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|Reigned:||275 - 276 AD|
|Denomination:||Base silver (10%) Antoninianus/Aurelianus|
|Date of Issue:||January - June 276|
|Obverse:||Bust right, radiate, cuirassed and draped with paludamentum." IMP. C.M. CL. TACITVS AVG."|
|Reverse:||Mars in military dress standing (or walking) left, holding olive branch in right hand, spear and shield which rests on ground in left hand "CLEMENTIA TEMP•"|
|Reference:||RIC V.1 214 but see comment below.*** New RIC temp. no. #4114|
This coin is an example of an extremely rare denomination. The exergal mark "IA" is greek for "XI". These coins (marked IA at the Tripolis mint and XI at the Antioch mint [example]) have been shown to contain 10% silver (1)(2) (hence XI means a ratio of 10 parts copper to 1 part silver) as opposed to the normal XII meaning 20 to 1 (5% silver).|
The discovery that these coins contained silver in a 10:1 ratio has given credence to the theory that the XXI marked coins of Aurelian's reform were meant to signify a 20:1 silver/copper ratio, rather than being a fraction or multiple of another denomination.
***The entry for RIC 214 gives both types, IA (XI) and KA (XXI), but deserves separate classification since they are clearly separate denominations.
(1) "Analyses de Series Atypiques" by J. P. Callu, Cl. Brenot, and J. N. Barrandon, in Numismatica e Antichita Classiche, VIII, 1979, pages 241-254.
(2) "The alloy of the 'XI' coins of Tacitus" by Warren Esty, Nancy Equall, and Richard Smith, in Numismatic Chronicle, 1993, pages 97-226
TACITUS (M. Claudius Tacitus)
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