ROMAN EMPIRE Postumus 259-268 AD antoninianus Cologne mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Postumus, 259-268 AD, antoninianus, no date (265-68 AD), Cologne mint, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, Reverse: Providentia standing L holding globe and scepter, PROVIDENTIA AVG, billon, 18-20mm, 4.03g, SR10979, XF

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Postumus was a general in Germany during the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus. After Valerian was captured by the Persians Gallienus sent his teenage son, Saloninus, to take command of the German war. Postumus thought he was doing quite well without any advice from a child, and got himself acclaimed by his troops. Gallienus was busy dealing with the Persians and let Postumus do his thing. The usurper managed to preserve his “Gallic Empire” for most of two decades and two successors. He was, as usual in that period, assassinated by his troops, who were annoyed when he forbade them to pillage after the capture of Mainz.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.