Quintillus AntoninianusClick for a larger photo

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Quintillus was born at Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior. Originating from a low-born family, he rose to prominence when his brother, Claudius II Gothicus became emperor in 268. He may have been the Procurator of Sardinia during his brother's reign. He was acclaimed as emperor by his soldiers immediately following his brother's death, then confirmed by the Senate. However, the legions campaigning along the Danube were either unaware or disapproved of Quintillus' elevation. They instead elevated their general Aurelian as emperor. The few records of Quintillus' reign disagree on the length of his reign, variously reported to have lasted as few as 17 days and as many as 177 days (about six months). Records also disagree on the cause of his death. Historia Augusta reports him murdered by his own soldiers in reaction to his strict military discipline. Jerome reports him killed, presumably in conflict with Aurelian. John of Antioch and Joannes Zonaras reported Quintillus to have committed suicide by opening his veins and bleeding himself to death. John reports the suicide to have been assisted by a physician. All records agree he died at Aquileia.

Also see ERIC - Quintillus.


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QVINTILLVS (Marcus Aurelius Claudius), resolved to be the successor, although Aurelian was the choice of his brother Claudius II Gothicus, took the title of Augustus, which the legions of Italy by acclamation had bestowed upon him, and which the senate, from a high opinion of his virtues, readily confirmed to him (A.D. 279). In the meantime, however, Aurelian was proclaimed Emperor by the army that was at Sirmium (Pannonia).  And Quintillus, finding himself abandoned by the soldiery who had just elected him, but to whom the rigor of his military discipline was unwelcome, caused his veins to be opened, and thus terminated his life, in the city of Aquileia. Possessed of the moderation and integrity which distinguished Claudius Gothicus, he was deficient in that firmness and enterprise which also characterized that great prince, otherwise he would have been well worthy to occupy the imperial throne. "Most of the ancient writers (says Eckhel) agree in limiting the duration of his reign to the short period of seventeen days, but from the abundance of his coins and the remarkable variety of their types, the workmanship of which would require more time, the opinion expressed by Zozimus seems the most probable, that at least some months must have elapsed between his accession and his death. - He is numismatically styled IMP. C. M. AVR. CL. QVINTILLVS. P. F. AVG.  - His gold coins are of the highest degree of rarity. There are no silver.  One brass medallion is known.  Third brass are common. - There are Consecration medals of this Emperor, indicating the honors of the apotheosis, which were in all probability rendered to his memory, through the intervention of Aurelian.

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