. Defeated by Gallienus shortly afterwards, he shut himself up in Mediolanum (Milan); but was delivered from his besiegers by the assassination of Gallienus only to be slain by the troops of Claudius II Gothicus, in 268 C.E.

On his coins, which consist of gold (if genuine) and small brass (no silver) of the highest rarity, he is styled, IMP C AVREOLVS AVG or IMP M ACIL AVREOLVS P F AVG. Reverses are, PROVIDENTIA AVG (Providence standing); CONCORDIA EQVIT (Female with rudder); CONCORD MIL (Two hands joined)."These pieces, which are of Roman die, were (says Hennin), struck in Rhaetia, or in Upper Italy, probably in Milan."

View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins

All coins are guaranteed for eternity