Gallienus / Germanicus, AR, Antoninianus, 258-259 AD O: GALLIENUS.P.F.AVG, radiate & cuirassed bust rt. Rx: GERMANICUS MAX V, trophy b/tw two captives seated at base. RIC18, var. (dots in legend); Goebl 872b Feel free to share your AR (Silver) Gallienus coins Here is the part that start to ramble and ask questions that I am not sure there are answers to: The holder for this coin indicates sole reign, Cologne mint, after the defeat of the Allemanni at Milan. I am not sure of this because windwinds has it as: RIC 18 from the Lyons Mint. http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/gallienus/t.html Different sellers seem to list this type under different mints. Not sure why? Where ever struck, the legions received a rare treat, AR coinage rather than the usual silver washed billion of the time. I am not sure if the average soldier knew or cared about the quality of coin they received but I am guessing that they did notice and did care. If so??...Was this coinage a special treat to keep the troops happy? Maybe a special treat after a special victory? Or was this AR coinage reserved for the newly formed special cavalry &/or higher ranking Legionnaires’? Just some rambling thoughts/questions. The reverse commemorates a defeat of German tribe(s). It could commemorate the defeat of “the Allemanni” that had ransacked the Roman countryside. If the “V” at the end of the reverse legend May indicate the 5th year of the Galienus’s reign which almost works out. Wiki places his first reigning year as 253 AD and the battle of Mediolanum as 159. With the history of this time being as sketchy as it is I feel that it is at least plausible that this coin type is to commemorate the an emperor who saved the empire from the marauding barbarians from the North. These coins would certainly be good PR. I would like an example of this coin type with better legends but the “missing letters” are typical of these silver Ants. Wonder what made the legends on these dies get the “grease filled when struck” look? Maybe it was silver from previous striking that filled the legend? Probably lots of possibilities, there was not a lot quality control during this time period. Gallienus faced some of the most adverse circumstances of any Roman Emperor. In something like a couple of months: his son Vallerian II was killed by a usurping general, his father the emperor Valerian I was taken captive by Shapur I, the East was lost, his son Saloninus was then killed by his general Postumus who was now in revolt in the West, and Italy proper was being invaded by the Allemanni. To add insult to injury when Gallienus decided to try to stop the Allemanni he was late to the party. The Senate had organized a resistance that likely saved Rome but the Allemanni had already sacked the countryside and had acquired lots of loot from the rich estates around Rome. Although Gallienus missed the party he did get to join the after-party near Milan where he intercepted the Allemanni on their way home and earned the title Germanicus Maximus. Gallienus was sole ruler of the Roman empire from AD 260 -268. He is not given much street cred by historians but when you look at his career as emperor and soldier he probably did better than most could have. He is known for his organization of special cavalry units to more quickly move troops to hot spots around the Empire. This new organization was used to good effect by Gallienus and those emperors who would follow him in the third century. In fact one of the calvary officers under Gallienus, the future emperor Aurelian, would go on to use these special units to win back both the empires that were lost to Gallienus.