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Pacatianus





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PACATIANVS, a usurper whose existence has not been alluded to by any historian, and whose memory is preserved by medals alone. - Even on those coins the names of TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS MARIVS, or MARCIVS, PACATIANVS were unknown to antiquaries "until (says Beauvais) for the first time a medal of him was discovered by Chamillart, during his travels in the Pyrenees.  This was at first regarded as spurious; but several others, and all of them in silver, were afterwards found." - Of the medal brought home and engraved by Chamillart, the antiquity is on all hands allowed to be incontestable.  The obverse exhibits the radiated head of this tyrant with the inscription, not as Jobert gives it IMP. T. IVL. MAR.; but according to Eckhel, with the coin before his eyes IMP. TI. CL. MAR. PACATIANVS. PF. AVG. - The reverse represents a woman standing clothed in the robe called stola, holding in her right hand an olive branch, and in her left, which is also employed in lifting the skirt of her gown, is a hasta pura; the legend reads PAC. AETERNA. - From the workmanship of this coin and others, the Tyrannus whom it represents is supposed to have lived during the reign of Philip or of Trajan Decius; and to have been recognised as Emperor at the same time that Marinus and Jotapianus assumed the purple. - There is another silver medal engraved in Akerman from the one in the French King's cabinet, which has for its legend round the radiated head, IMP. TI. CL. PACATINVS AVG., and on the reverse ROMAE. AETER. AN. MIL. ET. PRIMO. Roma Victrix, seated. -  Eckhel, in correcting the egregious error into which both Froelich and Khell, as well as some of other writers had fallen, quotes a letter of M. D;Ennery to Khell in 1772, in which the learned French numismatist says - "The legend of this tyrant (Pacatianus) does not bear the prenomina of T. IVL., but those of TI. CL., as I have ascertained from all the medals of that prince, which are esteemed to be indubitably genuine; and you may rely upon it that those, on which you do not find the aforesaid prenomina of Tiburius Claudius, are of modern fabrication.  It is an error which I have corrected in several works."

With respect to the theatre of Pacatian's revolt, observs Minnet. "opinions are divided.  Some place it in the south of Gaul where his medals were first found, others on the contrary believe that there are reasons for placing it in the same country (Moesia) where Marinus took the title of Augustus.  There are even antiquaries, he adds who suspect that Marinus and Pacatianus are the same person, and that the prenomen MAR. in the legend ought to be read Marinus instead of Marius or of Marcius." - Te latter conjecture may or may not be well founded; but the former suspicion appears totally devoid of any valid support; and after the description above given of the medals themselves may surely be dismissed without hesitation.  There is ground to suppose that falling into the power of Trajanus Decius (who in that age of usurpers "passed for no better than one himself." as Beauvais says, "before he had vanquished Philip,")  Pacatianus was deproved of life in the district where he commanded, shortly after his assumption of the purple.  His medals, which present five different reverses, and about which five him the physiognomy of a man about thirty, are of the highest degree of rarity.  They were evidently struck at the seat of his usurped authority, whether that were in Gaul, which is more probable, or in Moesia or n Pannonia, or elsewhere.  - The illustration if the coins of Pacatianus which appears above is taken from a denarius in the cabinet f Thomas Faulkner, Esq., F.S.A., who purchased it at the sale of the Sabatier collection for £19 10s.


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