Tacitus Antoninianus 22 mm 4.07 g IMP CL TACITVS AVG TEMPORVM FELICITAS 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 ???