Gallienus and the Macriani in AD 260/1

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Image source: Promptuarii iconum insigniorum, AD 1553

    Last year in this post, Bracing for an Alexandrian Bidding War, I shared an Alexandrian tetradrachm from 260/1 AD issued by the usurper Macrianus. Since that post, I have been watching for another coin from that year and city, issued by Gallienus in regnal year (RY) 8. RY 8 is a bit of a challenge to find because usurpers Macrianus and his two sons controlled the mint for most of the year.

    Macrianus and his two sons Macrianus Minor and Quietus fought in the Roman army under Valerian when he was captured by Shapur I (AD 258-259). After the capture of Valerian, Macrianus and praetorian prefect Ballista (aka Callistus) attacked Shapur causing him to retreat beyond the Euphrates River. His soldiers acclaimed him as emperor, however Macrianus was lame and old and instead proclaimed his sons Macrianus Minor and Quietus as joint emperors.

    The mint at Alexandria started coining in the name of the usurpers in September 260, however, before the end of August 261 it was issuing coins in the name of Gallienus. A paper by Legutko (2002) outlines evidence related to the minting of coins by Macrianus in 260/1 and includes other interesting observations related to the coins of Gallienus from Alexandria after 260. Here are the coins of the two usurpers:

    Macrianus Alex Tet Blu.jpg
    Egypt, Alexandria, Macrianus, Usurper, AD 260-261, BI Tetradrachm , Dated RY 1 (260/1 AD); September 260-May 261 AD
    Obv: AK T Φ IOΥN MAKΡIANOC E CEB Laureate and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Eagle standing left, wreath in beak; LA (date) in left field
    Ref: Dattari 5380 plate 275
    Obv Latin Equivalent: IMP Titus Fulvius Junius Macrianus E AVG
    Quietus Alexandria.jpg Egypt, Alexandria, Quietus, Usurper, AD 260-261, Tetradrachm dated RY 1 (AD 260/261)
    Obv: A K T Φ IOVN KOVHTOC Є CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Eagle standing left, wings open, wreath in its beak; L A (date) to lower left
    Ref: Dattari (Savio) 5382

    "the much-discussed papyrus POxy 1411 discusses the refusal of bankers to accept τό θείόν των σεβασιών νόμίσμα, 'the sacred coin of the emperors', referring to Macrianus and Quietus, and is dated to Hathyr 28 (25 November 260). Why the bankers did not accept the coins is unclear. They may have objected to the weight standard of the new coins, which average about a quarter of a gram lighter than those of Valerian's year 7 (29 August 259-28 August 260)."
    -Legutko, P. (2002). The Revolt of Macrianus and Quietus and its effect on Alexandrian Coinage, AD 260-263. The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), 162, 135-168. is the newest addition:
    Gallienus RY 8 eagle.jpg
    Egypt, Alexandria, Gallienus, 253-268 AD, BI Tetradrachm (23mm, 9.66g). Dated RY 8 (261 AD)
    Obv: AVT K Π ΛΙΚ ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Eagle standing left, holding wreath in beak; LH (date) to left
    Ref: Dattari (Savio) 5290, Emmett 3803

    In the Autumn of 261, The Macriani, father and son, traveled west to take on Gallienus and were defeated by Aureolus or Domitianus in Illyricum. Quietus stayed in the east to secure the region, and failing as Odaenathus of Palmyra gained power. Quietus was killed in Emesa.

    This was not the end of unrest in Alexandria as the prefect Aemilianus was next to take the role of "usurper".

    As always additions, corrections, comments and coins are appreciated. Post your coins that took a while to find, coins of Gallienus, Alexandria, Usurpers, or anything else that you find interesting or entertaining.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Great write up!

    These two didn't take "me" a while to find. But they did take a while to find each other again. About 1750 years... :p

    Gallienus, Alexandria Egypt, Year 15, Tetradrachm.png
    Potin Tetradrachm of Alexandria
    Year 15 = 267-268 AD
    Obverse: AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: Eagle standing facing, head left with wreath in beak; palm branch left, LIE to right

    Salonina, Potin Tetradrachm, Alexandria Egypt, Year 15, 267-268 AD.png
    Potin Tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt
    Year 15 (267/268 AD)
    Obverse: KOΡNHΛIA CAΛΩNEINA CEB, draped bust right
    Reverse: L-IE, eagle standing left, wreath in beak, palm-branch behind
  4. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Sulla, Excellent article with 3 lovely coins with great patinas :happy:.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter μεγάλος βασιλιάς

    Nice. I have a Macrianus Antoninianus

    Macrianus, A.D. 260-261

    Type: AE antoninianus, 22 mm 3.1 grams, Antioch mint.

    Obverse: IMP C FVL MACRIANVS P F AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right

    Reverse: APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left holding branch and resting hand on lyre set on a low column.

    Reference: RIC 6; RSC 2; Sear 10799.


  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Close but no cigar: Gallienus year nine. I have no eight even though Emmett list a couple of them as common. What I would like is a Gallienus set of three coins all from year nine. This is the ENNATOV. There are those with LΘ and LHA.

    I note there are LH coins for the other members of the family. Seen any?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This is my only Gallienus of Alexandria. Late sole reign, too, so not particularly relevant. Sorry.

    Gallienus, AD 253-268.
    Roman billon tetradrachm, 8.70 g, 23 mm.
    Egypt, Alexandria, AD 266/7.Obv: AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CЄB, laureate and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: Homonoia standing left, raising hand and holding double cornucopia; L IΔ (= regnal year 14) before, palm frond behind.
    Refs: Dattari (Savio) 5246; BMCG 2186; Cologne 2937; Milne 4136; RCV 10580; Emmett 3816.14; K&G 90.93.
  9. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    The year 9s definitely have some fun variations. CNG sold a Saloninus year 8 a few years ago. I'd be happy to stumble on all of the coins mentioned in Legutko, P. (2002) at a price I would be willing to pay. :) Some of Emmett's "common" coins must be stashed long term in a cabinet somewhere. My RY=9 is also the ЄΝΑΤΟΥ.
    Gallienus Tetradrachm.jpg
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  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter μεγάλος βασιλιάς

    I forgot to post my Salonina...

    EGYPT, Alexandria

    Billon Tetradrachm, 23mm, 9.8 grams, 12h

    Dated RY 15 (A.D. 267-268)

    Diademed and draped bust right.

    Reverse: Eagle standing right, holding wreath in beak; palm in left field, L IE to right

    Reference: Koln 2983; Dattari 5346; Milne 4189; Curtis 1642; Emmett 3854


  11. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    As close as I can get…. Which is not very close as this is a year 14. But this gave me a chance to post this coin. I really like it.
    Salonina - Alexandria- Emmett 3852
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