Gallienus (Joint reign)

Reece Period attributed: Period 12

Obverse image of a coin of Gallienus (Joint reign)

Member of the Third Century Emperors dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 253 until 260.

Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was the son of Valerian, born in 213. He ruled with his father, commanding the armies in the West while his father took care of the East. Valerian was taken captive by the Persians, and thus Gallienus became sole emperor. He struggled to keep the empire together and introduced a policy of religious tolerance that lasted for decades. Over seven attempts were made to set up a rival emperor and a series of secessionists in Gaul made things difficult.

A major revolt by Postumus formed a northern ‘empire’ which lasted about 15 years. Gallienus was a good soldier but unable to cope with the many factions on all edges of the empire; he was killed by his men near Milan and buried on the Appian way. His legacy is undeservedly bad; he alienated the Senate by refusing to allow senators into the military, a policy which stemmed from the recent betrayals and succession issues caused in part by senators in the army.

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Record: NLM-654654
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Copper alloy coin. Radiate of Gallienus (2…
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Record: SF-D99DC2
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A base silver Roman radiate of Gallienus, …
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Record: OXON-9CA56B
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete Roman silver radiate of Gall…
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Record: CORN-3F8659
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper-alloy Roman radiate of Galli…
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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Gallienus
  • Full names:
    • Gallienus
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Aemilianus
  • Successor: Claudius Gothicus
  • Definition: Gallienus (; Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus; c. 218 – September 268), also known as Gallien, was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 22 October 253 to spring 260 and alone from spring 260 to September 268. He ruled during the Crisis of the Third Century that nearly caused the collapse of the empire. While he won a number of military victories, he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces. His 15-year reign was the longest since the 19-year rule of Septimius Severus. Born into a wealthy and traditional senatorial family, Gallienus was the son of Valerian and Mariniana. Valerian became Emperor on 22 October 253 and had the Roman senate elevate Gallienus to the ranks of Caesar and Augustus. Valerian divided the empire between him and his son, with Valerian ruling the east and his son the west. Gallienus defeated the usurper Ingenuus in 258 and destroyed an Alemanni army at Mediolanum in 259. The defeat and capture of Valerian at Edessa in 260 by the Sasanian Empire threw the Roman Empire into the chaos of civil war. Control of the whole empire passed to Gallienus. He defeated the eastern usurpers Macrianus Major and Mussius Aemilianus in 261–262 but failed to stop the formation of the breakaway Gallic Empire under general Postumus. Aureolus, another usurper, proclaimed himself emperor in Mediolanum in 268 but was defeated outside the city by Gallienus and besieged inside. While the siege was ongoing, Gallienus was stabbed to death by the officer Cecropius as part of a conspiracy.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place:
  • Death place: Mediolanum, Roman Italy
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • List of Roman emperors
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
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