Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius, 268-270 AD


ID Number: AC05-0102
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius, 268-270 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire
Year: 269 - 270
Head of State/Ruler: Claudius II commonly known as Claudius Gothicus (Full Name: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius (from birth to accession);Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius Augustus (as emperor); Caesar Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius Pius Felix Invictus Augustus Pontifex Maximus Germanicus Maximus Gothicus Maximus (full titles)), 42nd Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign: September 268 – January 270
Currency: Antoninianus
Face Value:  
Obverse: Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Obverse Legend: IMP C GOTHICUS AVG
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Neptune with trident facing left, holding dolphin in right hand.
Reverse Legend: NEPTV - N AVG
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Note: Antiochia mint
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 20.5 mm (irregular)
Weight: 3.85 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: C. 183; R.I.C. 214
State of Conservation: Very Fine (VF), Natural green patina

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Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
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Very Good (VG) € -
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Claudius II commonly known as Claudius Gothicus, was Roman Emperor from 268 to 270. During his reign he fought successfully against the Alamanni and scored a crushing victory against the Goths at the Battle of Naissus. He died after succumbing to a smallpox plague that ravaged the provinces of the Empire.

Claudius' origin is uncertain. Born on May 10, 213,he was either from Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior or from Naissus Dardania.

Claudius had served with the Roman army for all his adult life, making his way up the military hierarchy until the Emperor Gallienus made him the commander of his elite cavalry force. In September 268 he found himself assigned as a military tribune with the Emperor, besieging the usurper Aureolus in Milan. There, the troops proclaimed him Emperor, amid charges, never proven, that he murdered his predecessor Gallienus.

However, he soon proved to be less than bloodthirsty, as he asked the Roman Senate to spare the lives of Gallienus' family and supporters. He was less magnanimous toward Rome's enemies, however, and it was to this that he owed his popularity.

It is possible Claudius gained his position and the respect of the soldiers by being physically strong and especially cruel. A legend tells of Claudius knocking out a horse's teeth with one punch. When Claudius performed as a wrestler in the 250's, he supposedly knocked out the teeth of his opponent when his genitalia had been grabbed in the match.

Claudius, like Maximinus Thrax before him, was of barbarian birth. After an interlude of failed aristocratic Roman emperors since Maximinus's death, Claudius was the first in a series of tough soldier-emperors who would eventually restore the Empire from the Crisis of the third century.