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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ GallienusView Options:  |  |  |   

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

Gallienus was co-emperor with his father Valerian from 253, then ruled alone after his father's capture by Parthia in 260. Ruling during the Crisis of the Third Century that nearly caused the collapse of the empire, he repelled wave after wave of barbarian invaders, but he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces. Gallienus presided over a late flowering of Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists, and philosophers. He was assassinated by his own soldiers in 268 while besieging Milan.


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In 263 A.D., King Odenathus of Palmyra declared himself ruler of the area west of the River Euphrates and was given the title Dux Orientalis by Emperor Gallienus.
RB86184. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC V J209, Cohen V 132, Hunter IV J24 corr. (described with aegis), SRCV III 10467, aVF, tight flan, dark green patina with light earthen deposits, some corrosion, a few blue-green spots, tiny edge cracks, weight 16.198 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse CONCORDIA EXERCIT (harmony with the army), Concord standing left holding patera and double cornucopia, S C (senatus consulto) at sides low across field; the lighter blue-green spots are hard, not powdery, and do NOT appear to be active corrosion; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RA86673. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68 (uncertain Eastern), RIC V-1 J447 (Asia), SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), EF, white metal, mint luster, areas of light porosity, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP86498. Bronze AE 29, Krzyzanowska (XVII/41), SNG BnF 1324 (same obverse die), SNG Cop 92 (same), SNGvA -, SNG PfPs -, BMC Lycia -, VF, blue-green patina, obverse center not fully struck, bumps and marks, weight 12.533 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CA GALIHNVS PIVS, radiate and draped bust right; reverse ANTIOCHI COL, she-wolf right standing right, head turned back looking left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own. For a time at least, it appears Jupiter favored Gallienus. He ruled for another 14 years, which was a long reign in the age of the Thirty Pretenders. Alas, it seems every emperor eventually fell from favor since none of them are alive today.
RA64622. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 26u, RIC V-1 J143, RSC IV 377, SRCV III 10241, VF, toned, centered, flat centers, weight 3.501 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Aug 253 - Aug 254 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing facing, nude but for cloak behind, head left, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; rare; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


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The reverse may commemorate Gallienus' victory over the Alemanni at Milan in 259 A.D.
RA64633. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 872d, RIC V-1 J18 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 308 (Lugdunum), SRCV III 10225, VF, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GERMANICVS MAX V, two captives seated back-to-back flanking the foot of a trophy of captured arms, their arms tied behind their backs; scarce; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA74573. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1610i, RSC IV 25c, RIC V-1 S627, Hunter IV p. lxix, SRCV III 10168, VF, nice portrait, white metal, parts of legends weak, porous, weight 3.689 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 170o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 264 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star in exergue; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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The obverse legend translates Libero Patri Conservatori Augusti, which identifies Liber Pater, a panther sacred to Bacchus, as a protector of the emperor. Gallienus also identified Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, and others on coins as his protectors.
RA86239. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV S116, Cohen V 586, SRCV III 10281, Normanby -, F, uneven strike with weak areas, porosity, edge cracks, weight 3.017 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse LIBERO P CONS AVG, panther walking left, B in exergue; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RA87012. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1699m (Samosata), RIC V-1 S447 (Asia), RSC IV 792a, SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, light pitting, weight 3.985 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted, sacrificing over altar between them, each togate and holding short scepter, pellet in wreath above; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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Abundantia, her Greek name is Euthenia, stands for abundance or plenty. Abundantia resembles Annona. But Annona was limited to the grain supply for the current year, whereas Abundantia was a prodigal distributor of all kinds of things. Her attributes are stalks of grain and the cornucopia. Clothed in a long robe, and wearing a veil, she can be seated or standing and is sometimes shown emptying a cornucopia.
RA87373. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 574a, RIC V-1 S157, RSC IV 5a, SRCV III 10164, EF, excellent portrait, dark patina, tight flan cutting off much of legends, weight 2.639 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 260 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate bust right; reverse ABVNDANTIA AVG, Abundantia standing right, emptying cornucopia, B in left field; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RA72579. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1612g, RSC IV 394 var. (no cuirass), RIC V-1 S645 var. (same), SRCV III 10245, Hunter IV - (p. lxix), gVF, much silvering, traces of luster, weak centers, weight 3.102 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 264 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVI STATORI (to Jove who upholds), Jupiter standing left, head turned right, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand, star right; $36.00 (€30.60)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCAESGALLIENVSAVG
IMPCGALLIENVSPFAVG
IMPCPLICGALLIENVSAVG
IMPCPLICGALLIENVSPFAVG
IMPGALLIENVSAVG
IMPGALLIENVSAVGCOSV
IMPGALLIENVSAVGGER
IMPGALLIENVSAVGGERM
IMPBALLIENVSFAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPAVGGERM
IMPGALLIENVSPFAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPFAVGGERM
IMPGALLIENVSPFAVGGERS
IMPGALLIENVSPFAVGG
IMPGALLIENVSPFAVGGM
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSFAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSFEL
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSFELAVGGERM
IMPGALLIENVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPGALLIENVSVAVG
IMPPLICGALLIENVSAVG
IMPPLICGALLIENVSPFAVG
GALLIENAEAVGVSTAE
GALLIENVMAVGPR
GALLIENVMAVGSENATVS
GALLIENVMPRINC
GALLIENVMSENATVS
GALLIENVSAVG
GALLIENVSAVGGERM
GALLIENVSAVGGERMV
GALLIENVSPAVG
GALLIENVSPFAVG
GALLIENVSPFAVGGERM
GALLIENVSPIVSAVG
GALLIENVSPIVSFAVG
GALLIENVSPIVSFELIXAVG


REFERENCES

Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Bourdel, B. Les Antoniniens emis sous le regne conjoint des empereurs Valerien et Gallien, Mariniane, Salonine, Valerien II, Salonin (253-260 Apr. J.-C.). (2017).
Burnett, A. & R. Bland, eds. Coin Hoards from Roman Britain: The Normanby Hoard and Other Roman Coin Hoards. (London, 1988).
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, Volume 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941).
Göbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung des Kaiser Valerianus I/Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) un Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). (Vienna, 2000).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham, and P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schaad, D. & J. Lafaurie. Le trésor d'Eauze. (Toulouse, 1992).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume Three, 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).

Catalog current as of Sunday, December 16, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Gallienus