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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|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||sestertius|
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.
RB91611. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 38cc, RIC V-1 J248, Cohen V 1295, Hunter IV J33, SRCV III 10495, F/aF, well centered, tight squared flan (typical for the period), scratches and scrapes, weight 19.394 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, 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, spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
This very unusual reverse legend is found only on this type. Some authorities interpret Iubentus as an alternative spelling for Iuventus, which means youth. This would be a strange legend for Gallienus who was no longer youthful. Some otherwise very similar specimens clearly read LVBENTVS AVG. This might be translated as the joyfulness of the emperor, meaning the joyfulness he brought to the people.
RA94164. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1641a, RSC IV 415, RIC V-1 S615 (S), SRCV III 10249, Hunter IV - (p. lxx), gF, full border strike on a wide flan, some silvering, weak centers, light deposits, weight 3.03 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IVBENTVS AVG (Joyfulness of the Emperor), Emperor standing half left, head left, Victory in right hand, spear upward in left hand, VIIC• (= COS VII) in exergue; scarce; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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.
RA96400. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1617i, RIC V-1 S668, SRCV III 10402, RSC IV 1237b corr. (bust not cuirassed), VF, well centered, dark toning, some legend weak, holed, closed crack from hole to edge, weight 4.121 g, maximum diameter 22.66 mm, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing left, helmeted and wearing military garb, resting right hand on shield set on ground, spear with point up in left, star in exergue; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, purchased in Israel, 1971; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 


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|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The animal on the reverse is obscure but even allowing for all possibilities (doe, antelope, gazelle, goat), most references are missing any types with this obverse legend, IMP GALLIENVS AVG and the officina number XI in the exergue on the reverse.
RA95383. Billon antoninianus, cf. Göbl MIR 745z (stag), RIC V-1 -, RSC IV -, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, Cunetio -, aVF/aF, reverse off center, corrosion, long crack, weight 3.092 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 11th 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), stag(?) right, XI in exergue; very rare; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 


|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.
RA94165. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV S116, RSC IV 586, SRCV III 10281, Hunter IV 112, gF, nice blue green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, centered on an oval flan, weakly struck centers, weight 2.853 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 270o, 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; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The obverse 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.
RA94167. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV S112, RSC IV 586, SRCV III 10281, VF, traces of silvering, centered on a oval flan, edge ragged, flan cracks, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 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; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
To the ancient Romans, Rome was "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City) and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). The empire is history but Rome is still today, the eternal city. Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated; perhaps a greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RA94169. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1613e, RIC V-1 654, RSC IV 920, SRCV III 10343 var. (obv. legend, star position), F, well centered, dark brown patina with highlighting earthen deposits, scratches and marks, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 260 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated left, wearing crested helmet, grounded shield at side, Victory in right hand, vertical spear behind in left hand, star upper left; $36.00 SALE |PRICE| $32.00
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Gallienus paid particular adoration to Mars. He raised a temple to the worship of Mars in the Circus Flaminius and called the god Propugnator (champion or defender). "Mars the Pacifier" may be seen as ironic today, but the Romans knew that victory in war (hopefully including the total destruction of your enemy) is an effective way to achieve peace.
RA94170. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 67 (also normal A with closed top), Göbl MIR 570a, RIC V-1 S236, RSC IV 617a, SRCV III 10288, aVF, tight flan, large edge split, porous, weight 2.576 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 105o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 8th emission, c. 263 - 266 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse MARTI PACIFERO (to Mars the peacemaker), Mars standing left in military garb, raising olive branch in right hand, left resting on grounded shield behind, spear vertical behind with point up resting against shield and left arm, A left; $29.00 SALE |PRICE| $26.00
 


|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.
RA95386. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 728b, RIC V-1 S177, RSC IV 154, SRCV III 10199 (var. IMP GAL...), Hunter IV S90 var. (same), F, well centered, ragged edge, edge split, uneven strike with flat/weak centers, weight 2.867 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 267 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse 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; $26.00 SALE |PRICE| $23.00
 




  






|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|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Bland, R. & A. Burnett. "Appleshaw, Hampshire" in Normanby Hoard, CHRB VIII (1988), pp. 91-107.
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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