This Saloninus is my first purchase for three months, so I attempted a little biography using the recent German literature and showing the few Antoniniani that I have: Publius Licinius Cornelius Saloninus Valerianus was born ca. 248-250 AD as the second son of the future Emperor Gallienus and his wife Salonina. It is most likely that Gallienus as a Senator predominantly lived in Rome before his accession to the throne in 253 AD (Geiger, Gallienus, p.81), so we might assume the capital itself to be the most likely birthplace of Saloninus. The widely published birth year of ca. 242 AD (see Wikipedia et.al.) must be wrong. The only way to estimate the approximate age of Saloninus is by taking into account his surviving portraits. On his coins he is clearly pictured as a boy, comparable to the figure of Philip II, who had already been appointed Caesar at the age of seven, and not as the teenager he would have been in 258-260, had he been born in ca. 242. Both Caesars are represented on their coins approximately the same age, which for Saloninus suggests a similar age of the elevation to the rank of Caesar of at most ten years (Geiger, p.79). Saloninus had an older brother, also named Publius Licinius Cornelius Valerianus (the later Caesar Valerian II), who had been born in ca. 246-248, as can again be estimated from his coin portraits of the years 256-258, where he is shown as a boy approximately the same age as Saloninus. VALERIANVS CAES - Radiate and draped bust of Valerian II right / IOVI CRESCENTI - child Jupiter riding right on the goat Amalthea, looking left, right hand raised, left hand holding goat´s horn Antoninianus, Cologne late 256- early 258 RIC 3, Göbl/MIR 907e, Elmer 67a, Sear 10731 We can assume that Saloninus spent his childhood with his family in the capital or a nearby villa, until in early August 253 after the death of Emperor Treboninus Gallus at Interamna both Aemilianus and Saloninus grandfather Valerianus were simultanously acclaimed Emperor by their respective armies. If Saloninus and his family indeed lived in Rome prior to the coup of Aemilianus, we can assume that Gallienus had to flee to escape Aemilianus and his Italic followers during Valerian´s march on Rome. Gallienus probably went to his maternal relatives, the Egnatii, in the area of falerii novi north of rome on the left bank of the tiber (Geiger, P.82.) IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG - Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Aemilianus right with his right shoulder advanced PACI AVG - Pax standing facing, head left, legs crossed, holing olive-tranche and transverse scepter and resting on column Antoninianus, Rome August - October 253 RIC 8, RSC 26, Hunter 13, Sear 9838 It can not be ruled out that Saloninus's paternal grandmother, Mariniana, fell victim to Aemilianus. The consecration coins during the joint reign of her husband Valerianus and son Gallienus may indicate this, perhaps suggesting a recent death (Geiger, S.82). IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian Senior right, seen from front / FELICITAS AVGG - Felicitas standing left, diademed and wearing tunica and palla, holding long caduceus in right and cornucopia in left hand, S C in exergue Sestertius, Rome ca. 255-258 16,46 gr / 29,43 mm RIC 157, Cohen 58, Sear 10011, Banti 8 corr. (3 specimens) DIVAE MARINIANAE - Veiled, diademed bust of Mariniana to the right CONSECRATIO S C - Peacock standing facing Sestertius, Rome 253/54 15,57 gr / 26 mm / 12 h RIC 9 corr, C 7 After the downfall of Aemilianus in September 253, Gallienus was appointed Augustus and thereby co-ruler by his father Valerian. We can imagine young Saloninus living in the imperial palace and receiving the classical education an imperial prince would have enjoyed before the age of the soldier emperors. At the beginning of 254, the two Augusti began their first joint consulate in Rome and then set out: Valerian to Asia Minor on the Persian border, Gallienus to the Illyrian Danube. It can be assumed that the Empress Salonina like her predecessors led her own court (Geiger, p.81). I would suggest that in all likelyhood she would not have accompanied her husband on his military campaigns, at least during the early years of the reign, but have resided in Rome with her two young sons. In September of 256 the family reunited when Valerianus returned to Europe and Saloninus took part in