Author Topic: Aurelian and the revolt of the mint workers in Rome  (Read 1868 times)

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Offline Victor

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Aurelian and the revolt of the mint workers in Rome
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:30:55 PM »
Around A.D. 270, the Emperor Aurelian faced a rebellion in Rome started by mint workers led by their supervisor, who was named Felicissimus. The workers were angry because they were accustomed to debasing the coinage and keeping the silver for themselves and Aurelian was trying to improve the coinage and wanted this unofficial debasement to stop. The Historia Augusta has this to say about the incident-

“There was also during the rule of Aurelian a revolt among the mint-workers, under the leadership of Felicissimus, the supervisor of the privy-purse. This revolt he crushed with the utmost vigour and harshness, but still seven thousand of his soldiers were slain, as is shown by a letter addressed to Ulpius Crinitus, thrice consul, by whom he had formerly been adopted:

From Aurelian Augustus to Ulpius his father. Just as though it were ordained for me by Fate that all the wars that I wage and all commotions only become more difficult, so also a revolt within the city has stirred up for me a most grievous struggle. For under the leadership of Felicissimus, the lowest of all my slaves, to whom I had committed the care of the privy-purse, the mint-workers have shown the spirit of rebellion. They have indeed been crushed, but with the loss of seven thousand men, boatmen, bank-troops, camp-troops and Dacians. Hence it is clear that the immortal gods have granted me no victory without some hardship."

A.D. 272- 273
21mm    3.9gm
IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG; Radiate, cuirassed bust right.
RESTITVT ORBIS; Woman standing right, presenting wreath to emperor who is standing left holding scepter.
in exergue S
RIC Vi 386 Antioch