Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 4.60 g, 6 h), Cyzicus, late 282-early 283. IMP C M AVR CARVS P F AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Carus to right. Rev.
VICTORI (sic!) AVG Victory driving fast biga to left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond over her left shoulder; in exergue, K. Calicó 4282. Cohen 83. RIC 116 corr. (cuirassed only). A beautiful piece with an interesting reverse. Minor marks, otherwise,
nearly extremely fine.
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 31, 26 October 2005, 113.
Carus was appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard by Probus and ascended to the throne after the latter had been murdered in Sirmium by revolting troops in the summer of 282. Emboldened by the death of the belligerent Probus, Iazygan forces soon crossed the Danube and started raiding Roman Pannonia. Carus, however, who was residing in the nearby base of Sirmium, quickly disabused the invaders by winning a decisive victory and repulsing them over the Danube in early 283. The present aureus commemorates this resounding victory, which greatly strengthened the position of Carus and his attempts to found a new dynasty. A few months later, Carus and his younger son, Numerian, led a successful offensive against the Sasanids, resulting in the sack of the Persian capital Ktesiphon in the summer of 283. Unfortunately for the Romans, the victorious emperor died in July or August near Ktesiphon - allegedly due to a lightning strike, but perhaps more likely due to illness or an assassination planned by his Praetorian prefect, Lucius Flavius Aper - and his son, Numerian, withdrew the army to Syria.