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  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Quietus, AE antoninianus won from yesterday's Frank Robinson auction. (A Nauman auction brought $537 8/23. I did slightly better than that). The price is fair considering the usual wear of his examples and retains nearly full silvering or its constituent billon. Quietus, also known as Titus Fulvius Junius Quietus, was a Roman usurper who rebelled against the Roman Emperor Gallienus. Let’s delve into his intriguing story. [Thanks ChatGPT].

Quietus was the son of Fulvius Macrianus and a noblewoman, possibly named Junia. His background is somewhat disputed, as some historians challenge the claim that he served as a military tribune under Valerian I.

In 260 CE, during the Sassanid campaign, the Emperor Valerian was captured and became Shapur's footstool, leaving the Roman Empire in a precarious situation. With the lawful heir, Gallienus, far away in the West, the soldiers elected Quietus and his brother Macrianus Minor as emperors. Their father, Fulvius Macrianus, controlled the imperial treasury, which played a crucial role in their rise to power. (My theory is that this loss of bullion led to further and rapid debasement of the antoninianus, which proliferated after 260 in the coinage of Gallienus) and led to the demise of the sestertius and eventually to all of the large bronze assaria pieces struck in the Greek speaking East, since intrinsically the value of the antoninianus in base metal was less than these older and chunkier bronze coins.

Quietus and Balista (Praetorian prefect of the late Emperor Valerian) remained in the eastern provinces, while Macrianus Minor and their father marched their army to Europe to seize control of the Roman Empire. However, their campaign ended in defeat and death in Thrace in 261 CE.
Quietus lost control of the provinces to Septimus Odaenathus of Palmyra, a loyal client king of the Romans. Odaenathus had helped push the Persians out of the eastern provinces and recovered Roman Mesopotamia in 260 CE. Amongst the coins of Quietus note that he struck tetradrachms in Alexandria but only until the province of Egypt was seized by Odaenathus.

Forced to flee to the city of Emesa, Quietus was besieged there by Odaenathus and ultimately killed by its inhabitants, possibly instigated by Balista. Quietus’s story is one of ambition, intrigue, and tragic downfall. He appears as an antagonist in Harry Sidebottom’s historical fiction novel series. If you’re interested in Roman history, Quietus’s brief but eventful reign is certainly worth exploring further! 

Now the coin:

Quietus (260-261) Billon Antoninianus, size and weight yet unknown. Note that I will re-photograph when received in the mail.

Obverse: Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. IMP C FVL QVIETVS PF AVG

Reverse: Sol standing left, right hand raised, left hand holding globe. With star in left field. SOLI INVICTO 

Reference: RIC 10; RSC 12; Sear 10829.



I also am including my matched Macrianus which I acquired in 2020 from FSR too, meaning I have coins of both members of this dynamic duo of usurpers.

Type: AE antoninianus, 22 mm 3.1 grams, Antioch mint. 

Obverse: IMP C FVL MACRIANVS P F AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right 

Reverse: APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left holding branch and resting hand on lyre set on a low column. 

Reference: RIC 6; RSC 2; Sear 10799. 



On the two here is a passage from the Historia Augusta: 

"Macrianus and Ballista met together, called in the remains of the army, and, since the Roman power in the East was tottering, sought someone to appoint as emperor. For Gallienus was showing himself so careless of public affairs that his name was not even mentioned to the soldiers. It was then finally decided to choose Macrianus and his sons as emperors and to undertake the defense of the state. And so the imperial power was offered to Macrianus. Now the reasons why Macrianus and his sons should be chosen to rule were these: First of all, no one of the generals of that time was held to be wiser, and none more suited to govern the state; in the second place, he was the richest, and could by his private fortune make good the public losses. In addition to this, his sons, Quietus and Macrianus - most valiant young men, rushed with all spirit into the war, ready to serve as an example to the legions in all the duties of soldiers." 

Feel free to post any Quietus, Macrianus, Valerian, or Shapur coins.

Here is the relief carved at Naqsh-i Rustam along the Silk Road in Iran depicting a bowing Philip the Arab and a captive Valerian...


Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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Very cool.  I enjoyed the writeup!

Here's my only Quietus. It wasn't a bad bargain coin:


Quietus, Usurper. 260-261 AD. Billon Antoninianus (4.03 gm, 23mm). Samosata mint. Obv.: IMP C FVL QVIETVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev.: APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left, holding branch and resting hand upon lyre; star to left. MIR 1728n; RIC 3. (nice surfaces in person).

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Bronze Coin (AE Antoninianus) minted at Antioch during the reign of QUIETUS between 260 - 261 A.D. Obv. IMP.C.FVL.QUIETVS.P.F.AVG.: rad. bust, DR. r. Rev. SOL.INVICTO.: Sol stg. l., holding globe. RCS #3098. RSCIV #12. RICV #10. DVM #9.

EV-262 OBV.jpg

EV-262 REV.jpg

Bronze Coin (AE Antoninianus) minted at Antioch during the reign of MACRIANUS, Usurper in the East, between 260 - 261 A.D. Obv. IMP.C.FVL.MACRIANVS.P.F.AVG.: rad. bust, cuir. r. Rev. AEQVITAS.: Aequitas stg. l. RSCIV #1b. RICV #5. DVM #1.


Edited by Jims,Coins
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Great write up! 

I just acquired my Quietus last week. I honestly didn't think I'd ever be able to afford one but I managed to snag this guy for about $80.


Billon Antoninianus
260-261 AD
Obverse: IMP C FVL QVIETVS PF AVG, radiate, draped bust right
Reverse: APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left, holding laurel branch, left hand on lyre


I also acquired two (oops) Macrianus several months ago. I placed bids on both of the coins in the auction thinking I would hopefully win 1. Imagine my surprise when I won both...



Billon Antoninianus
260-261 AD
Obverse: IMP C FVL MACRIANVS P F AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right
Reverse: ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated left on shield, holding Victory and spear


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Hi All,

Let's not forget Alexandria.


QUIETUS (ca Sep 260 - ca Jun 261 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 01 (ca Sep 260 - ca Jun 261 CE)
Bi Tetradrachm
Broucheion Collection

Obv: Quietus laureate cuirased bust seen from behind, facing right. Legend:
Rev: Eagle wings open standing facing left with wreath in beak. In left field: LA. Dotted border.
Refs: Emmett-3788.01; Geissen 3013-14; Dattari-5382; Milne-4057/4058; Curtis-1566; SNG Copenhagen-832; BMC-2305 var (legend); Mionnet-3407-9; Bern-247, pl vii
Provenance: Ex Steven M Huston (1996 List 60, Lot# 50); Ex R.S. Speck Collection.

- Broucheion

Edited by Broucheion
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Egypt, Alexandria, Quietus, Usurper, AD 260-261, Tetradrachm dated RY 1 (circa September 260-May 261 AD)
Obv: A K T Φ IOVN KOVHTOC Є CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev: Eagle standing left, wings open, wreath in its beak; L A (date) to lower left
Ref: Dattari (Savio) 5382

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Here is my only coin of Quietus

Mint: Samosata or Antioch
Date: Late 260
Weight: 5.14g, Diameter 23mm

A heavy coin on a broad flan. The condition is above average for the issue.

Ex Bertolami Fine Art
E-Auction 105  21-24 Oct 2021, lot 2564, Hammer EUR 220,-


Edited by Tejas
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RI Quietus Usurper 260-261 AR Ant 21mm 4.5g Antioch Fortuna cornu scepter rudder star RIC V 4 R2



RI Quietus usurper 260-261 CE Ant 3-74g Samasota mint Indulgentia patera scepter RIC V 5



Sasanian Shapur I 240-272 CE AE Tetradrachm 10.78g 27mm Ctesiphon mint phase 1a mural crown korymbos - fire altar type 2 SNS IIa1-1a

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  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Just received the coin in the mail. Here are my photos. Note the power is out today so natural light is in order. Also the Antoninianus is silver and not a debased washed piece, nice surprise. 22 mm 3.87 grams. Samasota mint



Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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