Featured Claudius II's arrival in Rome - ADVENTVS AVG

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Claudius_Gothicus, Feb 10, 2022.

  1. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    When, last year, I posted my top 10 list for 2021 (I apologize for my long hiatus in making new threads, but I promise a few more will be coming in the future), there was only one coin that I didn't have in hand, forcing me to use the auction house's photo; having finally received it today, I thought it was interesting enough to deserve not only a thread but an overview of its issue, taking into account its context, its types and its influences on the future.

    Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Rome mint.
    Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;
    Reverse: ADVENTVS AVG, Emperor on horseback riding left, raising right arm and holding transverse sceptre in left hand;
    RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 13); RIC V Online 100;

    The antoniniani of Claudius II with the obverse legend IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS P F AVG presumably constitute the Rome mint's very first emission in honour of this emperor, since not only was it customary to use the new ruler's full name in his first emission, but these coins are usually struck on broader flans and retain much more silvering than their standard counterparts, possibly indicating that they were prepared with more care to better impress the populace; however, their rarity and the small number of obverse dies, which feature much more detailed and realistic portraits, suggests that the issue was small and quickly replaced by the more debased and generic coins that people tend to associate with Claudius II's reign. This variant is particularly rare, as the only other known example that paired up this obverse legend with the ADVENTVS reverse type was a double die match sold by CNG and previously part of the Finn Johannessen collection:

    (Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

    The historical context

    When he rose to the purple after having murdered Gallienus during the siege of Mediolanum in the summer of 268 AD, the former magister equitum had to face an incredibly challenging situation, as the empire was split into three pieces and external invaders were pouring in from all sides, forcing him to immediately spring into action: he immediately put an end to the siege by storming the city and executing the rebellious general Aureolus, who had entrenched himself after declaring for the Gallic emperor Postumus and striking coins in his name, before issuing a large donative consisting of gold multiples to placate the army, who, from the few surviving sources, appears to have been mostly unaware of the officers' plot and might have resented their murder of Gallienus, who despite all of the problems of the time, had managed to lead them to several victories.

    (Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

    Even then, the situation was still very precarious, as the Alamans had taken advantage of the strife to invade Italy from beyond the Alps, forcing Claudius to meet them in battle and defeat them on the shores of Lake Garda; with the frontier now finally somewhat secure, the emperor was able to descend to Rome, where a large commemorative issue was struck, featuring, besides the aforementioned ADVENTVS types and those with the complete obverse legends, military busts and medallions:

    (Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

    Once in Rome it appears that he distributed donatives, celebrated a triumph for his victory against the Alamans, claimed the title of Germanicus Maximus (which is attributed to him by some early inscriptions of his reign) and that he also held the consulship for the first and only time of his reign, though, unusually, commemorative antoniniani were only struck at Mediolanum, even though Rome would've made much more sense, since it was where the celebration took place and also because the mint had already used consular busts for Gallienus in occasion of his consulships.

    Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Mediolanum mint.
    Obverse: IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate bust left, wearing trabea, holding Victory on globe in right hand and scipio in left hand;
    Reverse: PA-X A-VG, Pax running left, holding olive branch in right hand and transverse sceptre in left hand, T in exergue;
    RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 157); RIC V Online 46; Huvelin 1980, 10; Toffanin 311/4;

    The types

    Overall, the ADVENTVS group of coins consists of eight types, these being seven antoniniani and one medallion; as for the first ones, they must be distinguished in two groups depending on their obverse legends, with the first one logically being chronologically earlier due to the rarity and the longer titulature (either IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS P F AVG, which I've already shown before, or IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG):

    (Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

    The second group, on the other hand, uses the more common later legend IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG: four types are "standard", featuring the A1, B1, D1 and D2 (by far the most common) bust types, plus one using an extremely rare military bust:

    (Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

    (Image courtesy of Paul Francis Jacquier)

    The most interesting of them all is by far the medallion, though, represented by a unique example in Florence, since the wider flan allowed the engraver to expand the legends and to enrich the reverse depiction, where the emperor is now accompanied by Victory, two standards and two soldiers in military attire:

    (Image courtesy of RIC V Online)

    While this was the only issue of Claudius II with this kind of reverse, it wasn't the end of the iconography of the ADVENTVS, as this reverse legend was used for several types by Aurelian (at Milan and Cyzicus with the emperor on horseback walking left, jsut like Claudius II, and also at Rome but with him trampling an enemy) and also by Tacitus for some very rare quinarii, as well as a medallion that bears the same exact kind of reverse as Claudius II's:

    coinsrc (2).jpg
    (Image courtesy of RIC V Online)


    I find the ADVENTVS types and its PROFECTIO counterparts to be some of the most fascinating reverses on Roman Imperial coins, due to both their iconography and the fact that they can usually be pinpointed to a specific event, which gives them a lot of historical value, and I know I'm not the only one who's a fan of them, so I'd love to see your contributions.

