Gallienus / Mars the Peacemaker

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TJC, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Here is a purchase from last year. This is common coin but most often not in great condition as most Gallienus era coins. I have not been as involved in my numismatic pursuits the last couple of years, but have kept my eye out for 3rd century / Gallienus coins as it is an era and emperor that I have not lost interest in. On this coin Gallienus has a strong strike and a bit of Homer Simpson upper lip. The mostly silvered reverse gives Mars a fairly strong showing despite the edge damage on the upper right and good full legend.
    GallienusMarsO1x339.jpg GallienusMarsR2x339.jpg

    Gallienus Silvered Billon Antoninianus. Rome mint.
    O: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right
    Rx: MARTI PACIFERO, Mars standing left, holding olive-branch, spear and shield, no officina letter. Göbl 569w, Cohen 614. RIC 236. 21 mm. 3.08 Grams
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Wow. Cool reverse. Never saw one of those before.
    In the case of Gallienus, is it possible to see the reverse in terms other than empty propaganda? I like to think of Gallienus, especially as a patron of Plotinus, as having been almost a latter-day Marcus Aurelius; endless frontier warfare was just his day job. ...Or am I going too far with that?
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  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Very nice example. Sharp!
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  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Gallienus was reviled by ancient historians for many reasons. However, modern scholarship is beginning to rehabilitate his reputation. Not only was he a devotee of philosophy, he also was an innovator, creating the rapid deployment force of a cavalry army under the general (and later usurper) Aureolus to facilitate the repelling of barbarian incursions. Plus, he ruled for 15 years during this tumultuous time, far longer than the other rulers during the crisis of the third century.


  6. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    @ VGO.DVCKS, Gallienus was likely born during the reign of Elagabalus and saw some stability during Severus Alexander's rule. And then came the Maxaminus the Thracian giant. All Hades broke loose from then on. The empire was under constant siege from within and without for the rest of Gallienus's life. The empire suffered several major setbacks including the loss of the Emperor Decius at the Battle of Abritus. Of course Gallienus himself was in the West defending the Limes when his his oldest son died and his father Valerian was captured by Shapur I. Italy itself was attacked by the Allamani during this time making almost to Rome itself. It is amazing Gallienus lasted as long as he did!
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  7. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    @AncientCoinHunter, nice Pegasus!
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Sounds like he really took the fate of his father to heart. Interesting point about the innovation with cavalry. I'd always associated that with Aurelian ...typecasting, I suppose.
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  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There is something to be said for avoiding rash mistakes that would have been fatal. People hold it against him that he left his father in Persia and did not squash Postumus and other fringe area powers but he used some sense in selecting fight to be fought and those not likely to end well. Making the wrong choices could have made him the last Roman emperor.
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  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...The duration of his reign almost makes one wish he could have pulled off the kind of stabilization that Diocletian managed later. ...Although, come to think of it, that was followed by more civil war. Come to think of it, civil war was effectively cyclical from the beginning of the empire to the end. Only the Antonines pulled off anything different for a century at a time.
    TJC likes this.
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    TJC, Nice score :D. I scored a nice coin with Mars on a Constantine I follis this year.

    Constantine I, AD 307 - 337 (struck AD 307/8), Trier Mint, AE follis: 26 mm, 6.65 gm, 6 h. Reverse: MARTI PATRI PRPVGNATORI (To Mars, Protector of the Fatherland).
  12. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    @ Al Kowsky, very nice Constantine I / Mars!!
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