This speciman is in only a mediocre state of preservation, but it got my attention for depicting a personage with whom I wasn't familiar.
Lucius Julius Aurelius Septimius Vabalathus (the cognomen being alternately spelled with two L's) ascended to the throne of the Palmyrene Empire, which the Romans regarded as the province of Syria. The Roman Emperor Aurelian for a time tolerated this pretension of independence, but ultimately successfully conducted a campaign that resulted in the capture and removal of Vabalathus.
This coin bears the likeness of Vabalathus on one side and Aurelian on the other, likely as an outward show of fealty to Rome. However, I'd note that the side with the mint (officina) mark is Aurelian's, which would normally denote the reverse of a Roman coin, and therefore actually this issue constitutes a not so subtle snub.
The legend has Vabalathus touted as "VCRIMDR" which can be interpreted as "Vir Clarissimus Rex Imperator Dux Romanorum" which roughly translates as "King and Most Illustrious Roman General".
I have this coin as being struck at Antioch, and cataloged as RIC 381 (Sear 11718).
Nice example of Vaballathus! Another interesting tidbit of note is that his mother Zenobia was the real power behind the throne - he wasn't even a teenager yet when he was deposed! The Antiochene antoninianii characteristically show him as an ageless idealized ruler, but the Alexandrian tetradrachms do a much better job of showing a child king of perhaps 10 or 11 years old.
Also, I was sadly the underbidder on this one, but last year Savoca auctioned one of his coins that was muled with an old Gallienus reverse (PXV = Potestas 15 or 268 AD), proving that he is indeed on the obverse and Aurelian on the reverse:
Very nice pick up and great story behind the coin. I have one that came in a small lot I purchased a few years back.
Quote: ... ultimately successfully conducted a campaign that resulted in the capture and removal of Vabalathus.
What a great and masterful campaign it was. I rate him as one of the greatest emperors of all time. If he had lived, who knows what Rome wold have accomplished? Excellent video and channel on Aurelian 's campaigns to restore the empire