Rome, Gallienus Tyre mint AE28 253 - 268 AD

Obv: Laureated and drapped bust right
Rev: Dido building Carthage, man digging & Mason working on gate

Metal: Bronze 12.8 Grams, 28 mm diameter. Condition: abt VF with some mint adjustment marks on bottom of obverse

<Roman Aqueduct and Arcade at Tyre> 
History of Gallienus 253 - 268 AD

After his father Valerian I became emperor in 253 Gallienus entered into partnership as co-Augustus. To defend the Empire, Gallienus took control of problems in the western empire as his father headed towards the east. He spent most of his reign fighting the Germans in the Rhine and Danube regions and was given the title "Germanicus Maximus" five times between 255 and 258. A Danube invasion in early 258 cost Gallienus the life of his son "Valerian II", however Gallienus had to abandon the Danube campaign to repel an invasion by the Juthungi from across the Rhine against Italy itself. The Juthungi advanced nearly to Rome before they were forced to retreat. While retreating, they found Gallienus waiting near Milan where he severly defeated them.

The year 260 is considered the worst year in Roman history with the capture of Gallienus' father Valerian by Shapur I and around 7 revolts against their rule (Historia Augusta reports 30 revolts). Asia minor was in a state of chaos after the capture of Valerian with Macrianus and Quietus becoming rival emperors from Antioch, meanwhile Postumus set-up a rival Gallic empire in the west. Simultaneously there were revolts in Propontis, Syria, Egypt, Balkans and Gaul. Gallienus fought on and eventually restored order throughout most of the empire. He returned to Rome in 263 to celebrate his "decennalia". Shortly thereafter he turned his attention to Postumus in the west and by 265 he had trapped Postumus, but during the siege Gallienus was injured by an arrow and turned over command to his general Aureolus who failed to stop Postumus and may have let him escape. Gallienus and Postumus made a non-aggression pact.

Asia Minor had stabilized, as Odaenathus of Palmyra forced the Persians to sue for peace. However, Gallienus was concerned about the growing power of Palymyra. In 267 Odaenathus died and was succeded by his wife Zenobia as regent for their son. That same year or in early 268 the Goths and Heruli launched a massive assualt - said to consist of 2,000 ships and 320,000 soldiers. They attacked as far as Rhodes and Crete and were within site of Italy before they returned to pillage Thrace, Macedon, Thessaly and all of central Greece. As they were returning with their spoils Gallienus (greatly out numbered) defeated them with as many as 50,000 Gauls killed in a single day. Meanwhile Aureolus defected to Postumus and Gallienus had to abandon his Gothic war and returned to Milan where Aureolus was located. Gallienus took over the siege himself, but after only a couple of weeks Gallienus was murdered.