    That's all for now; post your ADVENTVS or PROFECTIO coins, your first-issue coins, your coins of Claudius II from Rome, or anything else you feel like might be relevant :)!
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  3. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great write up, thanks Claudius.

    first year issue ,it took Hadrian almost a year to travel from Syria to Rome
    P1160856hadrianadjusted (2).jpg
  4. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    A very interesting write-up! I had not seen a Claudius II with "C M AVR" in the obverse legend before, and it's fascinating to read about the historical context of Claudius Gothicus' "Adventus"-types.

    My first and so far only ancient purchase in 2022 is a Claudius II coin. I particularly like the reference to the Goths on the reverse:
    Rom - Claudius II, Antoninian, Trophäe, Victoriae Gothic.png
    Claudius II Gothicus, Roman Empire, BI antoninian, 268–270 AD, Kyzikos mint. Obv: IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG; bust of Claudius Gothicus, radiate, draped, r. Rev: VICTORIAE GOTHIC; trophy between two seated captives; in exergue, SPQR. 20mm, 2,58g. Ref: RIC V Claudius Gothicus 252.
    bonoimp, Edessa, seth77 and 9 others like this.
  5. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Excellent research my young friend. I always read your writings with interest, certain to learn something new, from a period of time not very far from the Gallic rulers . I asked for your write-up to be featured, but as you know, not sure my request will be heard…
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Good point about the tendency of early legends being more 'full'. I do not have a Claudius of that style but find it interesting that his successor and brother Quintillus not only used M AVR but added CL making it IMP C M AVR CL QVINTILLVS AVG. He did not last long enough for people not to require being reminded who he was.
    rq2185fd3312.jpg rq2195bb3012.jpg
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    Fantastic write-up, @Claudius_Gothicus! It ought to be featured!

    You would think that coins of Trebonianus Gallus bearing the ADVENTVS inscription would refer to a discrete event and would have been issued during a single emission. However, coins bearing this reverse type were issued in all three emissions by the mint of Antioch during Gallus' reign. This continuous emission suggests that coins with the ADVENTVS inscription celebrate the accession, not the literal advent, of the emperor.


    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 3.82 g, 19.7 mm, 11 h.
    Antioch, third emission, AD 252-253.
    Obv: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: ADVENTVS AVG, Emperor on horseback, left, raising right hand and holding scepter.
    Refs: RIC 79; Cohen 2; RCV 9622; Hunter 56; ERIC II 44.
  8. Shea19

    Shea19 Well-Known Member

    Excellent post and great new coin, @Claudius_Gothicus ! I can add a couple more Adventus types to the thread.

    I recently added this Probus (I especially like the horse on the shield on the obverse):

    Probus, Antoninianus (25 mm, 3.77 g), Cyzicus, 276-277. VIRTVS P-ROBI AVG Radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Probus to left, holding spear over right shoulder and covering left shoulder with shield decorated with horseman advancing to right. Rev. ADVENTVS PROBI AVG /A Probus riding horse left, raising his right hand in salute and holding scepter in left; to left, bound captive seated left. RIC 904

    And a Trajan Decius Adventus:
    Trajan Decius, AR antoninianus (22 mm, 4.05 g). Rome, 249-250 AD, IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan Decius r./ ADVENTVS AVG, emperor on horseback l. , extending arm in salute and holding scepter. RIC 11b
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Thanks for the excellent writeup, and congrats on the nice early Rome mint Adventus. I have one of the common later ones.

    Claudius II - FJ Col Rome Adventus 2366.JPG CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS
    AE Antoninianus. 3.81g, 21.2mm. Rome mint, circa Oct-Nov AD 268. New RIC V/1 Online temp 129 (this coin cited). O: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. R: ADVENTVS AVG, Emperor on horseback riding left, raising right arm and holding transverse sceptre in left hand.
    Ex Finn Johannessen Collection (purchased from Jose Maria Bonilla Blanes, 23 Mar 2003)
  10. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    A fabulous research and writeup as usual. Thanks for sharing

    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Nice research work and write up - I hope it gets featured as well. I asked for it to be featured - hope the mods see it.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  12. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Great write up!

    Unfortunately, I don't have an ADVENTVS issue of Claudius II (or any early issue from Rome for that matter), so these'll have to make do for now :D

    A Claudius II antoninianus from Rome mint - MARTI PACIFERO
    claudius ii marti pacifero.png

    A scarcer ADVENTVS issue of Constantine I
    constantine adventvs.jpg
  13. sky92880

    sky92880 Well-Known Member

    Fantastic write up, Claudius.

    Here a commen adventus.
    and a spes publica from my portrait collection.
  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

  15. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Here is my Claudius II ADVENTVS

    Bust B1 (rare bust)
    Mint: Rome, Issue II
    Brezins: 182, CGB/Rome XIII:69
    Weight: 2.6 g.

    EX CNG, Ex Finn Johannessen Coll. (Ex. Günter Meckum, 02.06.2004)

    Screenshot 2022-02-15 at 08.51.34.png
  16. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    I love first issues, attactive portraits, and also ADVENTVS coins... so of course I love the subject coin of this thread! Great writeup too - interesting that the first emissions with longer legends sometimes have better silvering, I hadn't noticed this before.

    Here's an example of the Aurelian Adventus issue that you mention:
    aurelian adventus.jpg
    I like to think of the enemy at his feet as a mint worker. :D
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