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Gallienus
as co-Augustus with Valerian I  AD 253 - 260
as Augustus  AD 260 -268

Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (ca. AD 218 - 268):
Son of Valerian I and Mariniana;
Husbamd of Salonina;
Father of Valerian II and Saloninus.

AD 253 - 260 - co-Augustus with Valerian I
AD 260 - co-Augustus with Valerian I and Saloninus
AD 260 - 268 - Sole reign

Publius Licinius Egnatius known as Gallienus was a joint emperor with his father Valerian 253-260 and sole titular emperor 260-268. He was a man educated in the Greek classics, and with the mettle of an intellectual; which did not prevent him from waging probably the most successful series of military campaigns against external and internal foes. Unlike many other junior ruler he played a very active role during his father’s rule, above all on the military frontiers in Germany and Dacia. In 256-7 the two divided the empire territorially, Gallienus taking the West, at a time when the Alamanni and the Suevi intensified their attacks and the Franks for the first time made their name known in Gaul. This onslaught on the Empire was compounded in 260 when Valerian was captured by the Persians and Gallienus failed to rescue him. The fall of Valerian inspired a number of senior commanders to revolt against the remaining emperor of the West. The time is duly known as the era of the “thirty tyrants” who kept Gallienus busy suppressing them when the Empire was itself in dire straights. The situation was saved by Macrianus an old quartermaster general in the East who stopped the Persians, and then by Gallienus’s alliance with Odenathus, the powerful prince of Palmyra, who not only rolled back the Persian advances in Mesopotamia, but suppressed Macrianus’s revolt when the latter decided to try his luck. In the meantime Gallienus almost accomplished the Herculean task of stopping the Germanic press in the Balkans, annihilating in a bloody battle a large invading force led by the Goths in 267 at Naissus, mostly due to his army reforms that created a very efficient heavy cavalry force of armored horsemen. Ironically, it was the revolt of the commander of this same corps, Aureolus, that prevented Gallienus from following up on his victory and forced him to return to Italy to deal with it. In the midst of the siege of Mediolanum, where Aureolus had holed himself up a conspiracy of a group of high military commanders, all of them comrades from the Danube frontier, was hatched and Gallienus was murdered.

Mints: Asia, locality uncertain, Lugdunum, Mediolanum, Rome.

List all Gallienus coins in the Catalog.

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