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Quintillus - Roman Emperor 270 A.D. Biography and Authentic Ancient Coins Available to Buy Now

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Quintillus was born in Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)in Illyricum. He was brother of Roman Emperor Claudius II, and became Emperor himself in 270.


Quintillus Ancient Roman Coin  Back of Quintillus Authentic Ancient Roman Coins to Buy Online
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Quintillus - Roman Emperor: 270 A.D. -
Bronze Antoninianus  Mediolanum mint: 270 A.D.
Reference: RIC 52a, C 25
IMPQVINTILLVSAVG - Radiate, draped bust right.
FIDESMILIT Exe: S - Fides standing, facing, holding standard in each hand.

In Roman mythology, Fides ("trust") was the goddess of trust. Her Greek equivalent was Pistis. Her temple on the Capitol was where the Roman Senate kept state treaties with foreign countries, where Fides protected them. She was also worshipped under the name Fides Publica Populi Romani ("trust towards the Roman state"). She is represented by a young woman crowned with an olive branch, with a cup or turtle, or a military ensign in hand. She wears a white veil or stola; her priests wear white.

Rome's second king, Numa Pompilius instituted a yearly festival to Fides, and directed the priests to be borne to Her temple in an arched chariot drawn by two horses and should conduct Her services with their hands wrapped up to indicate protection.

Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus (ca 220 - April 270) was born in Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)in Illyricum. He was brother of Roman Emperor Claudius II, and became Emperor himself in 270. Quintillus' origin is uncertain. He was either from Sirmium (Syrmia; in Pannonia Inferior) or from Naissus Dardania (in Moesia Superior); both areas are located in Serbia. His parents were Flavius Numerius and wife Claudia (b. ca 190), and his brothers were Flavius Crispius (b. ca 210), married to Aurelia Pompeiana (b. ca 210) with whom he had children, and Claudius II. His maternal grandparents were Claudius Apellinus, Governor of Britannia Inferior, and wife Bassina (b. ca 170).

Historia Augusta reports that he became Emperor in a coup d'état. Eutropius reports Quintillus to have been elected by soldiers of the Roman army immediately following the death of his brother. The choice was reportedly approved by the Roman Senate. Joannes Zonaras however reports him elected by the Senate itself.

Records however agree that the legions which had followed Claudius in campaigning along the Danube were either unaware or disapproving of Quintillus' elevation. They instead elevated their current leader Aurelian to the rank of Augustus. Historia Augusta reports Aurelian to have been chosen by Claudius himself as a successor, apparently in a deathbed decision.

Reign of Quintillus

The few records of Quintillus' reign are contradictory. They disagree on the length of his reign, variously reported to have lasted as few as 17 days and as many as 177 days (about six months). He was a Consul in 270, for 77 days. Records also disagree on the cause of his death. Historia Augusta reports him murdered by his own soldiers in reaction to his strict military discipline. Jerome reports him killed, presumably in conflict with Aurelian. John of Antioch and Joannes Zonaras reported Quintillus to have committed suicide by opening his veins and bleeding himself to death. John reports the suicide to have been assisted by a physician. Claudius Salmasius pointed that Dexippus recorded the death without stating causes. All records however agree in placing the death at Aquileia.

Quintillus was reportedly survived by his two sons.

Historia Augusta reports Claudius and Quintillus having another brother named Crispus and through him a niece, Claudia. who reportedly married Eutropius and was mother to Constantius Chlorus. Historians however suspect this account to be a genealogical fabrication to flatter Constantine I.

Surviving Roman records considered Quintillus a moderate and capable Emperor. He was seen as a champion of the Senate and thus compared to previous Emperors Servius Sulpicius Galba and Publius Helvius Pertinax. All three were highly regarded by Senatorial sources despite their failure to survive a full year of reign.

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