AE Antoninianus. 2.8g, 19.6mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 264-266
REF: RIC 236; Sear 10288
OBVERSE: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.
REVERSE: MARTI PACIFERO, Mars in military attire standing left, holding olive branch and resting on shield, spear propped against left arm; A in left field.
Very Fine. Reddish, brown patina.
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 . Antoninianus . "Mars, the Pacifier"
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