Jotapian, usurper, circa 248-249. Antoninianus (Silver, 22 mm, 4.03 g, 7 h), Nicopolis in Seleucis (?). IM C M F R IOTAPIANVS AVG Radiate and cuirassed bust of Jotapian to right, seen from behind. Rev. [VIC]TOR[I]A AVG Victory advancing left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm over her left shoulder. Bland - (unlisted dies). CNG 96 (2014), 859 (same dies). Cohen 2. RIC 2a-b var. (differing obverse legend). Very rare and in exceptional condition for this difficult issue. Nicely toned and well struck on a broad flan with the legends nearly fully complete. Somewhat rough as usual, otherwise, good very fine.
Jotapian was a Roman army commander of royal Commagenean descent who revolted in 248 or 249 as a reaction to the heavily increased tax burden imposed on the eastern provinces by Priscus, the rector orientis and brother of Philip I Arabs. The revolt was apparently not very successful, for Jotapian did not control any of the major cities or mints and only about twenty of his coins have survived. They are of crude, provincial style and may have been struck in the city of Nicopolis in Seleucis to the north of Antioch. Jotapian was captured sometime in late 249 and his head was presented to Trajan Decius, who in the meantime had defeated and replaced Philip I.