33. PISO, one of the Thirty Tyrants, who assumed the imperial purple after the capture of Valerian, A. D. 260.
He traced his descent from the ancient family of the same name, and was a man of unblemished character.
After the capture of Valerian, he was sent by Macrianus with orders for the death of Valens, proconsul of Achaia; but upon learning that the latter in anticipation of the danger had assumed the purple, he withdrew into Thessaly, and was there himself saluted emperor by a small body of supporters, who bestowed on him the title of Thessalicus. His career was soon, however, brought to a close by Valens, who, in giving orders for his death, did not scruple to pay a tribute to his conspicuous merit.
The proceedings in the senate, when intelligence arrived of the death of both Piso and Valens, as chronicled by Pollio, are scarce credible, although he professes to give the very words of the first speaker. (Trebell. Pollio, Trig. Tyr.
The two following coins of the republican period cannot be referred with certainty to any of the Pisones that have been mentioned above.
The former bears on the obverse the head of Terminus, and on the reverse a patera, with the legend M. PISO M. (F.) FRUGI : the latter has on the obverse a bearded head with the legend PISO CAEPIO Q., and on the reverse two men seated, with an ear of corn on each side of them, and the legend AD FRV. EMV. EX S. C., that is, Piso, Caepio, Quaestores ad frumentum emundum ex scnatusconsulto.
(Eckhel, vol. v. pp. 159, 160.)