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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and 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.


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In 253, Valerian I split the Roman Empire in two; Gallienus took control of the West and his father ruled the East, where he faced the Persian threat.
SH57742. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 22dd, RIC V-1 J213; Cohen V 239; SRCV III 10469, VF, weight 21.409 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Aug 253 - Aug 254 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half left, flanked by a standard in each hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; exceptional for this late sestertius issue, superb portrait on a full flan; scarce; SOLD


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Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RB76153. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 38dd, RIC V-1 J248, Cohen V 1293, Hunter IV 33, SRCV III 10495, Nice gVF, excellent portrait, green patina, tight flan cutting off much legend, weight 10.962 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; SOLD


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This coin was dedicated to Gallienus' good relations with the army. Gallienus eventually fell out of harmony with his guard and officers. He was ambushed and murdered by his own men. The future emperors Claudius Gothicus and Aurelian were likely both involved in the conspiracy leading to his assassination.
RB25653. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 92h, RIC V J209, Cohen V 132, Hunter IV J24 corr. (described with aegis), SRCV III 10467, VF, exceptional portrait, typical chunky flan, weight 16.280 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA EXERCIT (harmony with the army), Concord standing left holding patera and double cornucopia, S C at sides; very scarce; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Irenopolis, Cilicia

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Cybele was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RP11446. Bronze AE 28, SNGvA 5600, VF, weight 17.083 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Irenopolis mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IPHNOΠOΛE ZS, Cybele seated left on rock, resting hand on drum right, two lions at feet; nice green patina and interesting portrait; very rare; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Magydus, Pamphylia

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The first ever coin from Magydus handled by Forum!

Magydus was a small town on the coast between Attaleia and Perga, occasionally mentioned by ancient geographers, and on numerous coins of the imperial era. Its site was probably at modern Lara in the Ottoman vilayet of Konia, where there are ruins of a small man-made harbor.
SH54378. Bronze AE 30, SNGvA 4645; SNG BnF 321; SNG Cop 298; BMC Lycia p. 117, 9, Choice gVF, weight 17.889 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Magydus mint, obverse AYT KAI ΠO ΛI ΓAΛΛIHNO CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind, globe below; reverse MAΓY−∆EΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, modius on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, I upper left field, M - A across fields; an attractive large bronze from a rarer city; rare; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Phoenicia, Berytos

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Astarte, called "Ashtroth" in Scripture, was the favorite goddess of the Sidonians, Tyrians, Philistines, and Syro-Phoenicians generally. She was associated with the Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus Genetrix, being believed by the ancients to be the goddess of generation, as well as of beauty. Astarte was chiefly worshiped and appears on the coins of Berytus, Bostra, Sidon, and Tyre. Her image is of a young woman, wearing a tall headdress; and clothed in a tunic, high in the neck- sometimes, not reaching lower than the knees, or sometimes with a longer dress, but with one knee exposed, and one foot planted on a galley's prow.
SH11625. Bronze AE 28, BMC Phoenicia 264, VF, weight 15.583 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Berytos (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, 259 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL IVL AVG FEL BER, Astarte standing facing, foot on galley, cruciform standard in right and aphlaston in left arm, crowned by Nike standing on column right; nice green patina; SOLD


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In 253, Valerian split the Roman Empire in two. Gallienus took control of the West and his father ruled the East, facing the Persians.
SH58951. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC V-1 250 (joint reign); Cohen V 1342, aVF, weight 17.025 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse VOTIS / DECENNA / LIBIS / S C, legend within laurel wreath; scarce; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Antioch ad Maeandrum, Caria

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Antiochia on the Maeander (earlier named Pythopolis) was a city of ancient Caria, in Anatolia, located between the Maeander and Orsinus rivers near their confluence. It was the site of a bridge over the Maeander. The scanty ruins are located on a hill (named, in Turkish, Yeniser) a few km southeast of Kuyucak, Aydin Province, Turkey, near the modern city of Basaran. The city already existed when Antiochus I enlarged and renamed it. It was home to the sophist Diotrephes. It has not been excavated, although Christopher Ratte and others visited the site in 1994 and produced a sketch plan.
GB85685. Bronze AE 37, SNG München 92; Weber III 6370; SNGvA 2430; BMC Caria, p. 23, 57; Price-Trell 47 & fig. 82; McClean II 8450, SNG Cop -, F, well centered, scratches, areas of weak strike, weight 21.785 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 345o, Antiochia ad Maeandrum (near Basaran Turkey) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse AY K Π O ΓAΛΛIHNOC, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear pointed forward in right hand, round shield in left hand; reverse ANTIOXEΩN, bridge spanning the Maeander River, bridge-gateway with three arches to left, gate surmounted by stork standing right, river-god Maeandrus reclining left on parapet, reed in his outstretched right hand, cradling cornucopia in his left arm; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 23 (9 Jan 2016), lot 332; rare; SOLD


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This coin was dedicated to the fidelity of the Pretorian Guard or perhaps to "the leaders." In either case, in the end, Gallienus lost the fidelity of his guard and officers. He was ambushed and murdered by his own men. The future emperors Claudius Gothicus and Aurelian were likely both involved in the conspiracy leading to his assassination.
RA69184. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 518d, RIC V-1 S568 (Siscia), RSC IV 216 (Siscia), SRCV III 10211, Hunter IV p. lx, Normanby -, gVF, porous, flan crack, weight 3.382 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 262 - 263 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse FIDEI PRAET, legionary aquila (eagle) between two legionary standards, the standards on the left topped with a wreath, the standards on the right topped with an open hand; RIC lists this type as common but market evidence clearly indicates it is rare; rare; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Side, Pamphylia

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IA is a mark of value. IA is the Greek additive number eleven (I = 10, A = 1, I + A = 11). Some references and sales listings identify this type with a value of eleven units. Eleven seems quite an odd denomination. We believe IA should be read as 10 assaria, the A abbreviating assaria. Most of these IA coins were later countermarked E, devaluing them to 5 assaria. At the same time other coins were struck with the mark of value I (only, without the A), 10 assaria.
RP82149. Bronze 10 assaria, BMC Lycia p. 161, 115 - 116 var. (no eagle, 10 assaria, reverse break), SNG Righetti -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, Weber -, rough VF, weight 17.669 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 45o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, joint reign, Aug 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI ΠOΛI ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, laureate bust right, wearing paludamentum and cuirass, IA in front, eagle below; reverse CI∆HTΩN NEΩKOPΩN, galley left with acrostolium, ram, oarsmen, sail, steersman with rudder, and aphlaston; large 31 mm bronze, nice galley!; very rare; SOLD




  




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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 Thursday, November 14, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Gallienus