AR Antoninianus. 3.51g, 21.5mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 251-253
REF: RIC 46a; Cohen 117
OBVERSE: IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: SALVS AVGG, Salus standing left, feeding serpent entwined around altar from patera, and holding scepter.
Very Fine. Toned. Reverse struck from worn die.
This coin was minted at the height of the devastating pandemic known as the Plague of Cyprian, when as many as 5,000 people were dying each day in the city of Rome. The reverse type called upon Salus, the goddess of health and well-being, for protection. Amongst the victims of the Plague was Hostilian, son of Trajan Decius and co-emperor of Trebonianus Gallus.
From an old Swiss collection, purchased in the 1960s or 1970s from Numiphil Basel (with their original ticket)
Trebonianus Gallus was a senator and general who had accompanied Emperor Trajan Decius on his ill-fated campaign against an army of invading Goths. When Decius fell in battle , what was left of the decimated Roman legions declared Gallus the new emperor. Returning to Rome, Gallus accepted his predecessor's son Hostilian as co-emperor, and gave his own son Volusian the title of Caesar. Gallus's brief reign was troubled by numerous rebellions and invasions, and support for his regime rapidly eroded. In 253, Gallus and Volusian marched to put down the revolt of Aemilian, the governor of Moesia Superior and Pannonia. They had summoned the German legions under the future emperor Valerian to support them, but before Valerian could arrive, Gallus's own soldiers turned against him and murdered both him and Volusian.
TREBONIANUS GALLUS . AD 251-253 . AR Antoninianus . Salus / Plague of Cyprian
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