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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ SaloninaView Options:  |  |  |   

Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Wife of Gallienus

Salonina was the wife of emperor Gallienus. A very beautiful and intelligent woman, she was extremely loyal to her husband. Opinion is divided as to whether she was murdered in the purge of Gallienus family after his murder, or if she survived.


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
SH66838. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5342; Geissen 2982; Kampmann-Ganschow 91.47; SRCV III 10716; BMC Alexandria p. 2266; Milne 4140, Choice aEF, weight 11.345 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 266 - 28 Aug 267 A.D.; obverse KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear; reverse Tyche reclining left on couch, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, LI∆ (year 14) above; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85488. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1707u (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Hunter IV - (p. liii), VF/F, well centered, good portrait, toned, porous, reverse rough, weight 3.449 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes on left, raising skirt, presenting flower to prince, star above; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Salonina, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Astarte, called "Ashtroth" in Scripture, was the favorite goddess of the Sidonians, Tyrians, Philistines, and Syro-Phoenicians generally. She was associated with the Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus Genetrix, being believed by the ancients to be the goddess of generation, as well as of beauty. Astarte was chiefly worshiped and appears on the coins of Berytus, Bostra, Sidon, and Tyre. Her image is of a young woman, wearing a tall headdress; and clothed in a tunic, high in the neck- sometimes, not reaching lower than the knees, or sometimes with a longer dress, but with one knee exposed, and one foot planted on a galley's prow.
RP84808. Bronze AE 27, Rouvier VII p. 107, 2562; Lindgren II 2400; Mionnet VIII supp. p. 314, 359; BMC Phoenicia -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, F, red earthen fill, porous, edge bump, weight 15.353 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse CORNE SALON . . ., diademed and draped bust right; reverse COL TYRO ME TRO, Astarte standing facing, head left, wearing kalathos, right hand on trophy of arms standing on left, transverse scepter in left hand, Nike standing on column on right crowning the goddess, murex shell low inner left; very rare; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


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This type was struck during Salonina's lifetime, so the unusual reverse legend was not struck in memorial. There has been some fanciful speculation that "IN PACE," meaning "in peace," was a Christian phrase indicating the empress had converted to Christianity.
RS65817. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1231a, RIC V S60, RSC IV 20, Hunter III 25, Cunetio 1535, SRCV III 10626, gF, toned white metal, green encrustations, weight 2.153 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse AVGVSTA IN PACE (Augusta in peace), Pax seated left on throne without back, olive branch downward in right, long transverse scepter in right; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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The animal appears to have the beard of a goat but on some examples branched antlers are clear. It is an odd deer.
RA84359. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 725cc, Hunter IV S21, RSC IV 70, RIC V S16, SRCV III 10643, VF, well centered on a tight flan, porosity, weight 4.111 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse COR SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back and top of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse IVNONI CONS AVG (to Juno protector of the Empress), hind walking left, ∆ in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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Venus (Aphrodite) started the Trojan War with a golden apple. When she failed to receive a wedding invitation, she maliciously deposited a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses argued who deserved this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS65792. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 904c, RSC IV 134 (Lyon), Hunter III S19 (Rome), Cunetio 735 (64 spec.), Elmer 98, SRCV III 10662, RIC V -, VF, toned, tight ragged flan, flan cracks, small encrustations, weight 3.028 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 45o, Cologne mint, 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing right, viewed from behind, nude but for drapery at hips, buttocks exposed, leaning with left elbow on column, apple (or helmet?) in extended right hand, transverse palm on far side in left; not in RIC; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


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This type was struck during Salonina's lifetime, so the unusual reverse legend was not struck in memorial. There has been some fanciful speculation that "IN PACE," meaning "in peace," was a Christian phrase indicating the empress had converted to Christianity.
RB65809. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1377e, RIC V S58, RSC IV 17, SRCV III 10626 var. (mint mark), Hunter IV S27 var. (obv. legend), aVF, slightly ragged flan, weight 3.539 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 - 268 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse AVG IN PACE, Salonina seated left, olive-branch downward in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, MS in exergue; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RL74575. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1605c (7 spec.), RIC V J67; RSC IV 103, SRCV III 10651 var. (star or wreath above, uncertain Syrian mint), Hunter IV J35 ff. var. (same), VF, very broad flan, small flan crack, weight 2.817 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), emperor on left standing right, receiving Victory from Roma, seated left, spear vertical behind in her left hand, grounded shield behind against her near side; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA57189. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1648d, Hunter IV S34, RSC IV 4, RIC V S87, SRCV III 10625, VF, bold full circle obverse strike on a broad flan, weight 4.068 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, bust resting on thin crescent; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent upper left, VIIC• (COS VII) in exergue; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


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It was Sulla who in a dream first saw Venus as Venus Victrix (victorious Venus), with the weapons of Mars. He made her to his personal patroness. Pompey was inaugurating the cult of Venus Victrix in Rome. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey was dreaming of Venus Victrix - seemingly a lucky sign -, whereas Caesar was sacrificing to Venus Genetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!
BB65805. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1313r, RSC IV 127, Hunter IV - (p. lxxiiii), cf. RIC V S67 (MS in ex.), SRCV III 10659 (same), Cunetio 1768 (same), EF, nice portrait, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 3.055 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, c. 265 - 267 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse VENVS VICT (victorious Venus), Venus standing half left, helmet in right hand, transverse spear in left hand, left elbow resting on grounded shield beside her; not in RIC; $50.00 (€42.50)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CORNELIASALONINAAVGVSTA
CORNELIASALONINAAVG
CORNELSALONINAAVG
CORNSALONINAAVG
CORSALONINA
CORSALONINAAVG
SALONINAAVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Besly, E. and R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Volume 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941).
Göbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung des Kaiser Valerianus I/Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) un Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). (Vienna, 2000).
Mattingly, H., Sydenham and Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Seaby, H.A. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume Three, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Schaad, D. & J. Lafaurie. Le trésor d'Eauze. (Toulouse, 1992). Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, November 18, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Salonina