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Description: Aurelian AE Antoninianus. Milan mint, 274-275 AD. IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right / FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna seated left on wheel, holding rudder and cornucopiae. Mintmark P. RIC 128, Cohen 95, Sear 11539.
History: Lucius Domitius Aurelianus was the Roman Emperor from 270-275 AD. Aurelian was known as Restitutor Orbis, or Restorer of the Empire, as his successes ended the empire’s crisis of the third century. His accomplishments include pushing the Goths back across the Danube, defeating Palmyra and returning with the queen, Zenobia, re-conquering Egypt and fortifying Rome.
He believed in one god for one empire, and while he did not persecute other religions, he did reinforce the position of the sun god, Sol Invictus in the Parthenon. He was murdered as a result of conspiracy at the age of 63.
Using the evidence of the ancient sources, it was at once time suggested that Aurelian's mother was a freedwoman of a member of the clan Aurelius and that she herself was a priestess of the Sun-God in her native village. These two propositions together with the tradition that the clan Aurelius had been entrusted with the maintenance of that deity's cult in Rome inspired the notion that this could explain the devotion to the sun-god that Aurelian was to manifest as Emperor.