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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 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, Gbl 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 (130.50)


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 264 - 267 A.D.

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Athens remained a center of learning and philosophy during its 500 years of Roman rule, patronized by emperors such as Nero and Hadrian. In 267, the city was sacked by the Heruli. All the public buildings were burned, the lower city was plundered and the Agora and Acropolis were damaged. After, the city to the north of the Acropolis was hastily refortified on a smaller scale, with the Agora left outside the walls.
GB69774. Bronze AE 20, Svoronos Athens pl. 90, 8; cf. Kroll 378; SNG Cop 368; BMC Attica p. 99, 712, Lindgren-Kovacs 1561 (cf. refs bust and ethnic variations), F, weight 4.770 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, time of Gallienus, c. 264 - 267 A.D.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, and aegis(?); reverse olive tree, between amphora on left, and owl on right, AΘH in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $150.00 (130.50)


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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, Gbl 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 (130.50)


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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, Gbl 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 (108.75)


Lot of 5 All Different Gallienus Silver Antoniniani

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SP65580. Silver Lot, Lot of 5 silver 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 (104.40)


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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, Gbl 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 (104.40)


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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, Gbl 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 (100.05)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas

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Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP69784. Bronze AE 27, SNG Hunterian 1305 (same obv die); cf. BMC Troas p. 32, 185 ff.; Bellinger Troy A466; SNG Cop 211; SNGvA 7574; SNG Canakkale 467, F+, weight 10.447 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP GALLI, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse TROA, turreted bust of city goddess right, vexillum behind inscribed AV / CO; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $80.00 (69.60)


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

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In 25 B.C., Augustus placed Pamphylia and Side in the Roman province of Galatia. Side began another prosperous period as a commercial center through its trade in olive oil and slaves, and some piracy. Its population grew to 60,000 inhabitants. Wealthy merchants paid for public works, monuments, competitions, games, and gladiator fights. Most of the extant ruins at Side date from this period of prosperity which lasted well into the 3rd century A.D.
RP69824. Bronze AE 24, SNG Pflzer 800, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycia -, F, weight 9.178 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 195o, Side mint, 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse AV KA ΠO ΛI EΓ ΓAΛΛΛIHNOC CE, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, from behind; reverse ΣI∆HTΩN, Apollo Sidetes standing facing, head left, wearing short chiton, chlamys, and boots, phiale in right hand, laurel tipped staff vertical behind in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $80.00 (69.60)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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.
RX66533. Billon tetradrachm, Savio pl. 271, 10525 (same dies); BMC Alexandria p. 286, 2194; Milne 3995; SNG Cop 768; Kampmann 90.31; Emmett 3736 (R2); Geissen -, VF, weight 9.138 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 258 - 28 Aug 259 A.D.; obverse A K Π ΛI OY ΓAΛΛIANOC EY EY C, bearded, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike (Victory) walking right, wreath extended in right, palm frond over shoulder in left, L - S flanking across field; $75.00 (65.25)




    



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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).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l?Empire Romain, Volume 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Mnzprgung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Kln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbcher 146 (1941).
Gbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Mnzprgung des Kaiser Valerianus I/Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) un Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). (Vienna, 2000).
Mattingly, H., Sydenham and Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Seaby, H.A. and Sear, D.R. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume Three, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 02, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Gallienus