Object Record

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Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.144
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, bronze, antoninianus. Struck during the reign of Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus Augustus, 253-268 C.E. The radiate head of Gallienus faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "GALLIENVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Mars, the god of war, faces left and holds an olive branch in his left hand and leans on his shield with his right with the inscriptions "MARTI PACIFERO" surrounding image. Obverse and reverse of coin damaged and faded rendering the inscriptions difficult to decipher.
Date range: 253-268 C.E.

Remarks: The son of Valerian, Gallienus was made co-emperor soon after his father's elevation. After the capture of Valerian by the Persians, Gallienus found himself sole ruler of an empire subject not only to fierce barbarian attacks from without, but rent by internal revolts, famine, and plagues, and the history of his reign is largely made up of frontier wars and contests with provincial usurpers. His reign also marked the further debasement of the antoninianus which, already reduced to a bronze coin with a silver wash before the end of the joint reign, continued to decline in size and weight during his sole reign. Gallienus was not the man to reconstitute an empire showing every sign of disintegration, and after a succession of campaigns he was eventually murdered at the siege of Milan in March, 268 C.E., being in his fiftieth year. The future emperors Claudius and Aurelian were both involved in the conspiracy of Illyrian officers which led to the assassination. Gallienus' coins during his sole reign were minted in Rome, Milan, Siscia, and possibly Cyzicus and Antioch.

Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol III, 2005), #10288, pg 296.
Title Gallienus
Date 264-66 AD CE
Material Bronze
Dimensions Dia-0.75 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome