Aurelian, the Roman emperor as paedagogus militum Cover Image

Cesarz rzymski Aurelian jako paedagogus militum
Aurelian, the Roman emperor as paedagogus militum

Author(s): Agata A. Kluczek
Subject(s): History
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Summary/Abstract: The Ancient tradition consolidated the image of Aurelian as a strict and fierce ruler, caring for the army and aiming to re-establish discipline in it. He could be called paedagogus militum. Aurelian addressed intensive propaganda to the soldiers, which is reflected in the contents of the imperial coins. In the collection of 19 820 Aurelian’s coins as much as 29,1% of the items involve military threads. In that selected group of coins two themes made up the core of the propaganda: concordia militum (68%) and virtus militum (19,5%). The remaining slogans, promoted less intensively, were: concordia legi, conco exer, fides exerciti, fides militum, genius exerciti, genius Illur, restitutor exerciti, virtus Illurici, virtus equit. There are two main streams in Aurelian’s propaganda. The first referred to the army as a real power, securing the rule as well as supporting and strengthening the ruler. It depended, however, on the loyalty, unanimity and faithfullness of the soldiers towards the emperor. That stream manifested itself in the contents of the coins, which recalled the values of concordia and fides or flattered the soldiers, glorifying their virtus. It also revealed a more sublime idea, deriving from the search for divine protection and supernatural sources of imperial power. The iconography of a few series of coins, propagating concordia militum, fides militum, virtus militum, placing the emperor side by side with Mars and Jupiter, proved the emperor’s right to rule, deriving from gods’ will. Its objective was to build a stronger ideological foundation for the emperor’s rule and to raise Aurelian above the millieu he came from.

  • Issue Year: 6/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 73-100
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Polish