Rome, Gallienus Tyre mint AE28 253 - 268 AD

Obv: Laureated and drapped bust r
Rev: Kadmus battling snake

Metal: Bronze 15.51 Grams, 28 mm diameter. Condition: F

<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. Gallienus took control of problems in the western empire and Valerian in the east..

After his father's capture in the worst year in Roman History 260, Gallienus became sole emperor who struggled valiantly to maintain his own position and restore a measure of order to the shattered empire. Between 260 and 262 there were many claimants to the emperial throne including the new dynasty of Palmyrene in the East and the Gallic empire of Postumus' in the West. In 265, Gallienus led an unsuccessful attack on Postumus. In 267 the powerful eastern governor "Odaenathus" from Palmyria was murdered. If this murder had anything to do with Gallienus, the plan back-fired as the Palmyrians easily defeated the forces of the replacement governor sent by Gallienus and control of the east passed to the formidable widow of Odaenathus "Zenobia".

With his empire split, Gallieus faced yet another catastrophe when a joint force of Goths and Germans invaded. He successfully put down this costly invasion, but any celebration was quickly snuffed by in invasion of Italy by Aureolus of the Gallic empire. Gallienus sieged Aureolus in Milan, however he fell victim to a a conspiracy among his officers. One night after dark a messenger arrived with false news that the enemy was attacking. Disturbed by the news, Gallienus rushe- out without the protection of his usual bodyguard and was struck down by the commander of his Dalmatian cavalry, the new mobile striking force which he himself had created as part of his army reforms.

Gallienus was a patron of the arts and revoked the anti-Christian edicts of his father, which introduced a period of 40 years of religious tolerance. He introduced many reforms to the army and valiantly fought for 15 years to hold the ailing empire together. None-the-less, Gallienus was much maligned by the senators of his time and roman historians blamed him for the troubles and he became the scapegoat for these bad times with hardly a good word written on his behalf.