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The rare asses and sestertii of the "Viminacium" series of Valerian I /Gallienus

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Antoniniani of this series are fairly common, usually with the obverse legends



Only a couple of types of bronzes are known, each in very few specimens, all without the formula S C which was still regular on bronzes of the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus struck at Rome.

A new type appeared in VAuction 275, 5 January 2012, lot 570, though misattributed to Rome and with the legends wrongly restored, not surprisingly since the condition is poor:

IMP GALLIENVS [P A]VG, bust laureate, cuirassed r., seen from front.

PROVID A[VG]G, Providentia standing l. holding wand over globe and cornucopia.

Copper As, 25 mm, 10.94 g, die axis 6-7h. Dark green patina, but the metal shows through in a few places and is definitely red copper. Dealer's picture below (Gitbud & Naumann).

Antoniniani with this reverse type are known for both Valerian I and Gallienus (Göbl 818, see second picture below, from CoinArchives Pro / H.D. Rauch), but this As of Gallienus is the first bronze coin to appear.

This series is usually attributed to Viminacium, but I doubt the attribution, as I have mentioned several other times on Forvm. This mint produced Valerian's very earliest coins, before he had made Gallienus co-emperor, and I think it must be the same mint that was apparently producing coins of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian in Raetia or northern Italy for Valerian's campaign in Raetia, before he was proclaimed emperor. Of course the mint was probably relocated to supply some other campaign as the new reign progressed, but I don't consider shared obverse legends with the local mint at Viminacium to be sufficient evidence to locate the official antoninianus mint there too. It could be that the local mint copied its obverse legends from the imperial antoniniani, which were circulating in the area but had not necessarily been produced there, rather than vice versa.

Here are the other bronze coins known from this mint, with their Göbl numbers and the number of specimens noted by him, i.e. present in his photofile:


1. MARTI PACIFERO, Mars rushing l., As, G. 796, 1 spec.

2. VOTIS DECENNALIBVS in wreath, As, G. 797, 3 spec.


3. TEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing l., As, G. 810, 1 spec. Another example below, collection kc, apparently from the same dies as the Gnecchi spec. known to Göbl.

4. SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing l., As, G. 827, 1 spec., Laffranchi collection, illustrated by Gnecchi. Gnecchi appears to record a second specimen in the Monti collection, unless that's just the provenance of Laffranchi's coin.

4A. [MONETA AVGG?], the Three Monetae standing, As, not in Göbl, shown by Rupert below. Possibly from the same obverse die as my new PROVID AVGG As.


5. GERMANICVS MAXIMVS, trophy and two seated captives, As, G. 840, 2 spec. See image below from CoinArchives / Rauch, which is apparently a third specimen. I also previously had a poor specimen of this coin from the Hohenkubin collection of Roman middle bronzes, which is now in BM, and another mediocre specimen was recently shown in the German Numismatikforum. That makes five specimens, so this coin is tending toward commonness: it's only as rare as a 1913 Liberty-Head nickel!


6. PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia seated l. Göbl 854, both a sestertius and an As in one spec. each. That sestertius of Salonina shows that sestertii were very probably originally struck for Valerian I and Gallienus too, but none have yet been recorded!

Obv. P LIC VALERIANVS CAES, Valerian II as Caesar

7. IOVI CRESCENTI, infant Jupiter on back of goat r. Göbl 860, antoniniani only, but a few specimens of the corresponding As are also known. I have a poor one, and I believe someone else also showed such an As on Forvm many years ago.

A member of the German Numismatikforum has a very nice "Viminacium" As in his collection, though I forget the types and can't quickly find it in a search. I hope he will see this thread and repost his coin here!

How many antoniniani for Valerian II Iovi Crescenti. Quite a common coin IMO.

Hello Curtis,
thanks for starting this theme. Here is the Göbl 810 As:

The portrait is very unusual for Gallienus.


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