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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; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |20|NEW
Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP97495. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 1323 (same obv. die), Krzyzanowska -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Lycia -, VF, brown tone with brassy high points, well centered but tight flan cuts of parts of the obverse legend, weight 3.348 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CA GALLIHNVS PIVS R, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ANTI-OCHI CL, vexillum topped with eagle, flanked by two legionary standards, · S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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?

The centaur Chiron was the tutor of Apollo and the first to teach him the medicinal use of herbs. The exact meaning of the globe and rudder are more obscure but likely allude to Apollo assisting Gallienus in steering the "ship of state."
RA94210. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 738b, RIC V-1 S164, RSC IV 73, Hunter IV 99 corr. (says trophy vice rudder), SRCV III 10178, aVF, tight flan cutting off part of reverse legend, centers weak, light deposits, weight 2.345 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Rome mint, 267 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate bust right; reverse APOLLINI CONS AVG (to Apollo the preserver of the Emperor), centaur Chiron walking left, globe in right hand, rudder in left hand, H in exergue; $36.00 (€33.12)
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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, 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. Ambushed by enemies among his own officers, amidst the nocturnal tumult he received a mortal wound from an uncertain hand.
RA94204. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 375x, RIC V-1 S325, RSC IV 1288, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, Choice F, well centered, edge splits, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, spear vertical behind in left, VI right; $38.00 (€34.96)
 


|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.
RA94206. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 38v, RIC V-1 J181, RSC IV 1288a, Hunter IV J11, SRCV III 10411, aVF/Fair, nice portrait, centered, toned white metal, porous/corrosion, edge split/crack, weight 2.479 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, radiate 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 hand; $35.00 (€32.20) ON RESERVE


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Mars, the male god of war, is usually shown nude and Virtus, the female personification of courage and valor, is always shown clothed. This figure, however, appears to be male and thus, Mars, or perhaps the emperor.
RA94207. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 344a, RIC V-1 S317, RSC IV 1221c, SRCV III 10401, Hunter IV S32 var. (right foot on helmet), gVF, porosity, beginning of obverse legend weak, reverse off center, weight 3.414 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 260- 261 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars standing slightly left, head left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, globe in right hand, inverted spear in left hand, P (1st officina) right; scarce; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


|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.
RA94203. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 728b, RIC V-1 S177, RSC IV 154, SRCV III 10199 var. (IMP GALLIENVS AVG), aVF, rough corrosion, reverse a little off center, weight 3.035 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, 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, head turned back left, E (5th officina) in exergue; $24.00 (€22.08)
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RA94196. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 603a, Cunetio 1193, RSC IV 727, RIC V-1 S256, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, gVF, much silvering, edge a bit ragged, weight 3.079 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 9th emission, c. 265 - 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing slightly left, olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, ∆ left; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


|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.
RA94199. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 747b, RIC V-1 S181, RIC IV 162, SRCV III 10200, VF, nice portrait, tight flan cutting off part of legends, tiny edge splits, weight 2.964 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 267 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate bust right; reverse DIANAE CONS AVG (to Diana protector of the Emperor), antelope standing right, XI in exergue; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
When this coin was struck Rome was relatively peaceful, but the peace would soon be shattered. Between 267 and 269, Goths and other barbarians invaded in huge numbers. Sources are extremely confused on the dating of these invasions, the participants, and their targets. Modern historians are not even able to discern with certainty whether there were two or more of these invasions or a single prolonged one.
RA94195. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 352e, RIC V-1 S256, RSC IV 739, Hunter IV 20, SRCV III -, VF, well centered, tight flan cutting off tops of legends, edge a little ragged, closed flan cracks, weight 2.631 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing slightly left, raising olive branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, T in left field; $45.00 (€41.40)
 




  






|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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