AE Antoninianus. 2.44g, 21.8mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 267-268
REF: RIC V 207; Wolkow 18a6; MIR 731
OBVERSE: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head of Gallienus right.
REVERSE: IOVI CONS AVG, goat standing right; [ς in exergue].
About Fine. Dark brown patina. Traces of die clash or overstrike on reverse.
The 'Zoo series' was issued late in Gallienus's reign and offer up a rich variety of animals both real and mythical depicted on the reverses. The series was dedicated to nine deities, including Zeus, Apollo, Mercury and Neptune, and various beasts were associated with their respective gods. On this type featuring a goat, Jupiter, the king of the Roman pantheon of gods, is called upon to protect the emperor.
Gallienus was co-emperor with his father, Valerian, from 253 until 260, when the latter was defeated and captured by the Persian king, Shapur the Great. History does not record if Gallienus attempted any recovery of his father, but he did continue his own sole rule of an empire that was rapidly becoming a shadow of its former self. Much of the Roman East had been ravaged by the Persians, and the provinces of Gaul, Germany, Raetia, Britannia and Hispania broke away to form a Gallic Empire under the usurper Postumus. After surrendering rule of the eastern provinces to the Palmyrene nobleman, Odenathus, Gallienus controlled only Italy and the Balkans directly. While many sources paint Gallienus as an irresponsible, indolent and decadent ruler, others record that he successfully repelled a host of barbarian invaders and crushed a number of rebellions. In fact, it was while besieging the rebel general Aureolus at Mediolanum (Milan) in 268 that Gallienus was assassinated.
GALLIENUS . AD 253-268 . AE Antoninianus . Zoo Series ("IOVI" - Goat)
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