Aurelian, 270-275. Aureus (Gold, 21 mm, 4.19 g, 11 h), Siscia, summer 272-273. IMP AVRELIANVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian to right. Rev. MARTI PACIFERO Mars standing front, head to left, holding olive-branch in his right hand and long scepter in his left. Cohen -. Calicó -. RIC -. RIC V online -. Unpublished and unique. A splendid coin with an exceptionally fine portrait. Very light flan flaw on the obverse, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
The emergence of this impressive aureus is quite exciting: it is an unpublished issue for Aurelian and was struck in the mint of Siscia, where it belongs to Estiot's 5th emission, dated to summer 272-273. MARTI PACIFERO translates as 'to Mars the Peacemaker', a tribute to the god of war that may sound contradictory to the modern observer, but the claim to power of a Roman emperor was by definition universal and only the subjugation of all enemies of Rome could hence lead, in his view, to a lasting peace. This coin was struck at the time of Aurelian's campaign against Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra, whom Aurelian's administration painted as a foreign adversary of Rome - unlike the Tetrici, the rulers of the so-called 'Gallic Empire', who were considered to be separatists and whose defeat in 274 would become Aurelian's final achievement in his struggle to reunite the disrupted empire.