Roman Coins; Military Crisis of the 3rd Century Part II

Barbarian Invasions & The Breakup into 3 Separate Empires

At this time the Roman Empire was faced with many calamities

The regular Roman Empire with Gallienus, then Claudius II as Emperors
click on the coin for a view of both sides

Rome Crisis I Military
The Tetarchy of Diocletian
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pictures of coin coin notes history notes
of Nordic Legend
Sleipnir gold aureus
Germanic imitation aureus
unidentifiable Emperor portrait /
Sleipnir: the 8 legged horse of Odin
Leu Numismatik auct 7, 24 October, 2020, lot 1909
Aurum Barbarorum

This is a Gothic or Germanic imitation of a Roman gold aureus. While exactly which Emperor is depicted on the obv cannot be clearly determined, the engraver put the 8 legged horse of Nordic legend, Sleipnir, on the reverse. Sleipnir was exclusively ridden by Odin: the Norse God, except on one occasion when {I believe} he was loaned out to someone for a trip to the underworld. Thus presumably it is Odin shown on the reverse riding Sleipnir. It {he} was the fastest horse around; no doubt due to the 8 legs.

All 3 of the specimens of this coin are holed. They were made as such for wearing by local chieftins or war party leaders. Later, custom gold mounts were made attached to the coins. This coin was presumably made soon after 270 AD after the supply of official captured Roman gold dried up but before pieces with regular mounts instead of holes came into use.

At the Battle of Abritus (251 AD) a Roman army of 80,000 was lured into a swamp and destroyed by the Goths. Many of the Romans sank into the mud and the wounded and dead were unrecoverable. The Goths captured large amounts of Roman aureii and additional coins were given them as tribute.

These sources dried up after Aurelian (r. 270 - 275 AD) defeated the Gothic armies. Thus Gothic goldsmiths began to develop local copies of Roman aureii.

Leu Numismatik kindly allowed me to reprint their interesting article on the Aurum Barbarorum coinage
Aurum Barbarorum Collection

An interesting story on the gold aureus of Gallienus produced by stolen dies
Also by Leu Numismatik
Gallienus aureus from captured dies
antoninianus of Gallienus
Gallienus r. 253 - 268 A.D.
antoninianus, bronze with silver wash
bought at a coin show, 1989, wt= 3.339 g

Gallienus reigned from 253 - 268 A.D.

The antoninianus is a double denarius as evidenced by the spiked crown. This coin appears to be very low grade silver but I understand they are bronze with a thin silver surface coating. During this period the antoninianus declined from 20% to 4% silver. This one appears on the outside to be about 10% silver but may be less overall.
go to
to see a detailed writeup on the Roman antoninianus. This link & article doesn't work anymore, hoping to get the article to post here.

go to to see a website dedicated to the coins (almost entirely antoninianii) of Gallienus. Unfortunately it seems to be gone.

Here is another page dedicated to The Age of Gallienus, by Camden W. Percival. It appears under Forvm Ancient Coins.

It seems that websites dedicated to Gallienus are as unstable as his reign.

The Sucessionist Gallic Empire [Wikipaedia]

From 260 to 271 AD the NorthWest Roman Empire including Britain, Gaul, and Germania, and parts of Hispania were controlled by a rebel Emperor. This Separatist Gallic Empire was created by the general Postumus in command of Britain. The Gallic Emperors were: Postumus, Marius (just a short period), Victorinus, and Tetricus I and II.

Emperor 260 - 269 AD
double sestersius, bronze
CNG auction, ca. summer 2013
These pieces are quite common but have a huge range in weight. The exact denomination may be uncertain as one can find very heavy pieces as well as lighter ones where Postumus' Bust has the crown denoting a double denomination. I believe there is also a partially silver? denarius showing Postumus with a bare head but these are very expensive.

weight ~ 20 g ?

Emperor 269 - 271 AD
Frank S. Robinson fixed price list, c.1979 $15.

photo by Jeff Knee, weight = 1.680 g described in the 70's as crudely made but with much orginal red on surfaces; probably classed as mint state today

- or -
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Sucessionist Palmyrene Empire

Zenobia & her son Valabanthus led the Palmyrene Empire

Restored Roman Empire

bronze medallion of Claudius II
Claudius II   r. 268 - 270 A.D.
AE 42   medallion of Cyzicus Goldberg's auction, August, 2012
previously their auction in May, 2012
previously Gorney & Mosch, 2011, lot 2139

published wt is 49.06g from Goldberg's, I'll have to weigh it to make sure I wasn't cheated out of some bronze. AE medallion from Kyzikos (Cyzicus) obv Claudius II
rev Helios (the sun god) in a quadriga

Claudius II (Gothicus)was Caesar from 268 - 270 AD

denarius of Claudius II
Claudius II   r. 268 - 270 A.D.
bronze denarius
Leu Numismatik, Auction#4, 25 May, 2019, lot# 721

Claudius II Gothicus, 268-270. Denarius
(Orichalcum, 17 mm, 3.64 g, 12 h), Mediolanum, September 268-mid 269. IMP CLAVDIVS AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Claudius II to left, seen from behind. Rev. MARTI PROPVGNATORI Mars advancing right, holding transverse spear in his right hand and shield in his left. Cohen -. RIC -. RIC V online -. Unpublished and unique. A wonderful piece, beautifully struck on a very broad flan and with superb portrait of fine style. Extremely fine.

writeup and photo by Leu Numismatik
antoninianus of Probus
Probus r. 276 - 282 AD
Photo taken with inside lighting. Coin actually appears silver on the outside.

wt= 4.097g
Probus (also Gothicus) was Emperor from 276 - 282 AD.

Rome Crisis I Military
The Tetarchy of Diocletian
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