My newest TACITUS

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    In my impossible quest to get all Emperors in my collection, I sometimes decide to upgrade some coins I already have but that are quite worn. So my latest acquisition is this one :
    Antoninianus 22 mm 4.07 g
    Felicitas holding long caduceus & cornucopiae
    RIC 65 A-star

    While I was
    checking the attribution of my new baby, I realized I didn’t remembered the details about his short reign. Then the references I read taught me that many important events in the life of Tacitus are very controversial. The ancient historians do not agree on several part of the time he held the power, and modern ones neither. So here is what I found...
    « Sure » facts :
    He was a Consul in 273 AD and a very rich senator ( To bail out the coffers of the state, he transferred all his personal wealth, 280 million sesterces according to some sources ). In 275 AD he became Emperor and died in 276 AD. He is also the last Emperor to be nominated by the Senate. During his short reign he campaigned against the Goths and the Heruli, for which he received the title Gothicus Maximus. Tacitus promoted Probus commander of the Eastern army (dux orientis), to ensure the protection of Syria and Egypt.
    « Debated » facts :
    How long was the duration of the interregnum between Aurelian and Tacitus ; 8 months, 6 months or only few weeks ? Is it still true that Ulpia Severina ( Aurelian’s wife ) ruled in her own right before the election of Tacitus ?

    How old was he ? 75 when he ascended the supreme power. But in recent years it was disputed. It seems that it was unlikely that the soldiers would accept a man of this canonical age. Also he would have been 73 at the time of his first consulship in 273 AD. But the Senators arrived much earlier at their consular office, between 40-45 years old at the latest , if they are of plebeian origin...

    How did he die? Eutrope and Aurelius-Victor simply say that he died; Victor the younger adds that it was a fever. According to Zozime and Zonare, he was killed by the soldiers.

    He was Emperor for less than a year ; like we said before, he was consul in 273, his second consulship began in 276. So why Ticinum mint did issue aurei and aureliani with the legend Cos III ? Is it only a scalptores mistake ?
    I would love to get your expertise on these questions, and if you feel like it, show us your Tacitus coin !


    Tacitus, Musée le Louvre Paris. Or is it really him ???
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Excellent portrait! Like you, I've become very selective when upgrading later emps... Though really like the silvering on mine, so likely will not be replacing this guy.
    Here's mine:
    275-276 CE Antoninianus Rome mint, 4th officina. 2nd emission, November-December AD 275. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Salus standing left, holding scepter and feeding out of patera serpent coiled around and rising from altar to left. RIC V 93 corr. (standing, not seated); BN 1562. Near EF, silvering, toned
  4. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about Tacitus beyond what his portion on History of Rome podcast and a little bit I read on him afterwards.

    I have one Tacitus in my small collection and I think it's quite a looker :)

    AE Antoninianus
    Obverse: IMP CM CL TACITVS P AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: SALVS PVBLI, Salus standing right, feeding serpent in arms
    Mintmark T
    Tacitus Antoninianus.jpg
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Nice portrait on that one! I don't know the answers to the questions, but thanks for asking them, and also for the rest of the info... happy to know more about Tacitus today than I did yesterday. :)

    Tacitus XI - new.jpg
    Billon Double Antoninianus. 3.84g, 23.5mm. Antioch mint. New RIC V/1 Online temp no. 4087 (6 spec); Esty, Equall, Smith, "The Alloy of the 'XI' Coins of Tacitus", 91.68 (this coin). O: IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: CLEMENTIA TEMP, Emperor standing right holding sceptre, receiving globe from Jupiter standing left, holding sceptre; A between, XI in exergue.
    Ex Warren Esty Collection
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Tacitus I 2.jpg
    OBVERSE: IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: CLEMENTIA TEMP, Tacitus receiving globe from Jupiter, Z in lower centre, XXI in ex.
    Struck at Antioch, 275-6 AD
    3.2g, 22mm
    RIC 210, Z
    Tacitus I 1.jpg
    OBVERSE: IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: PROVIDE AVG, Providentia standing left, holding globe & transverse sceptre, Q in ex
    Struck at Ticinum, 275-6 AD
    3.6g, 23mm
    RIC 152f, C 90
  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Great new coin, Ocat! I don't have any answers to your questions, and my only Tacitus is this provincial from Alexandria:
    Tacitus, Ruled 275-276 AD
    AE Tetradrachm, Egypt, Alexandria, Struck 275/276 AD

    Obverse: A K K A TAKITOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: Elpis advancing left, holding flower, raising hem of skirt, ЄTOVC A to right and left, RY 1.
    References: Emmett 3975, Dattari 5516
    Size: 21.3mm, 9.1g
    Ex: X6 Collection
  9. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  10. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

  11. cmezner

    cmezner Well-Known Member

    The generally easy availability of coins of this emperor is due solely to the hyperactive mints during his reign that placed millions of Antoniniani in circulation. Tacitus’ coins are straddled by the even more prolific coins of Aurelian preceding and Probus succeeding him.
    Despite the brief rule, Tacitus’ coins are readily available in all grades. That is, so long as you don’t expect anything more than Antoniniani. Coinage in other metals and denominations are considerably more difficult to find.

