Coins of Claudius Gothicus

Roman Emperor (AD 268-270)

Marcus Aurelius Claudius, commonly called Claudius II or Claudius Gothicus, ruled the Empire in the two years after the death of Gallienus. He had been one of Gallienus’ officials and was suspected of murdering the emperor. However, he was liked by the Senate, and won an important victory against the Goths in 268 (the Goths were not a real threat to the Empire for a full century afterward). These two factors paved the way for his accession to the throne.

Gothicus was considered to be a strong yet merciful ruler. He was the first emperor to begin the restoration of the Empire after the crises of the third century. He had some success against the secessionist Gallic Empire, but lost Egypt to the Palmyrene Empire of the East. Gothicus may have been able to regain this province, too, but he died of plague in AD 270. The Senate deified him, and after a short interlude wherein Gothicus’ brother Quintillus tried to claim the throne, accepted Aurelian as emperor.

AE Antoninianus, Rome
AD 268-270 (Commemorative issued by Quintilius or Aurelian)

Radiate bust of Claudius Gothicus, r.; encircled by DIVO CLAVDIO

Altar with four panels, each containing pellet, surmounted by flames; encircled by CONSECRATIO; in exergue P