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Quintus Julius Gallienus


Finn235

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I actually bought this one last year but just got around to making a post.

A not particularly rare and seemingly unassuming Salonina antoninianus

SaloninaPIETASAVGG3children.jpg.0e5379b32e6f185f1e7409aaf6a357ae.jpg

Lile most Pietas types, the goddess of motherly duties is shown with children. However there are two important details that made me buy this coin without a second thought

The first is the two children to the left of Pietas

Screenshot_20230814-194852_Gallery.jpg.7bc1b1d5086e0a04267d3ee82407bd78.jpg

The right figure clings to the drapery of Pietas' dress while the left one does not - these figures are almost certainly Valerian II (left) and Saloninus (right), as the former was made Caesar sometime between 254-256, while Saloninus was considered too young to hold office. It wasn't until Valerian II's early death in 256 that Saloninus was made Caesar.

Which brings us to our second detail - who the heck is this?

Screenshot_20230814-194901_Gallery.jpg.90ab15bdd914d36016edc18bfe0ec37c.jpg

Like Saloninus, this figure also clings to her drapery, but from immediately beside of her - and this figure stands an entire head shorter than Valerian and Saloninus, like a toddler or young child. Digging a bit further, there is this odd one-off issue in RIC

http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.5.qjg.1

An apparently unique antoninianus of one "DIVO CAES Q GALLIENO", who is at best poorly attested to in the pages of history. Assuming that this coin is the real deal (I've never even seen a line drawing of it, much less a photo) then this small figure is a top contender to be one of the only surviving mass produced depictions of this young Caesar who apparently died sometime between 260 and 268.

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1 hour ago, Finn235 said:

I actually bought this one last year but just got around to making a post.

A not particularly rare and seemingly unassuming Salonina antoninianus

SaloninaPIETASAVGG3children.jpg.0e5379b32e6f185f1e7409aaf6a357ae.jpg

Lile most Pietas types, the goddess of motherly duties is shown with children. However there are two important details that made me buy this coin without a second thought

The first is the two children to the left of Pietas

Screenshot_20230814-194852_Gallery.jpg.7bc1b1d5086e0a04267d3ee82407bd78.jpg

The right figure clings to the drapery of Pietas' dress while the left one does not - these figures are almost certainly Valerian II (left) and Saloninus (right), as the former was made Caesar sometime between 254-256, while Saloninus was considered too young to hold office. It wasn't until Valerian II's early death in 256 that Saloninus was made Caesar.

Which brings us to our second detail - who the heck is this?

Screenshot_20230814-194901_Gallery.jpg.90ab15bdd914d36016edc18bfe0ec37c.jpg

Like Saloninus, this figure also clings to her drapery, but from immediately beside of her - and this figure stands an entire head shorter than Valerian and Saloninus, like a toddler or young child. Digging a bit further, there is this odd one-off issue in RIC

http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.5.qjg.1

An apparently unique antoninianus of one "DIVO CAES Q GALLIENO", who is at best poorly attested to in the pages of history. Assuming that this coin is the real deal (I've never even seen a line drawing of it, much less a photo) then this small figure is a top contender to be one of the only surviving mass produced depictions of this young Caesar who apparently died sometime between 260 and 268.

Finn, Nice score & interesting research ☺️. Your top photos are excellent but the blow-ups are out of focus & unnecessary. Your hypothesis can't be proven or dismissed, but it sounds reasonable & plausible to me. The Romans seem very deliberate with the subject mater on their coins, even with the metaphorical compositions.

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I believe it's supposed to be Gallienus' 3rd son Marinianus, who was too young to be named Caesar or Co-Augustus during Valerian's attempts to establish dynastic governors much like it would happen later in the Tetrarchy, using Gallienus' sons Valerian II and Saloninus. Marinianus was born in 249, meaning he was 19 when he was appointed consul in 268, right before his murder. His appointment as Caesar was anticipated to come at around 269 or 270 at maximum. Why he wasn't made a governor somewhere else under a guardian like his elder brothers probably comes down to being just too young even for Valerian, and when he got captured in 260 Gallienus discontinued his policies, seeing how he had lost two sons already under dubious circumstances. Sadly, this coin type's reverse seems to be his only actual representation on coins as he was murdered in 268 either in Milan or Rome, along with his uncle Valerianus Minor, following his father Gallienus' own murder.

The RIC reference for Quintus Julius Gallienus is thought to be fake, as @Lhevae, I and a few others discussed a while back, although, as it is the case with the identification of the 3rd kid with Marinianus, it hasn't been 100% proven. However, I'm fairly inclined to say that it is indeed him shown on the reverse, along with his two (soon-to-be-deceased) brothers on the reverse.

By the way, this coin type has been in my bucket list for a long time, just haven't found the perfect one yet. Congrats on your find!

Edited by GordianAppreciator101
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21 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

but the blow-ups are out of focus & unnecessary.

Al, you're forgettin' about the young 'uns who do everything on their phones. Incredible, I know! I don't know how they can stand it. Of course that may have something to do with my old eyes... 🤓

Edited by Severus Alexander
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On 8/15/2023 at 6:39 AM, GordianAppreciator101 said:

 

The RIC reference for Quintus Julius Gallienus is thought to be fake, as @Lhevae, I and a few others discussed a while back, although, as it is the case with the identification of the 3rd kid with Marinianus, it hasn't been 100% proven. However, I'm fairly inclined to say that it is indeed him shown on the reverse, along with his two (soon-to-be-deceased) brothers on the reverse.

Thanks for the input! Indeed, this is a difficult period to study, as it was very poorly recorded / most existing records probably lost.

So do you know if there are any photos of the coin in question? I would tend to agree with you that one-off coins of personages not otherwise attested should be met with skepticism.

FWIW, there is also this additional reverse type from Salonina during her husband's sole reign

Saloninafecunditas.jpg.f8c5fc3c03de980459505df157626e9e.jpg

I had treated this one with skepticism because Fecunditas is traditionally shown with a child at her feet (and I don't want to go jumping to conclusions like Wikipedia's assertion that Caracalla and Plautilla had a daughter because "numismatic evidence shows" the goddess of womanly duty holding a child on one of Plautilla's coins.)

BUT, it does make one think...

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