Click here to Register User Services


Products and Services

Research Coins: The Coin Shop

194624. Sold For $37500

CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS. 268-270 AD. AV 8 Aurei Medallion (36mm, 38.32 gm). Mediolanum (Milan) mint. Struck circa 269 AD. IMP C M AVRL CLAVDIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, aegis on left shoulder; cuirass decorated with griffin right flanking head of Medusa / CONCORD-IA EX-ERCITVS, Concordia standing facing, head right, knee bent, holding legionary aquilae. Cf. RIC V 1 (6 aurei medallion); Lafaurie, RN 1958, 11; Huvelin and Lafaurie, "Trésor d'un Navire Romain Trouvé en Méditerranée Nouvelles Découvertes," RN 1980, 25 (same dies); Gnecchi pg. 9, 1. Choice VF. Very rare.

In the final year of Gallienus' reign a Gothic invasion and a rebellion within the army had to be addressed simultaneously. The Gothic invasion of late 267 or early 268 involved 2,000 vessels and 320,000 soldiers. After the Goths had pillaged Greece, Thrace, Macedon, and parts of Asia Minor, they suffered a crushing defeat near Naïssus where it is thought that as many as 50,000 of them died in a single day. The victory is traditionally given to Claudius II 'Gothicus', though many scholars now attribute it to Gallienus. Gallienus was not afforded the opportunity to follow it up, because a rebellion at Milan by the commander Aureolus commanded his attention. This was a dangerous situation because Aureolus had taken control of Milan, one of the empire's most strategic cities, and had allied himself with the Gallic rebel Postumus. By the time Gallienus arrived in northern Italy, the siege of Milan seems to have been initiated by the commander of the Dalmatian Cavalry, the future emperor Claudius II. The assumption of command by Gallienus must have upset Claudius, who probably suspected Gallienus had arrived at the pivotal moment to capture the glory for himself. Claudius conspired with other officers, including the future emperor Aurelian, to murder Gallienus. With the promise of a liberal bribe, the soldiers hailed Claudius their new emperor, and he continued the siege until Aureolus had been ousted and executed. It is probable that these large gold medallions were struck to help pay for the accession promises Claudius made outside the walls of Milan shortly after he murdered Gallienus. One of the first measures taken by Claudius was to improve the purity and the weight of the aureus. They had been struck at the rate of 80 to 90 per pound for most of Gallienus' reign, and Claudius raised the standard to the 60 to 70 per pound range. These massive gold medallions were intended as eight-aurei pieces, with a weight base slightly heavier than the low end of Claudius' range. The weight increase achieved by Claudius is easy to recognize when his eight-aurei medallions is compared to the eight-aurei medallion of Gallienus, as there is about a 30 percent difference in their intrinsic value.