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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 (€92.40)

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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 (€61.60)

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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; $32.00 (€28.16)

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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; $28.00 (€24.64)





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Catalog current as of Thursday, July 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Postumus