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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Secessionist Empires ▸ PostumusView Options:  |  |  |   

Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

Postumus was an incredibly skilled general and administrator. Rebelling against Gallienus, Postumus succeeded in uniting Gaul, Spain, and Britain into what was essentially an empire within an empire. Enjoying tremendous military success against the Germans, he kept his Gallic Empire secure and prosperous. In 268 A.D., he quickly destroyed the forces of the usurper Laelianus, but his refusal to allow his forces to sack Moguntiacum (Mainz, Germany) led to his assassination by disgruntled troops.

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The Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire.
RA72656. Billon antoninianus, Cunetio 2371, RSC IV 355b, Schulzki AGK 88c, RIC V-2 87, SRCV III 10991, Elmer 123, Hunter IV - (p. lxxxviii), gVF, reverse scratches, weight 3.812 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 1st emission, 2nd phase, 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS PROVINCIARVM (health of the provinces), river-god Rhenus (Rhine) reclining left, horned, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, resting right forearm on prow of a boat, reed cradled in left hand and arm, left elbow resting on urn behind; $105.00 (€89.25)

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Deusoniensis probably refers to modern Deutz, on the Rhine across from Cologne. Apparently, Hercules was worshiped there and it has been suggested that Postumus was born in the town. From these relatively obscure provincial origins, Postumus would have risen through the ranks of the army until he held command of the Roman forces "among the Celts." What his precise title was is not definitely known, though he may have been promoted by Valerian to imperial legate of Lower Germany. Postumus was evidently in favor at Valerian's court, and may even have been granted an honorary consulship.
RS64647. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 91a, RIC V-2 64, Mairat 13, Schulzki AGK 25, Elmer 124, Hunter IV 14, SRCV III 10944, aVF, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.271 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse HERC DEVSONIENSI (to Hercules of Deuson), Hercules standing slightly right, head right, nude, resting right hand on grounded club behind, bow in left hand, Nemean lion skin draped over his left arm; $70.00 (€59.50)

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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RS64649. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 9, Elmer 586, RIC V-2 287, RSC IV 31a, Mairat 168 - 171, Hunter IV 42, SRCV III 10932, Cunetio -, gVF, much silvering, edge cracks, weight 2.859 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COS IIII (consul for the 4th time), Victory standing right, raising wreath in right hand, long grounded palm frond in right hand before her; $48.00 (€40.80)

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Uberitas is the personification of fruitfulness, primarily agricultural fertility.
RS64676. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 366a, RIC V-2 330, Mairat 136, Schulzki AGK 94, Hunter IV 93, SRCV III 10995, VF, well centered, toned, small edge cracks, weight 3.982 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VBERTAS AVG (to the abundance of the Emperor), Uberitas standing facing, head left, right leg forward, purse in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $48.00 (€40.80)

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In 267 A.D., the Goths, originally from Scandinavia, along with the Sarmatians, originally from the area of modern Iran, first invaded the Empire. They ravaged Moesia, Thrace, the Balkans and Greece. In southern Greece, the cities they sacked included Athens, Corinth, Argos and Sparta. An Athenian militia force of 2,000 men, under the historian Dexippus, pushed the invaders north where they were intercepted by the Roman army under Gallienus. Gallienus defeated them near the Nestos River, on the boundary between Macedonia and Thrace.
RS64645. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 331a, RIC V-2 325, Hunter IV 79, Elmer 593, Mairat 143, Schulzki AGK 77, Cunetio 2444, SRCV III 10983, VF, well centered, sightly porous, weight 4.506 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from the front; reverse SAECVLI FELICITAS (era of good fortune), Postumus standing right, bare-headed, wearing military attire, transverse spear in right hand, globe in extended left hand; $45.00 (€38.25)

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS64659. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 39a, Schulzki AGK 14, RIC V-2 58, Hunter IV 49, Elmer 335, SRCV III 10936, gVF, well centered, flan a little ragged, weight 3.446 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 45o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 265 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas standing half left, long grounded caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $40.00 (€34.00)

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In 265, Gallienus launched a campaign to defeat Postumus. Postumus escaped the first assault due to the carelessness of Aureolus, Gallienus' cavalry commander. Gallienus led the second campaign himself but was wounded and forced to withdraw. By the end of 265, Postumus' coins proudly announced his victory.
RA64661. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-2 311, RSC IV 161a, Schulzki AGK 39, Elmer 571, Cunetio 2468, Mairat 205 - 207, SRCV III 10955, Hunter IV - (p. xci), VF/F, nice portrait, centered, toned, some silvering, slightly ragged flan with edge cracks, weight 1.922 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse IOVI VICTORI (Jove the victorious), Jupiter in fighting attitude, nude but for Chlamys over shoulders and flying behind on left, head right, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter transverse in left; $36.00 (€30.60)

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS64673. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 230a, RIC V-2 320, Schulzki AGK 58, Elmer 395, Hunter IV 73, Cunetio 2428 (16 spec.), SRCV III 10969, VF, reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, porous, edge a little ragged with small flan cracks, weight 3.588 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 266 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing left, holding a child in each arm, two more children standing flanking at her feet.; $36.00 (€30.60)

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Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS64684. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 316, RIC IV 213d, Elmer 568, Cunetio 2454, Schulzki AGK 49, SRCV III 10964, Hunter 96 var. (no P), VF/F, well centered, some silvering, die wear, weight 3.404 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip in left hand, P left; $34.00 (€28.90)

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Upon his acclimation, Postumus was recognized as emperor in Gaul (except perhaps for Narbonensis), the two Germanias, and Raetia. By 261, Britannia, Gallia Narbonensis and Hispania had also acknowledged him as emperor, possibly after an expedition to Britain in the winter of 260/261. He established his capital in northern Gaul, probably at Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium or Augusta Treverorum, and then proceeded to set up many of the traditional Roman legislative and executive structures. Apart from the position of emperor, he immediately assumed the office of consul alongside a colleague, Honoratianus. Like his imperial predecessors, he became the pontifex maximus of the state and assumed tribunician power each year. He is thought to have established a senate, perhaps on the basis of the Council of the Three Gauls or provincial councils, and a praetorian guard, one of whose officers was to become the future Gallic emperor Victorinus. Reflecting his power base, the chief members of Postumus’ administration appeared to have been of northern Gallic origin, and indeed, the entire administration soon became rapidly Gallicized. Both Victorinus and Tetricus, important members of the government, hailed from this region.
RB64656. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 261a (London); Hunter IV 3; RIC V-2 55 (London); Cunetio 2387 (73 spec.); Elmer 288; Schulzki AGK 61; SRCV III 10972, F, toned, die wear, edge cracks, porosity, weight 2.880 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 262 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III P P, Postumus standing slightly left, wearing helmet and military attire, globe in right hand, spear vertical in left hand; $32.00 (€27.20)






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Catalog current as of Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Postumus