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Antoninianus of Gallienus (Sole reign AD 260 - 68)


Radiate, cuirassed bust right. GALLIENVS PF AVG SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI in four lines within laurel wreath. RIC Vol V Pt 1 No 659 (Antioch ?)Very Rare coin. For similar see CNG Mail Bid Sale 72(June 14 2006) Lot 1701 Bought from Thames Valley Coins, Reading December 1975.

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Jotapian's Ancient Coins

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Gallienus acclaimed by the Senate as OPTIMO PRINCIPI?! :D The Senate, in fact (as it's known), hated his guts!

I have to say Gallienus had some wicked sense of humor. Kudos to the guy. And the coin.

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Thank you for your rating of this coin & comments - bearing in mind that Propaganda is not a modern phenomenon this coin sums that up quite neatly. That said it should be recognised that faced with almost insurmountable difficulties Gallienus maintained himself after a number of terrible disasters & preserved the Central Empire and dare I say prepared the foundations for recovery of the Empire by the Illyrian Emperors using the mobile field Armies created by Gallienus. The Senate and those who succeeded him would have justified their actions by condeming those they have overthrown - in any event by this time the Senate was pretty much an irrelevant body who would have sided with whoever held the reins of power - which brings us back to the reverse inscription on this coin.

Cheers - Jotapian

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I agree with you about Gallienus. I just find it curious - why would it matter to him to show the public that the Senate considers him the best Princeps if the public knew perfectly that the Senate hated him anyway. After all he stripped the senators of a lot of their power and privileges. So why such crude deception? To demonstrate the government's unity to the people, I wonder?
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