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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis & Decline| ▸ |Gallienus||View 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.

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Nero’s. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $550.00 SALE |PRICE| $495.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |25|
Agonistic "urns" or "crowns" were awarded to winners at ancient Greek games, similar to modern trophies. They are called "crowns" because they may have been placed on the head of the victor.
RP95365. Bronze AE 25, Karwiese 1131(a1) (O13/R95); SNG Munchen 260; SNG Hunterian XII 1749; SNG Cop 519; SNGvA 7889; SNG Tub -; BMC Ionia -, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, obverse die wear and minor die breaks, weight 6.759 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKI ΓAΛΛIHNOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN A D• NE•Ω•KOPΩN, agonistic urn (prize crown) containing palm fronds, band across the crown is marked EΦECIAI; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||sestertius|
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, Göbl MIR 92h, 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; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 258, Valerian put to death a number of church leaders, including Rome's bishop, Sixtus. Christians belonging to the nobility or the Roman Senate were deprived of their property and exiled. Thinking that the Christian had great hidden treasures, Valerian ordered the leading deacon, Laurentius, him to hand them over. Laurentius agreed but asked for three days to gather them to together. He assembled the poor, aged and sick in Rome and brought them before the emperor, saying "These are the true treasures of the church." Furious, Laurentius was ordered to suffer a slow and cruel death. On 10 August 258, Laurentius was scourged, beaten with irons, and had his joints dislocated. He was then placed on a grate over a fire and slowly roasted to death. Having lain there for some time, he is reported to have called out to the emperor a Latin couplet, "Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca" (This side is done, turn me over and have a bite). His executioner obliged and after he had been tormented for a considerable time, he finally lifted his eyes to heaven and with calmness yielded his spirit to God. Laurentius (Saint Lawrence) is the patron saint of comedians.
RS93267. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 874l, RIC V-1 J49 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 1062 (Lugdunum), SRCV III 10379, Choice VF, nice metal, well centered, flow lines, toned, some light scratches, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.231 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) mint, 257 - 258 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICT GERMANICA (victory over the Germans), Victory standing right on globe, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, captive seated facing outward on each side; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules
RA89689. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1616i, RSC IV 1320d, SRCV III 10415, RIC V-1 S673 var. (draped and cuirassed not listed), Choice EF, sharp detail, excellent centering, toned silvering, weight 3.843 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 264 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Hercules standing right, right hand on hip, left hand holding lion skin and resting on a club set on rock, star in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The "zoo series" of coins calling on Diana to protect the Emperor was struck late in Gallienus' reign. His father, Valerian, had been particularly dedicated to the worship of Diana the Preserver and had dedicated a temple to her at Rome. Diana apparently did not favor Gallienus. Not long after this coin was struck, he was assassinated near Milan while attempting to deal with the usurper Aureolus.
RB91182. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 728z, Hunter IV S90, RIC V-1 S176, RSC IV 153, SRCV III 10199, EF, traces of silvering, tight flan, weight 2.712 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, 267 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse DIANAE CONS AVG (to Diana protector of the Emperor), doe walking right with head turned back left, E in exergue; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The reverse 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.
RA93320. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV 116, Cohen V 586, SRCV III 10281, Normanby -, gVF, nice portrait, well centered, dark patina with copper high points, tight flan, ragged edge cracks/splits, weight 1.895 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 300o, 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Upon his father's capture by Parthia, Gallienus assumed the throne and began numerous reforms and military campaigns against usurpers and barbarians. He presided over a late flowering of Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists, and philosophers. He was assassinated while besieging Milan.
RA93319. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1566d (Antioch), SRCV III 10397 (Antioch), RIC V-1 300 (Viminacium), AHG 234, Cohen V 1196, Hunter IV -, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, minor encrustations, some die wear, weight 3.693 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped bust right; reverse VICTORIAE AVGG (victories of the two emperors), soldier standing right, vertical spear in right hand, resting left on shield; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Upon his father's capture by Parthia, Gallienus assumed the throne and began numerous reforms and military campaigns against usurpers and barbarians. He presided over a late flowering of Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists, and philosophers. He was assassinated while besieging Milan.
RA91196. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 583a, Hunter IV S80, RSC IV 1014, SRCV III 10368, RIC V-1 S287 var. (obv. leg., officina), EF, full silvering, some luster, well centered, some legend weak, weight 4.172 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 210o, 5th officina, Rome mint, 265 - 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse VBERITAS AVG (to the abundance of the emperor), Uberitas standing slightly left, head left, purse made from cow's udder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, E right; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Dated legends are very scarce in this period!
RA94162. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1342h, Cunetio 1752, RSC IV 824, RIC V-1 S455 var. (nothing in ex.), SRCV III 10320 var. (same), Hunter IV - (p. xlvi), F, traces of silvering, tight flan, small edge splits, centers weak, light deposits, weight 2.955 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 259 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG (or similar), radiate head right; reverse P M TR P VII COS, Emperor seated left on curule chair, veiled, globe in extended right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, MS in exergue; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 




  



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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).

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