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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Secessionist Empires ▸ PostumusView Options:  |  |  | 

Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

Postumus was an incredibly skilled general and administrator. Rebelling against Gallienus, Postumus succeeded in uniting Gaul, Spain, and Britain into what was essentially an empire within an empire. Enjoying tremendous military success against the Germans, he kept his Gallic Empire secure and prosperous. In 268 A.D., he quickly destroyed the forces of the usurper Laelianus, but his refusal to allow his forces to sack Moguntiacum (Mainz, Germany) led to his assassination by disgruntled troops.


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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So successful was he in the task of restoring peace and security to the provinces under his direct control that the coins issued by Postumus were of better workmanship and higher precious metal content than coins issued by Gallienus; his control of the Spanish and British mining regions was presumably crucial in this regard, as was his employment of master minters who would have come into Gaul with Gallienus.
xx85803. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 199a, Cunetio 2413 (968 spec.), RIC V-2 75, Schulzki AGK 45, Mairat 65, Elmer 336, Hunter IV 60, EF, excellent portrait, well centered, some legend weak, porous, edge cracks, weight 3.037 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 263 - 265 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


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The legends, denomination, and mint are uncertain. In Roman Coins and Their Values III, David Sear writes, "Many bronze coins showing a radiate portrait of Postumus may appear to be dupondii but are, in all probability, either last double sestertii of the secondary mint or simply contemporary imitations which were abundant in the early years of his reign."
RA85839. Orichalcum dupondius, cf. RIC V-2 233, Bastien Postume 356, SRCV III 11065 (double sestertius), Hunter IV 134 (same), VF, tight flan, reverse off center, weight 5.139 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 90o, unoffician or irregular mint(?) mint, obverse IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS P F AVG (or similar), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (or similar), Victory advancing left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, captive seated left at feet on left with hands bound behind, no S C across field or in exergue; ex Sayles and Lavender; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force).
RS86380. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 360a; Schulzki AGK 90; Hunter IV 92; RIC V-2 329; Cunetio 2437 (56 spec.); Elmer 383; SRCV III 10992, gVF, well centered and struck, luster in recesses, light toning, light marks, areas of slightest porosity, edge cracks, weight 2.714 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SERAPI COMITI AVG (to Serapis companion of the Emperor), Serapis standing left, raising right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RA85074. Silver antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 97c, RSC IV 377a, Mairat 6-10, RIC V-2 89, Hunter IV 30, Elmer 125, SRCV III 10996, VF, well centered, nice portrait, reverse weakly struck with a worn die, weight 3.858 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 260 - 265 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, bound captive seated left at feet on left; $35.00 (€29.75)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS64653. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 39, Schulzki AGK 14, RIC V-2 58, Hunter IV 49, Elmer 335, SRCV III 10936, VF, well centered, small edge cracks, weight 3.289 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 265 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas standing half left, long grounded caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing. This coin, dedicated to the health of the emperor, probably indicates the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
RS64679. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 328, RSC IV 350a, Elmer 414, Schulzki AGK 86, Cunetio 2423, Hunter IV 90, SRCV III 10989, VF, nice portrait, well centered on a tight flan, small edge crack, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 266 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SALVS POSTVMI AVG, Salus standing left, feeding snake held in right hand, from patera in left hand; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


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"This refers to the importance of naval power in the Gallic Empire and perhaps even to an imperial visit to Britain in the early years of Postumus' reign" -- Roman Coins and Their Values III by David Sear.
RS64687. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-2 73, RSC IV 167a, Mairat 18, Schulzki AGK 41, Elmer 186, SRCV III 10958, VF, weight 3.026 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse LAETITIA AVG (the joy of the Emperor), war galley left over waves, four rowers and steersman; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RS64642. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-2 57, RSC 273a, Schulzki AGK 64, Elmer 332, Cunetio 2406, Hunter IV 4, SRCV III 10974, VF, excellent centering, toned, nice style, slight porosity, edge cracks, weight 3.442 g, maximum diameter 21.618 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 263 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P, Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, spear transverse in right hand, trophy over left shoulder in left hand; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


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Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld. Salacia was his consort. Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshiped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.
RS64643. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-2 76, RSC IV 205a, Mairat 51-55, Schulzki AGK 46, Elmer, 314, Cunetio 2398, Hunter IV 24, SRCV III 10963, aVF, nice portrait, centered, area of corrosion, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.998 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 30o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 262 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse NEPTVNO REDVCI, Neptune standing left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and falling behind, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical behind in left hand, prow left at feet on left; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


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Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS64646. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 316, RIC IV 213d, Elmer 568, Cunetio 2454, Schulzki AGK 49, SRCV III 10964, Hunter 96 var. (no P), VF, nice portrait, well centered, toned, some silvering, edge cracks, die wear, weight 2.733 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip in left hand, P left; $40.00 (€34.00)
 










OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCMCASLATPOSTVMVSAV
IMPCMCASLATPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCMCASLATPOTVMVS
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSAV
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPIAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVS
IMPCPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPAV
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPFAVGCOSIII
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPIVSAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
MCASLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
POSTVMVSAVG
POSTVMVSPFAVG
POSTVMVSPFAVGCOS
POSTVMVSPFAVGVSTVSTP
POSTVMVSPIVSAVG
POSTVMVSPIVSFELAVG
POSTVMVSPIVSFELIXAVG
VIRTVSPOSTVMIAVG


REFERENCES

Amandry, M. Trésors Monétaires, Vol. XIII: Recherches sur les monnayages d'imitation tardifs de Postume. (Paris, 1992).
Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de Bronze de Postume. (Wetteren, 1967).
Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941). pp. 1 - 106.
Gricourt, D. & D. Hollard, "Le Trésor de bronzes romains de Méricourt-l'Abbé: recherches sur les monnayages d'imitation tardifs de Postume" in TM XIII.
Mairat, J. Le monnayage de l'Empire Gaulois. CGB Rome XV. (Fixed Price List, 2004).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schulte, B. Die Goldprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus. Typos IV. (Aarau, 1983).
Schulzki, H. Die Antoninianprägung der Gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus. (Bonn, 1996).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Zschucke, C. Die Bronze-Teilstück-Prägungen der römischen Münzstätte Trier. (Trier, 2002).
Zschucke, C. Die römische Münzstätte Köln. (Trier, 1993).

Catalog current as of Friday, January 19, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Postumus