the celebrations involving the elevation of his older brother Valerianus Junior to the rank of Caesar and when both Augusti personally started another consulate at Rome at the beginning of 257. Both Augusti visited Cologne in August 257. Gallienus had moved his headquarters from the Danube to the Rhine to face the Germanic tribes of the Alemanni and Franks who threatened the Roman Empire, which required the presence of the reigning Emperor in the endangered province. For this reason Gallienus closed the mint in Viminacium and reestablished it at Cologne in late 257 AD, which now recieved the honorary title Valeriana and Galliena, it´s official name now being Colonia Ara Agrippinensium Valeriana Galliena. They took the young Caesar Valerian II with them, leaving Saloninus with his mother at Rome. In the Fall of 257 Valerian had to leave for the east again, never to return. While Saloninus would never see his older brother again either, he was blessed with a younger brother when his mother gave birth go Gallienus third son, Licinius Egnatius Marinianus, in 258 (the date can be assumed on account of Fecunditas coins for Salonina; Geiger, p.78). Saloninus childhood came to an end when Valerian II died, probably of an illness, at the Danubian frontier (Glas, Valerian, p.153). On the message of the unexpected death of his son, Gallienus returned to Rome to oversee Valerian II´s consecration. In his place, young Saloninus was raised to the rank of Caesar in June, 258. The little Prince was at once introduced to his future responsibility for the cult of the state. Therefore coins were issued promoting the pietas of the dynasty including the illustration of sacrificial devices. SALON VALERIANVS CAES – Radiate and draped bust of Saloninus Caesar right PIETAS AVG – The emblems of the priestly colleges: lituus, knife, patera, jug, simplum and sprinkler Antoninianus, Cologne 258 AD 3,40 gr / 22 mm RIC 9, RSC 41, Hunter 8, Göbl 914, Sear 10767 Saloninus accompanied his father to Cologne. Of particular interest in this context is a small portrait bust in the Roman-Germanic Museum of the City of Cologne which was acquired in 1934 and was reported to have been found, in the north of the Roman Cologne. The singular masterpiece consists of opaque, azure glass. It shows the bust of a boy with full cheeks and a pronounced double chin. He is clothed in a richly embroidered garment, the toga contabulata, whose carefully arranged folds are laid almost board-like over the body. The exact function of the bust is unknown, but it may have served as an imperial gift. Bust of Saloninus an the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne (inv.No. 157), blue glass, 8,3 cm The date of the bust was long disputed. Most recently, a largely convincing identification as Saloninus and thus a dating in the period 258-260 AD was suggested by comparisons with coin pictures. The glass bust would be the only surviving, round-plastic portrait of the unfortunate prince and an extremely valuable archaeological testimony to the political events of these years. In 259, the enemy incursions accumulated on the Rhine and on the upper Danube (Glass, p.155). The sources consistently report incursions by the Alemanni, who were able to penetrate as far as northern Italy (Glas, p.156). Gallienus had to counter the threat and lead a large army to Italy. The withdrawl of Gallienus and his troops from the Rhine to Italy on the news of the Alamannic threat in 259 resulted in increased incursions of Germans of the lower Rhine in this still restless region, although Gallienus had provided for his own representation by leaving his son in Cologne with his advisor Silvanus (Glass, p.159). But Saloninus was not yet able to secure it without his father (Glas, p. 155). As the military situation became more and more threatening in Lower Germany, the troops hailed their commander Postumus Augustus and besieged the left behind Saloninus in Cologne. Although the Prince in a desperate measure accepted the title of Augustus, he soon met a sad fate. In the autumn of 260, the people of Cologne delivered Saloninus to Postumus, who had him executed. Sources: - Michel Geiger: „Gallienus“ (2013), p.78-81 - Toni Glas: „Valerian“ (2014), p.153-159 - N. Franken: „Der Tod des Saloninus“ (https://museenkoeln.de/portal/bild-der-woche.aspx?bdw=2015_10). Please comment and show your coins of Saloninus and his family!