Claudius II (268 - 270) and Quintillus (270)
|Claudius II managed, in part by dying early, to preserve a reputation as a near-saint among Emperors. His brother, Quintillus, inherited Claudius's title, but not his aura. When it became clear the army preferred Claudius's co-conspirator, Aurelian, Quintillus called in a doctor to help him "abdicate".|
|Claudius II "Gothicus" Antoninianus|
|About this coin:
Claudius continued the tradition of minting
"silver-washed" bronze coins. This antoninianus
is typical, with no significant amount of the silvering
having survived to present.
This coin is special in another way. It had been a prized part of the collection of my daughter, Jenny, when she was nine. When she found out that I was looking for one featuring this emperor, she gave it to me. It will always be one of my very favorite coins.
As Gallienus's cavalry commander, Claudius II achieved considerable success. Thus, he seems to have gotten into a bit of a snit when Gallienus came on the scene and took over his place, sending him away to command a nearby reserve unit. For whatever reason, he engaged in a successful conspiracy to assassinate Gallienus. After a large bribe to the army, he was hailed as the new Emperor.
Claudius had several successes against Germanic invaders, and managed to do serious damage to the Goths in the Balkans; for this reason, he is known by the title of "Gothicus". He also managed to "schmooze" the Senate, convincing them to deify Gallienus (whom the Senate hadn't liked much) in order to appease the army (who HAD liked Gallienus). He was then kept rather busy fighting various invaders. Out on campaign, he fell victim to the Plague and died abruptly.
|About this coin:|
With the unexpected demise of Claudius, two rival Emperors came forth. The Senate supported Claudius's brother, Quintillus, but the Illyrian armies supported Aurelian, who had been one of Claudius's co-conspirators against Gallienus. Quintillus's legions began to defect, and it quickly became clear to him that his cause was lost. At that point, he called in a doctor to help him do himself in.
The dates of his reign are somewhat confused, and some say his reign was a mere 17 days, but his reign more likely lasted between two and three months.