    I have only one Tacitus Antoniniani,
    Gallia, Lugdunum, 275 - 276 AD; 2nd Officina, 7th emission
    20 mm, 3.46 g
    Ref.: RIC V Tacitus 34; Cohen 65; Sear88 3308; Bastien 98;
    Ob.: IMP CL TACITVS AVG Tacitus, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right
    Rev.: PAX AETERNA Pax, draped, standing left, holding olive-branch in right hand and scepter in left hand Mintmark: B / *//-

    upload_2019-7-12_1-19-13.png upload_2019-7-12_1-20-1.png
  12. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I did used to actively chase after Tacitus coins and still have many (far too many).

    I like the Lugdunum style for some reason and there are several already in this thread. Here are a couple more:-
    Same Id as the OP.

    A mixed up reverse legend with the engraver having started with PROVID DEOR and then ending in AVG after engraving PROVID D.
    And a standard (but nice looking) PROVID DEOR

    Now you need to keep your eyes open for a nice Florian to go with it

  13. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Tacitus claimed descent from the famous historian Tacitus 56-120 AD.


    Succeeded by his bro Florianus:

  14. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Furthermore, he looks much younger than 75 in his portraits. More like middle age:
    Billon Antoninianus
    Ticinum mint
    Rev: CONSERVATOR MILITVM - Emperor, standing on left, with helmet in military dress, receiving globe from Jupiter, on right, ;leaning on scepter
    P in exergue
    RIC 134
    22mm, 4.4g.
  15. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    Nice coins all - getting a Tacitus is next on my need-to-acquire list. I have so far bid on his coins in two auctions but I didn't win either of those lots that were available.
  16. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    I made research about this question and find some answers. In 1973, M.J Price saw in the coins of Tacitus COS III erroneous products of a provincial workshop. A.Alföldi ( Ticinum: le monnayage de l’empereur Tacite ) assumed that the scalptores of Ticinum based their mintage on the notion that Tacitus had taken a suffect consulship when Aurelian died in autumn of 275 AD and that the one of 276 was therefore the third. In 2005, S. Estiot brought another hypothesis : she believed that in north Italy a third consulship was wrongly counted to Tacitus because of his great germanic victory. There is another example of a “mint computus” in Ticinum 14 months earlier : they attributed to Aurelian a 7th Tribunician power for his triumph and the celebrations of the quinquennalia , while the usual count was only of six. So many many theories, you choose the one you like the most !
  17. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Some coins of Tacitus are very nice:


    22 mm. Tacitus, 275-276
    CLEMENTIA TEMP, Δ, XXI in exergue
    RIC 210 Antioch.

    Only a few years before this coin the quality of workmanship was much lower. The coin, post Aurelian's reform, still has a low percentage of silver (c. 5%), but that is significantly higher than under Claudius II (268-270). Most coins of Tacitus, not just this one, are struck well from well-engraved dies. Things were looking up, numismatically.
    Alegandron, Marsyas Mike, TIF and 7 others like this.
  18. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Yes but on some others he looks like an old man

    Tacitus, Antoninianus - Ticinium mint AD 275-276
    IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, Radiate bust of Tacitus right
    SECVRIT PERP, Securitas standing left leaning on column, retrograde µ at exergue
    4.03 gr
    Ref : RCV #11812, Cohen #131, RIC V (1) 163

    BTW excellent post Ocat'

  19. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

    FA-151 OBV.jpg FA-151 REV.jpg FAA-295 OBV.jpg
    Tacitus minted at Ticinum between 275-276 A.D.
    Rev: PROVIDE.AVG. Providential stg. l. Holding globe and Sceptre.[/ATTACH]
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  20. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    My one and only is below. This is the only coin in my collection with Mars holding an olive branch instead of advancing. I wish the bust was a bit clearer...that will have to be my next one.

    Tacitus, AD 275-276
    AE, antoninianus, 22.5mm, 3.77g; 11h
    Obv.: IMP CM CL TACITVS AVG; radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: CLEM-ENTIA TEMP; Mars standing left holding olive branch in right, spear and shield in left
    In Ex.: xIS
  21. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I love the post, Ocat! I waited to pile on in hopes that I could first cherrypick what I thought was an IA "double antoninianus" (Tripolis, higher silver content) hitting the block today. I did manage to snag it. :D


    And here's my XI double (Antioch):
    Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 7.05.17 PM.jpg

    Plus a couple singles:
    Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 7.05.32 PM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 7.05.42 PM.jpg

    Do I really need all these? o_O
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