Gallienus Germanicvs Max V

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, May 17, 2021.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I just picked up this coin from Marc Breitsprecher. I rather like the portrait which shows a martial Gallienus holding spear and shield, celebrating victories over the Germans early on in the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus. It celebrates the acclimation of Gallienus as Germanicus Maximus for the fifth time.

    Since we all know what happened as the years went by in his reign, the initial successes did not last. Still however, the early part of his reign might not actually have been as disastrous as Edward Gibbon paints it, nor was Gallienus as inept and cowardly as he is described by sources such as Aurelius Victor. In recent years, scholarship has revised our picture of this emperor and his reputation has been somewhat rehabilitated by historians such as Harry Sidebottom. Here is a link to a recent paper on this topic. Please share anything relevant!

    Date: 257-258 AD, AR antoninianus

    GALLIENVS P F AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust left, holding spear over right shoulder, and shield at left shoulder

    GERMANICVS MAX V, Trophy of armor with two bound captives seated at base

    23.31 mm

    2.99 grams

    RIC Vii 18, rare 3

    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  3. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great portrait, good quality silver mix, congrats

    Here's mine:

  4. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    A nice and historically interesting coin with a special military bust! The two captives, which I consider the most important reverse detail, are especially strong on your example.

    I only have the version with the more conventional portrait:
    Rom – Gallienus, Antoninian, Köln, Germanicus.png
    Gallienus, Roman Empire, AE antoninianus, 258–259 AD, Cologne mint. Obv: GALLIENVS P F AVG; bust of Gallienus, radiate, cuirassed, r. Rev: GERMANICVS MAX V; trophy between two captives. 20.5mm, 3.58g. Ref: RIC V Gallienus (joint reign) 18.
  5. JulesUK

    JulesUK Well-Known Member

  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Mine, from a lot (my first lot in fact)

    Same coin as the OP (but not the same conservation obviously).

    In the RIC book I have I see the rarity is C, but I don't rely on this too much (rarity degrees).
  7. Dwarf

    Dwarf Member

    Please forget RIC, Sear, RSC or whatever for the coinage of Gallienus.
    You have to use the work of Robert Göbl:

    Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Valerianus I./Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) und Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). MIR Bd. 36.
    Wien 2000

    Still available in print (which I prefer) and absolutely indispensible
    Everything else is - sorry - numismatic junk and completely out of date
    Volodya and ancient coin hunter like this.
  8. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

  9. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Nice coin. I like Gallienus Germanic victory series and especially with his heroic bust. Here are two from my collection. Note the rather different bust styles. These coins are probably from Cologne or Trier in Germany:

    Screenshot 2021-05-17 at 21.55.17.png

    Screenshot 2021-05-17 at 21.55.29.png
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Great coins @Tejas - I'd say better than mine!
  11. wittwolf

    wittwolf Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite coins from my collection:
    43 Gallienus 1.png 43 Gallienus 2.png
    Gallienus is a really underrated emperor. He probably had the hardest job any emperor ever would have - fighting endless hordes of barbarians, endless hordes of usurpers, will loose two sons in this struggle and two parts of the empire - and still he died rushing to the battleline when an enemy attack gets reported to him (except it was a trap by some traitors). This guy is possibly the most relentless fighter who ever ruled rome which also explains how he ruled for 18 years in a time when other emperors died within months of their acclaimation.
    Marsyas Mike, Bing, ominus1 and 6 others like this.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    For a 'rare' coin, a lot of us seem to have some. I consider them common but it is rare to find them really nice on both sides struck on a decent flan. I believe my first was cut by an artist but his work was paired with a worn reverse and struck on a ragged flan. What percentage show the Medusa head on the shield? Clear specimens like those shown by Tejas establish the item over his shoulder is not a spear. It has a blunt device on the end. Below it is a smaller item on some (mine, Tejas' first) but not all. What does Göbl have to say about the matter? I never have seen his book.
    My best is ex. Ed Waddell, 1990. Ed has always had wonderful coins. In 1990 he had some in my price bracket. That changed long before the Covid bubble hit.
    In 2012 I gave up looking for one like the first and bought this ordinary one from the late Don Zauche to have a better reverse. Don sold lower priced coins and let this one go for a bit under twice the 1990 specimen. I miss 1990 and hope to see Ed again someday; I miss 2012 and I really miss Don.
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
    eparch, Marsyas Mike, Bing and 10 others like this.
  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    A.C.H., Nice score :happy:! I really like the "Heroic" style portrait on Roman coins. The coins of the 1st & 2nd Tetrarchy would often depict the emperors with a heroic style portrait. A favorite from my collection is pictured below.
    Maximian, RIC VI 61b.jpg
    ROMAN EMPIRE, Maximian Herculius, AD 286 - 310 (struck AD 305). Aquileia Mint, 1st Officina. Billon Nummus: 11.98 gm, 28 mm, 12 h. RIC VI, 61b. Rare.
    Marsyas Mike, Bing, ominus1 and 6 others like this.
  14. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    This is a spectacular portrait of Gallienus. I always thought Gallienus was shouldering a spear, but it is a blunt instrument, some kind of staff. Or may be the blade is pointing forward.
  15. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I agree, these coins are rather common, but scarce in good condition on both sides. Especially the reverse dies were often overused. Here is one that is quite sharp on both sides:

    Screenshot 2021-05-17 at 22.52.59.png
  16. Choucas

    Choucas Well-Known Member

    Great pickup! Thanks for the link to the thesis, it does look interesting.

    @dougsmit : you are right, this is a common coin. One of the most common from Cologne actually. I believe all of them have the Medusa head on the shield, but it's worn / not well struck most of the time, and all that's left is a shadow. The portrait of Gallienus on yours is fantastic.

    Here's mine (my profile pic). The portrait could be better but the reverse is extremely pleasant in hand.
  17. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I just checked my Victorinus collection. It is not entirely clear from this coin, but I think Victorinus is also shouldering a staff rather than a spear.

    Screenshot 2021-05-17 at 22.57.26.png
  18. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Some lovely coins shown!...
    Marsyas Mike, paschka, Bing and 6 others like this.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    It's interesting (but not surprising) that the shield features a Gorgon. It's not clear on my example but is apparent on some of the following coins shown by you folks. There is a great example of this type on a Gordian III medallion where he hoists a shield with Medusa, but it is featured on Pinterest and I can't save or copy the image to show it.
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Great coins everybody. As Doug says, maybe the type is not that rare after all.
  21. Dwarf

    Dwarf Member

    For anyone here who does not know the monumental work of Robert Göbl attached a scan of table 25 (part), showing the type discussed here as #872.

    As you (may) see this type comes with four differents obverse inscription and eight differents busts (more are discovered on a regular basis due to internet researches)

    The type is rather common, some busts are very rare - which is normal.

    The book shows 52 tables and 156 plates in two volumes

    Attached Files:

    ancient coin hunter likes this.
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