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I think I'd like to collect a certain aspect of Gallienic coins


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While AE Antoninianii don't do much for me (I probably have less than 20 examples (not counting freebies and uncleaneds/bulk lots) in 30 years of collecting, I enjoy 'silver' Antoninianii of Philip-early Gallienus.  I've always enjoyed the Gallienic coinage of Colonnia Agrippinensis; the style, the neat types, etc. I have perhaps 2 or 3 individually purchased AE Ants of Gallienus? 

Gallienus was one of the most underrated emperors of all.  Holding together the central core of the empire was a spectacular feat.  Plagued with ill-luck, constant usurpations, and family tragedies (Valerian's capture, Valerian II's death, ditto Saloninus), this remarkable man was even able to oversee a blossoming of the arts (I can no longer find the Wikipedia entry about this.  Anyone know what happened to it?).


Gallienus. 253-268 AD. AR Antoninianus (3.05 gm, 24mm). Colonia Agrippinensis mint. Struck 258/9 AD. Obv.: GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right. Rev.: VICT GER-MANICA, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and trophy, treading down German captive. RIC 44; Göbl 36, 893h; RSC 1061a. ex: Tom Vossen.

This is a nice, but somewhat mundane example of the issues to which I refer.  I have a few examples of the heroic bust issues, but none are photographed.  This inexpensive 'snack' features quite a charming portrait. The reverses are usually pretty grotty, with worn-out dies and bad strikes.

I've long collected the occasional Gallienus Sestertius, but I've never seriously gotten into the Antoninianii.  Coins of Cologne are generally inexpensive.  Thiswould be a fun sub-specialty, to collect Gallienus and family from Cologne.


Attribution: RIC Vi 5 Cologne
Date: AD 258
Obverse: VALERIANVS PF AVG, radiate bust right
Reverse: DEO VOLKANO, Vulcan standing left holding hammer and pincers anvil at feet all within tetrastyle temple
Size: 22.26mm
Weight: 2.55 grams
Description: VF, scattered verdigris.

ex: Marc Breitsprecher

I'd also like to branch out to Valerian II and perhaps Saloninus. 

Feel free to post coins from Cologne of Gallienus, his family, or Postumus.

I've never cared for the 'bug eyed' style of Antioch/Samosata, and generally prefer western mints throughout the whole Roman series.  There's been some debate whether the Ants of Viminacium should be given to Antioch. What do you think?

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Nice coins !


Here is a Salonina from Cologne


c. 259 - 260 A.D.
Billon antoninianus, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint
Obv.: SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders
Rev.: DEAE SEGETIAE, statue of goddess Segetia standing facing in tetrastyle temple, nimbate, crescent on her head, both hands raised
Billon, 3.97g, 20.8mm, 0°
Ref.: Göbl MIR 902c, RSC IV 36, RIC V-1m p.108, 5, Hunter 21, Cunetio 731, Elmer 96, SRCV III 10631

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Gallienus' bad rap began with the Historia Augusta, and in English with Edward Gibbon where he was supposedly indolent, licentious, unfaithful, and cowardly. Modern scholarship credits him with creating the mobile cavalry field army which saved the empire (originally commanded by Aureolus) and in addition he ruled for 15 years at the middle of the tumultuous third century in perhaps, the most difficult times the Empire had ever faced. Most of the other "Barracks emperors" ruled for 2-6 years at best.

Gallienus Sestertius, FIDES MILITVM





Gallienus from Cologne, GERMANICVS MAX V, heroic portrait






Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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I agree a cool Emperor to focus on!

Here's my favourite ..


Gallienus, Antoninianus, Minted AD 258-259 (Joint reign)
Obverse..GALLIENVS dot P dot F dot AVG Radiate, curaissed bust right
Reverse..GERMANICVS MAX V trophy between two seated and bound German captives
RIC VI#18 variant obv legend dots..Cologne

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Cool coins; the flan on the Gallienus is especially interesting.

One of my goals this year is to get an excellent Valerian II, especially one of the consecratio (they also spelled it consacratio) ones.

It's amazing how fast they gave up on recovering Valerian but given that the way was blocked by the Macrianii, such an expedition was impossible, even if they could spare the men.  A modern theory is that Valerian and part of the army were put to work, building a dam in Persia.

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Gallienus is indeed an interesting person, probably far more capable than we are led to believe.  

I managed to score a sestertius late last year - one of the last of these to be issued by anyone.  It is pretty ugly, as most of them are (but not that portrait on the one posted by @Ancient Coin Hunter above - that is terrific!).  


