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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 199. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF13000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Pacatian. Usurper, circa AD 248-249. Antoninianus (Silver, 4.39 g 1), Viminacium. IMP TI CL MAR PACATIANVS P F AV Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Pacatian to right, with short beard. Rev. PAX AETERNA Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse scepter. Cohen 6. RIC 5. Extremely rare. A remarkably well preserved and well struck example, one of the finest in existence. Extremely fine.

From the East Side collection, Switzerland.

Pacatian was a usurper in the area of Moesia on the Danube and was based in Viminacium, where his coins were struck. The coinage of Pacatian was apparently quite extensive: for propaganda reasons he must have insisted that a great number of coins be minted very rapidly (most of his coins are notorious for their poor striking). In any event, when Pacatian’s soldiers realized that Philip I had sent one of his finest generals, Trajan Decius, with an army to put down the rebellion, they assassinated Pacatian and submitted to the Imperial forces. However, they then joined with Decius’ troops and insisted on proclaiming him emperor! A few months later he defeated and killed Philip near Verona and, thus, became the undisputed ruler of the Roman Empire, until being killed by the Goths two years later. After
the destruction of Pacatian, the authorities must have made a great effort to recall and melt down every coin he produced: thus their great rarity today.