Aurelian eventually succeeded Claudius Gothicus as Emperor of the Roman Empire in AD 270. He was renowned for his harshness of character and his severity and cruelty in punishment. But he single-handedly welded the empire back together, first bringing the recalcitrant Palmyrene Empire back into the fold, then conquering the Gallic Empire and restoring the Roman Empire back to its original frontiers. Reports of his handling of the rebels, however, do not show the 'cruel' disposition he is accused off - both Tetricus, the rebel Gallic Emperor, and Zenobia, the Leader of the Palmyrenes, were allowed to live, and he dealt magnanimously to cities that surrendered to him, protecting several from the looting of his own soldiers. He wisely abandoned the province of Dacia, over the Danube river, as it was costly to maintain and to protect from its vulnerability to the restless barbarian hordes. Finally sick of his strict governance, his officers murdered him in AD 275, but quickly mourned their rash act
For explanations of many of the abbreviations used in Roman imperial obverse legends, click here.
Bronze antoninianus issued AD 271.
Obv: IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust facing right.
Rev: CONCORDIA MILI, Concordia standing holding two standards, P to right.
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