Gallienus   Æ Sestertius (254-255 A.D.) Rome Mint, 1st emission IMP C P LIC GA[LLIENVS AVG], laureate, cuirassed bust r. / CONCOR[DIA EXERCIT], S-C, Concordia standing left holding patera and cornucopiae RIC V (joint reign) 209eA; Göbl MIR 0015dd. (15.64 grams / 25 x 23 mm) eBay Dec. 2022

Die-Match Obv. & Rev.: F.R. Künker eLive Auction 46; Lot 240; 25.07.2017 Die-Match Obverse: Heritage Auction 61199; Lot 97228; 28.02.2021 CNG Electronic Auction 209; Lot 396; 22.04.2009 British Museum R.4151 Die-Match Reverse: CNG Electronic Auction 324; Lot 452; 09.04.2014


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I have no coins of Gallienus himself from Cologne, but here are three from his family:

Salonina (wife of Gallienus), Billon Antoninianus, 257-258 AD, Cologne Mint. Obv. Diademed bust draped right, on crescent, SALONINA AVG / Rev. Vesta seated left on throne holding Palladium and transverse scepter, VESTA. RIC V-1 70, RSC IV 142, Sear RCV III 10664. 22 mm., 3.4 g.


Valerian II Caesar (son of Gallienus), Billon Antoninianus,  257-258 AD, Cologne Mint. Obv. Radiate draped bust right, VALERIANVS CAES/ Rev. Infant Jupiter seated right on goat Amalthea walking right, looking left, with right hand raised, left hand holding goat's horn, IOVI CRESCENTI. RIC V-1 3, RSC IV 26, Sear RCV III 10731 (ill.).  22 mm., 3.70 g.  VF (Ex col. Frans Pouwel, Netherlands, collected since the ‘80’s.)


Saloninus Caesar (son of Gallienus), Billon Antoninianus, 258-260 AD, Cologne Mint. Obv. Radiate draped bust right, SALON VALERIANVS CAES/ Rev. sacrificial implements (lituus, jug, simpulum, and sprinkler), PIETAS AVG. RIC V-1 9, RSC IV 41, Sear RCV III 10767 (ill.).  20.5 mm., 3.13 g.


Is attribution to Cologne something relatively recent? I've seen some older lists of mints that don't even mention it. I know these attributions change, like all those coins once attributed to Milan that now supposedly were minted in Viminacium.

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This is my favorite Gallienus

AR Antoninianus (23 mm, 4.07 g., 6h) minted at Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) during the reign of GALLIENUS between 257-258 A.D. 1st. emission. Obv. GALLIENVS.P.F.AVG. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right. Rev. GERMANICVS.MAX.V. Trophy, bound captive seated to left & right. RCS #2961. RICV #18. RSC #308. RCSVIII #10224. Toned, edge split, VF.


This is my second Favorite:

Silver washed coin (AR Antoninianus) minted at Antioch during the reign of GALLIENUS between 266 - 268 A.D. Obv. GALLIENVS.AVG.: Radiate bust draped right. Rev. PROVIDENTIA.AVG.: Mercury standing l., holding purse & caduceus, in ex. SPQR. RCS #2988. RSCIV #875a. RICV #S653. DVM #236.


And my third favorite:

Bronze Coin (AE Antoninianus) minted at Rome during the reign of GALLIENUS between 253 – 268 A.D. Obv. GALLIENVS.P.F.AVG. rad., dr. & cuir. bust r. Rev. VIRTVS.AVG.: Helmeted Soldier stg. l., with spear and shield, star in l. field. RICVa #324 pg.159. RCSVIII #10401. VF-EF, centered, slight striking weakness at obv. Left & rev right edges; silvered surfaces with moderate tone. 306.


And one from Cologne, his son Valerian II:

Silver Coin (AR Antoninianus) minted at Cologne for VALERIAN II, son of GALLIENUS, as Caesar, between 256 - 258 A.D. 1st emission of Valerian I. Obv. VALERIANVS.CAES.: rad. bust dr. r. Rev. IOVI.CRESCENTI.: Young Jupiter seated facing, head left, raising r. hand, riding goat right. RSCIV #2. RICV #3. DVM #5 pg. 252. RCSVIII #10731.



Edited by Jims,Coins
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I absolutely love coins of Gallienus and his family. I so wish there was more detailed information about his reign. This seems to be my only Cologne Gallienus so far photographed. 

As for favorites, don’t forget his cool coins from Alexandria for a collecting side-branch!


I have a few new Gallienus coins that I’d love to share but they may be future thread-starters!

Edited by Orange Julius
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1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

Is attribution to Cologne something relatively recent? I've seen some older lists of mints that don't even mention it. I know these attributions change, like all those coins once attributed to Milan that now supposedly were minted in Viminacium.

That's a good question.  I think they might have showed up as Lugdunum during the 1990's.

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Cool coins all over the place !

Although I don't focus on Gallienus coinage, I have a few, especially from the zoo series

Cologne :



Antioch :



Lyon (according to RIC) or Cologne (according to Göbl), and from the Keith Emmett collection :



Cologne :



Rome :



Rome :




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