Florian, 276. Antoninianus (Silvered bronze, 22 mm, 4.08 g, 5 h), Rome, July-August 276. IMP C FLORIANVS AVG Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Florian to right. Rev. PROVIDENTIA AVG / XXIA Providentia standing front, head to left, holding baton in her right hand and cornucopiae in her left; at her feet to left, globe. RIC 37 corr. (bust also cuirassed). RIC V online 4213. Venèra 2439-61. Well struck and nearly fully silvered. Extremely fine. From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Münzen & Medaillen AG on 13 April 197 [Description from Leu Numismatik Auction 22, lot 362, October 23, 2021.] Florian (r. 276 CE) is among the emperors in the running for shortest time in office. In the Epitome de Caesaribus, Aurelius Victor (c. 320-390) writes his reign was 60 days. Eutropius generously gives him two months and twenty days (Breviarium ab urbe condita, IX.16), though he also writes that Florian ‘did nothing worthy of mention’. Why so short? Well it appears he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time in history. As the half brother to Tacitus (same mother, different father) Florian succeeded him without much fanfare, though there is some discrepancy about whether or not he was confirmed by the Senate. Unfortunately, only days or weeks later Probus, an experienced and popular general, was declared emperor by his armies in the East. So Tacitus turned his army around (he was fighting the Heruli, a Germanic tribe which had been causing all sorts of trouble in Greece and Byzantium) and met Probus and his army in modern-day Turkey. If there was any battle at all, it certainly was not the kind about which epics are composed. Zosimus writes that many of Florian’s troops perished because they were not accustomed to the heat (Historia Nova, 1.31). According to some sources, Florian was killed by his remaining troops when they decided to favor Probus instead (e.g., Historia Augusta, Tacitus, 13); according to others when his troops decided for Probus, Florian ‘cut open his veins’ (Victor 36). There’s not a lot to say about Florian but the Historia Augusta does provide us with an interesting story which takes place after his death. Apparently there were two large statues, made of marble and 30 feet high, in the likeness of the two brothers Tacitus and Florian. At one point they were struck by lightning, an event the augers interpreted as meaning there would be a great emperor from their family who would rule the entire world. This emperor would claim the throne exactly 1000 years after the lightning strike. Florian and Tacitus both left many children, the ancient author writes, ‘whose descendants, I suppose, are awaiting the coming of the thousandth year’ (Historia Augusta, Tacitus, 13).