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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Usurper Pacatian

Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 975. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008. 
Sold For $8010. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Pacatian. Usurper, circa AD 248-249. AR Antoninianus (4.41 g, 7h). Viminacium mint. 2nd emission. IMP TI CL MAR PACATIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / CONCORDIA NILITVX (sic), Concordia seated left, holding patera in extended right hand, cradling two cornucopias in left arm. RIC IV 1 var. (rev. legend); Szaivert, Beginn 2 var. (same); RSC 1 var. (same); Gorny & Mosch 121, lot 492 var. (same; same obv. die). Good VF, lightly toned. Struck on a broad flan of good metal.

Very little is known of the usurper Tiberius Claudius Marinus Pacatianus, who seized power in Upper Moesia in AD 248. Pacatian was likely killed by his own troops shortly after he seized control. Most of our information about Pacatian comes from his coinage. Viminacium is the most probable site for his mint, and a comparison with the local aes coinage shows remarkable similarity of style. Seven different reverses were used on the antoniniani of Pacatian -- Concordia, Felicitas, Fides, Fortuna, Pax, Roma and Victory -- all common themes in the third century. Such a variety of reverse types would suggest a large issue of coins, though today all coins of Pacatian are very rare.