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Jotapian – 248 AD

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Circa 248 AD

Usurper of Syria & Cappadocia

Marcus Fulvius Rufus Jotapianus was a member of the Near East indigenous aristocracy and was possibly a member of the Royal family of Commagene, which Vespasian had conquered. Jotapian was hailed Emperor by his troops in Syria when a revolt broke out in 248 AD. This rebellion appeared to be caused by high taxation imposed in Syria by Priscus, who some claimed was Philip I’s brother. Julius Priscus had been given the Governorship of Mesopotamia and developed a reputation for being cruel and ruthless. His heavy extortion by taxation in the region led to the underlying unless in his province.

Jotapian also claimed to be a relative of Severus Alexander who came from the region of Syria. Therefore, Jotapian took advantage of the rising tensions in the region and the discontent with Rome. Thus, he was able to stage a revolt in Commagene. The rebellion expanded to eventually cover the provinces of Syria and Cappadocia, but the usurper was killed by his own men after a brief reign. Even with the death of Jotapianus by his own men, the uprising continued into 249 AD.

Monetary System

JOTAPIAN Antoninianus

Note: the silver content of these issues is very low, even for this late period. Typical examples average between 48% and 54% silver, thus yielding a very poor silver appearance that resembles more of a base white metal.

Mints: traveling mint (?)

Obverse Legends:



AR Antoninianus (3.3 grams – 18 known)

Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong