Roman Emperors Dir Tetricus Ii

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Tetricus II (Caesar 273-274 AD)

Michel Polfer

Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg

Image of Tetricus II (c) 2000, Princeton Economic Institute

Tetricus II was the son of Tetricus I and had exactly the same name as his father: C. Pius Esuvius Tetricus. His date of birth as well as the name of his mother are unknown. In 273 AD Tetricus II was elevated by his father to the rank of Caesar[[1]] and given the title of princeps iuventutis. On 1 January 274 AD he entered in Augusta Treverorum (Trier) upon his first consulship, which he shared with his father.

After the defeat in autumn of 274 AD near Châlons-sur-Marne and subsequent surrender of his father Tetricus I to the emperor Aurelian, Tetricus II was put on display in Rome together with his father during Aurelian's triumph, but then pardoned (SHA Tyr. Trig. 24.3; Eutrop. 9.13.2; Aurel. Vict. 35.4). All literary sources agree on the fact that his life was spared; according to Aurelius Victor and the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, he even retained his senatorial rank and occupied later on many senatorial offices (Aurel. Vict. 35.5; SHA Tyr. Trig. 25.2)[[2]].


1) Primary Sources :

Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, ed. F. Pichlmayr, Leipzig, 1911 (reprinted 1970)

Eutropius, Breviarium, ed. C. Santini, Leipzig, 1979.

Scriptores Historiae Augustae, ed. E. Hohl, Leipzig, 1927.<>

2) Secondary Sources :

Der Kleine Pauly II 380, Nr. 2 (R. Hanslik)

Drinkwater 1987 : J. F. Drinkwater, The Gallic Empire. Separatism and Continuity in the North-Western Provinces of the Roman Empire A.D. 260-274, Stuttgart, 1987 (= Historia Einzelschriften Heft 52).

Elmer 1941 : G. Elmer, "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand," in : Bonner Jahrbücher 146, 1941, 1-106.

Kienast 1990 : D. Kienast, Römische Kaisertabelle. Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie, Darmstadt, 1990, p.245-246.

König 1981 : I. König, Die gallischen Usurpatoren von Postumus bis Tetricus, München 1981, p. 158ff.

Lafaurie 1975 : J. Lafaurie, "L'Empire gaulois. Apport de la numismatique," in : Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II, 2, Berlin, New York, 1975, 853-1012.

PIR E 100

PLRE 885 Nr. 2

RE VI 1, 1907, 704ff. Nr. 2 (A. Stein)

Schulte 1983 : B. Schulte, Die Goldprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus, Aarau, Frankfurt a. M., Salzburg, 1983.

Schulzki 1996 : H.-J. Schulzki, Die Antoninianenprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus (AGK) : Typenkatalog der regulären und nachgeprägten Münzen, Bonn, 1996 ( = Antiquitas 3, 35).


[[1]] I. König, Latomus 33, 1974, 53ff. and König 1981 p. 166f. has argued, that the elevation to the rank of Caesar took place already in 271 or 272 AD. See Drinkwater 1987, 106 ff. and 186 ff. with convincing arguments against this hypothesis.

[[2]] But this information is suspicious, as is that concerning the later career of his father Tetricus I. See Drinkwater 1987, p. 42f. for a critical interpretation of the literary account on the end of the Gallic Empire and the subsequent fate of its last emperor and his son.

Copyright (C), Michel Polfer. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.

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