Valerian dynasty - temple reverses

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Tejas, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I have the following three common Antoniniae of the family of Valerian (Salonina, Valerian I and Gallienus) with similar reverses.

    I really wonder what the historical context of these coins is? Why were these particular deities (Segetia, Mars, Vulcan) chosen? Was this a series that was issued to mark a certain event? What was the mint (Lyon, Cologne?) or the year?

    Screenshot 2021-02-28 at 15.06.26.png Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 17.21.52.png Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 17.19.06.png
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  3. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on building the complete set! I'm also planning to do it, but so far I have only acquired Salonina:
    Salonina (253-268), Antoninianus, Colonia mint.
    Obverse: SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front, resting on a crescent;
    Reverse: DEAE SE-GETIAE, statue of Segetia, nimbate, standing facing in four-columned temple, both hands raised;
    RIC 5

    Now, as far as the historical context goes, I think I know a few things: firstly, I'm pretty sure that the current consensus is that they were struck at Colonia Agrippina, which was the only mint in Gaul and the main center of operations in the region, around 258 AD, as part of the second emission. The mint had been opened the year prior, when Gallienus made the city his headquarters, and it's possible that it was staffed by the engravers of the Viminacium mint, which had been closed a short time prior. The most accepted theory for the meaning of this issue, as far as I know, is that the three deities represented their different roles in a military campaign: Vulcan, the blacksmith, made the weapons, Segetia, a deity associated with the harvest, produced the food, and Mars, god of war, led the soldiers into battle. Gallienus' time in the region was however cut short by the news of Valerian's capture, which triggered a series of insurrections in the east, like those of Ingenuus, Regalianus and the Macriani, forcing him to depart and leave behind Saloninus, which was shortly after eliminated by Postumus, who also took control of the mint.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  4. Choucas

    Choucas Active Member


    Very nice set, the Gallienus especially is stunning.

    The mint is indeed believed to be Cologne as stated above (some will argue it could be Trier, but Lyon is not considered to be a valid hypothesis anymore).
    @Claudius_Gothicus made a very complete answer, I don't really have anything to add.

    I got two coins from that series, but I got the Salonina in a group lot, and it's in too poor condition. Here's the Valerian.
    galba68, Curtisimo, Limes and 10 others like this.
  5. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for the replies. This is very interesting and helpful. I like the idea that the three deities represented the different necessities of a military campaign, food, weapons and military prowess.
    I had never really thought of the three coins as a set, but this makes them more interesting and I will group them together now in my collection.
    So again, many thanks
    Pellinore and Claudius_Gothicus like this.
  6. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I made a new picture of the Salonina Ant. The one I posted above is really bad. The coin looks small on the picture above. Instead it has a surprisingly large flan:
    Screenshot 2021-03-05 at 20.45.01.png
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