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  1. Octavian as Augustus, 27 BC (1)
  2. Tiberius augustus, 14 (1)
  3. In the name of Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of Tiberius and father of Claudius (1)
  4. Nero augustus, 54 (1)
  5. Vespasian, 69 (2)
  6. Titus caesar, 69 (1)
  7. Domitian augustus, 81 (1)
  8. Domitia, wife of Domitian (1)
  9. Nerva, 96 (1)
  10. Trajan, 98 (2)
  11. Matidia, daughter of Trajan (1)
  12. Hadrian, 117 (3)
  13. Antoninus Pius, 138-161 (4)
  14. Faustina I, wife of Antoninus Pius (3)
  15. Marcus Aurelius caesar, 139 (1)
  16. Faustina II, wife of Marcus Aurelius and daughter of Antoninus Pius (1)
  17. Commodus, 177 (1)
  18. Crispina, wife of Commodus (1)
  19. Pertinax, January 1st (1)
  20. Septimius Severus, 193 (4)
  21. Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus (1)
  22. Caracalla, 198 (5)
  23. Plautilla, wife of Caracalla (1)
  24. Geta caesar, 198 (2)
  25. Elagabalus 218 (2)
  26. Severus Alexander, 222 (1)
  27. Gordian III, 238 (1)
  28. Philip II caesar, 244 (1)
  29. Trajan Decius, 249 (1)
  30. Herennia Etruscilla, wife of Trajan Decius. (1)
  31. Trebonianus Gallus, 251 (2)
  32. Volusian, 251 (1)
  33. Gallienus, 253 (3)
  34. Postumus, 260 (1)
  35. Aurelian, 270 (1)
  36. Tacitus, 275 (1)
  37. Probus, 276 (3)
  38. Carus, 282 (1)
  39. Numerian augustus, 283 (1)
  40. Carinus, 283 (1)
  41. Julian I of Pannonia, October (1)
  42. Diocletian, 284-305 (3)
  43. Maximianus augustus, first reign 286 (3)
  44. Constantius I Chlorus caesar, 293 (1)
  45. Constantius I Chlorus augustus, 305 (1)
  46. Galerius Maximianus caesar, 293 (1)
  47. Severus II caesar, 305 (1)
  48. Maximinus II Daia caesar, 305 (1)
  49. Maxentius, 307 (1)
  50. Licinius I, 308 (1)
  51. Licinius II caesar, 317 (1)
  52. Constantine I, 307 (7)
  53. Crispus caesar, 316 (1)
  54. Constantine II caesar, 316 (2)
  55. Constantius III, 8th February (1)
  56. Justa Gratia Honoria, sister of Valentinian III (1)

Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 102   |   24 October 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 553

Estimate: 6'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 4'800 CHF Price realized: 7'500 CHF
Aureus circa 261–266, AV 1.88 g. IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust r. Rev. VIRTVS AVG Soldier standing l., holding globe and sceptre. C 1217. RIC –. Göbl 406. Biaggi 1486 (this coin). Calicó 3639 (this coin).
A very appealing portrait unusually well struck for the issue. Extremely fine
Ex NAC 18, 2000, 679; NAC 24, 2002, European Nobleman, 191 and NAC 72, 2013, 728 sales.
Gallienus rose to power alongside his father Valerian in A.D. 253. In the aftermath of the assassinations of the rival emperors Trebonianus Gallus and Aemilianus, Valerian was proclaimed emperor. Unlike the preceding military emperors of the third century, Valerian was of senatorial background and used it to gain the sanction of the Senate in appointing Gallienus as a second emperor. Together father and son divided the vast empire between them in an attempt to better deal with its numerous problems.
Valerian immediately advanced to the East in order to oppose Shapur I and the Sasanian Persian Empire, which had recently seized Antioch and reoccupied Armenia. Gallienus was left in control of the West, where he repulsed several Germanic invasions and put down the revolt of the rogue Pannonian governor Ingenuus. As governor of an important frontier province that provided much manpower for the Roman army the revolt of Ingenuus was very dangerous and Gallienus acted swiftly to repress it. Proclaiming his son Saloninus as Caesar and leaving him in charge of Cologne, Gallienus moved against Ingenuus with a new cavalry corps (the comitatus) and defeated him near Sirmium. Ingenuus was either killed by his own troops or committed suicide.
The withdrawal of troops to fight Ingenuus weakened Roman defences along the Rhine and Danube frontiers and permitted a series of major Germanic invasions that reached as far as Italy. Gallienus was only able to defeat the invaders at the Battle of Mediolanum (A.D. 259) as they were withdrawing from Italy laden with plunder. They were only stopped from sacking Rome by an army hastily assembled by the Senate. While Gallienus could claim victory, the political fallout was serious. The military initiative shown by the Senate made Gallienus suspicious towards that political body and subsequently inspired him to ban senators from holding military commands. A dispute about the distribution of the spoils after a successful secondary action against the retreating Germans became the excuse for the commander Postumus to claim the title of Augustus and establish his own breakaway Gallic Empire.
As if the situation for Gallienus was not difficult enough, in 260 his father was captured by the Sasanian king Shapur I (and later stuffed as a plush footstool, or so it was said by certain ancient sources), leaving his son to deal with the problems of the Roman Empire on his own. These included outbreaks of plague and the repression of a new revolt by L. Mussius Aemilianus, the prefect of Egypt, in A.D. 262. Gallienus attempted twice, in A.D. 265 and again in 267, to defeat Postumus and restore the territories of the break-away Gallic Empire but failed. He also faced invasions by the Germanic Goths and Heruli that devastated much of mainland Greece before they were defeated at the Battle of Naissus in A.D. 268. A further revolt took place around the same time under the leadership of Aureolus, the cavalry commander at Mediolanum (Milan) charged with guarding against Postumus. Gallienus marched against this new usurper and besieged him in Mediolanum in A.D. 268, but by this time the frustration and resentment of Gallienus’ generals had reached the point of no return. During the siege the emperor made the mistake of leaving his tent without his bodyguard and was assassinated by his own commanders.
Despite the virtus (bravery and military prowess) of Gallienus advertised on this aureus struck shortly after his assumption of the title of Augustus, the problems he faced were so many and so great that even this was not enough to defend against them all. The Crisis of the Third Century continued and Gallienus’ problems were passed on to his successor, Claudius II Gothicus.

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