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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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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.
RA90710. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 518d, RIC V S568 (Siscia), RSC IV 216 (Siscia), SRCV III 10211, Hunter IV p. lx, Normanby -, VF/F, nice portrait, well centered, ragged tight flan cutting off the tops of legend letters, flan cracks, some corrosion, weight 2.035 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00

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This type commemorates vows made to Apollo invoking his protection against the revolt of Aureolus. During the siege of Milan, at a late hour but while he was still lingering with pleasures of the table, a false alarm was suddenly given, reporting that Aureolus, at the head of all his forces, had made a desperate sally from the town. Gallienus, who was never deficient in personal bravery, started from his silken couch, and without allowing himself time either to put on his armor, or to assemble his guards, he mounted on horseback, and rode full speed towards the supposed place of the attack. There he was ambushed by enemies from among his own officers. Amidst the nocturnal tumult, he received a mortal wound from an uncertain hand. Perhaps his request to Apollo was too specific and asked only for protection from Aureolus?
RA76507. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 735b(1), RIC V S163, RSC IV 72, Hunter IV S95, SRCV III 10177, Choice aEF, well centered on a broad round flan, flan crack, porosity, weight 3.715 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, 7th officina, Rome mint, 267 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse APOLLINI CONS AVG, centaur walking right drawing bow, Z in exergue; ex Forum (2007); $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00

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In 257 A.D. the Franks invaded Gaul, reaching as far as Spain, where they destroyed Terraco (Tarragona). Also, the Alamanii invaded Italy, but Gallienus defeated them near Milan. In 258, Gallienus created a permanent mobile army from a number of cavalry vexillations to act as a standing reserve force.
RS64095. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 879l, RSC IV 895, RIC V J29, SRCV III 10339, VF, weight 3.505 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 257 - 258 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS • P • F • AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTIT GALLIAR, Gallienus standing half left, in military dress, cloaked, spear in left, raising kneeling Gallia with right; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

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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 serpent bringing another 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.
RA71411. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1354i, RIC V S512, Cohen V 932, SRCV III -, EF, no wear but small areas of light corrosion, well centered on tight flan, weight 3.373 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right, feeding snake in right from patera in left, MS in exergue; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

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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 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, Jupiter standing facing, nude but for cloak behind, head left, thunderbolt in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00

Lot of 5 All Different Gallienus Silver or Billon Antoniniani

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SP65580. Silver Lot, Lot of 5 silver or billon antoniniani of Gallienus, no duplicate types, Fine or better, mostly nice coins with good metal for this emperor, coins in each 5 coin lot were selected from same lot as the coins in the photo; as-is, no returns, 5 coins; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00

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In 257, Valerian's persecution of Christians began. His edict ordered bishops and priests to sacrifice according to the pagan rituals, and prohibited Christians, under penalty of death, from meeting at the tombs of their deceased.
RS67084. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 870f, RIC V J22 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 397 (Lugdunum), SRCV III 10246, VF, full circles strike, grainy, weight 4.421 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 45o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 257 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI VICTORI, Jupiter standing slightly left on cippus inscribed IMP C E S (Imperator cum exercitu suo - the Emperor with his army), Victory in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00

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In 254 A.D. the Roman Empire was threatened by the Alemanni, Franks and Marcomanni in Germania, by the Goths in the Danube region (Moesia and Thrace) and Asia Minor, and by the Persians in the East.
RB55007. Bronze sestertius, Göbl MIR 15z, RIC V J209 var (bust type), Cohen V 132 var (same), aVF, weight 19.535 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONCORDIA EXERCIT, Concordia standing left, patera in right, double cornucopia in left, S - C flanking across field; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00

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In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus, were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RA73653. Billon antoninianus, MIR 1628c, RSC IV 46b, RIC V S628, Hunter IV S194, SRCV III 10171 var. (cuirassed bust left), gVF, full circles strike on a broad flan, much silvering, porous, weight 3.435 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG, she-wolf standing right, head left, the twins Romulus and Remus suckling below, palm branch right in exergue; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50

Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Wife of Gallienus

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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RL74575. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1605c (7 spec.), RIC V J67; RSC IV 103, SRCV III 10651 var. (star or wreath above, uncertain Syrian mint), Hunter IV J35 ff. var. (same), VF, very broad flan, small flan crack, weight 2.817 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE, emperor on left standing right, receiving Victory from Roma, seated left, spear vertical behind in her left hand, grounded shield behind against her near side; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50






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Catalog current as of Friday, November 27, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Gallienus