Bronze Antoninianus of Emperor Gallienus - C.4538 Origin: Mediterranean Circa: 253 AD to 268 AD Collection: Numismatics Style: Roman Medium: Bronze Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was born in Milan in 218 A.D., son of Emperor Valerian. He was raised to the level of co-Augustus soon after his father’s ascension in 253 A.D. The time of his reign was a chaotic era of great political and economic upheaval known as the crisis of the Third Century. The Persian army under King Shapur I defeated the Romans and seized Valerian. This humiliating defeat of the mighty Romans emboldened the Germans to step up their invasions into Roman territory. Meanwhile, the governor of Pannonia, encouraged by the legions, revolted. Gallienus rushed to the scene with his newly created cavalry corps and crushed the insurrection. However, more ominous, was the secession of Gaul, Spain, and Britain under the leadership of Postumus, the legate of the Rhine armies that lasted for two decades. Gallienus reacted swiftly to this threat and defeated Postumus in two battles, but he was unable to deliver a fatal blow to the usurper. Gallienus was wounded in battle in 263 A.D. and retreated to Rome where he recovered during a time of relative peace, known as the “Gallienic Renaissance,” which saw the flowering of the neo-platonic movement. This short period of peace ended in 266 A.D. when the Germans invaded, initiating what would become the bloodiest battle of the century, the Battle of Naissus. Gallienus would meet his end in a coup organized by his staff officers and the commander of the cavalry corps while besieging his hometown of Milan which had seceded under Aureolus, who was allied with Postumus.