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Encyclopedia > Gallienus
Gallienus
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Image:Gallienus.jpg
Bust of Gallienus
Reign 253-260 with Valerian;
260-268 alone
Full name Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus
Born c. 200
Died 268
Milan
Predecessor Aemilianus
Successor Claudius II
Wife/wives Cornelia Salonina
Issue Valerianus, Saloninus, Egnatius Marinianus
Father Valerian
Mother Egnatia Mariniana
Gallienus depicted on a lead seal
Gallienus depicted on a lead seal

Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (218-268) ruled the Roman Empire as co-emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and then as the sole Roman Emperor from 260 to 268. He took control of the empire at a time when it was undergoing great crisis. His record in dealing with those crises is mixed, as he won a number of military victories but was unable to keep much of his realm from seceding. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, c. ... For the book see 253 (book). ... Events Valerian I captured by the Persian king Shapur I; Gallienus becomes sole Roman emperor. ... Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ... Events Valerian I captured by the Persian king Shapur I; Gallienus becomes sole Roman emperor. ... Events The Alamanni invade Italy. ... For other uses, see number 200. ... Events The Alamanni invade Italy. ... Milan (Italian: ; Lombard: Milán (listen)) is one of the biggest cities in Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. ... Aemilianus celebrating peace-maker Mars god of war. ... Claudius Gothicus on a coin celebrating his equity (AEQUITAS AUGUSTI). ... This arch, a gate in the Servian Walls of Rome, was dedicate to Gallienus and SALONINAE SANCTISSIMAE AUG, to Salonina most holy Augusta Cornelia Salonina (d. ... Cornelius Licinius Valerianus, also known as Valerian II, was the eldest son of Roman Emperor Gallienus and Augusta Cornelia Salonina. ... Publius Licinius Cornelius Saloninus (242 - 260) was Roman Emperor in 260. ... Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ... Egnatia Mariniana probably was the wife of Roman Emperor Valerian and mother of Emperor Gallienus. ... Gallienus (260-268) depicted on a lead seal. ... Gallienus (260-268) depicted on a lead seal. ... Seal on envelope A seal is an impression printed on, embossed upon, or affixed to a document (or any other object) in order to authenticate it, in lieu of or in addition to a signature. ... May 16 - Elagabalus is declared Roman Emperor. ... Events The Alamanni invade Italy. ... Motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, c. ... Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ... For the book see 253 (book). ... Events Valerian I captured by the Persian king Shapur I; Gallienus becomes sole Roman emperor. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Events The Alamanni invade Italy. ...

Contents

Life

Rise to power

Gallienus was born around 218 to Valerian and Mariniana, a woman possibly of senatorial rank and daughter of Egnatius Victor Marinianus. Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ... Egnatia Mariniana probably was the wife of Roman Emperor Valerian and mother of Emperor Gallienus. ...


When his father Valerian was proclaimed emperor, he asked the Senate to ratify Gallienus' elevation to Augustus, in order to share the power between two persons. As Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Lucius Verus had done a hundred years before them, Gallienus and his father divided the Empire; Valerian struck for the East to stem the Persian threat and Gallienus remained in Italy to repel the Germanic tribes on the Rhine and Danube. This policy made sense not simply because the unhappy fates of several Emperors previous to this duo had made it clear that one man simply could not rule a state this size; equally, a 'barbarian' enemy suing for peace in this time tended to demand that they be allowed to apply to the 'chief' or 'king' of the victorious side. Therefore, an Emperor had to be available to negotiate if such a situation arose. Valerian on a coin celebrating goddess Fortuna, associated with health and wealth. ... Augustus (plural augusti) is Latin for majestic, the increaser, or venerable. The feminine form is Augusta. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ...


Reign

One of the key characteristics of the Crisis of the Third Century was the inability of the Emperors to maintain their hold on the Imperium for any marked length of time. An exception to this rule was the reign of the Emperor Gallienus. That Gallienus served as junior Emperor with his father from 253 to 260 may have had something to do with his successes. Father and son did each wield his authority over a smaller area, thus allowing for more flexible control. Another, more probable reason, lay in Gallienus' success in convincing Rome that he was the best man for the job. However, Gallienus still had to handle many rebellions of the so-called "Gallienus usurpers". Emperor Maximinus Thrax, ruled 235-238, was the first of the emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century. ... ΧÉThe Gallienus usurpers were the usurpers who claimed imperial power during the reign of Gallienus (253–268). ...


Little time was allowed this emperor for anything but the defense of the realm, but unlike some who occupied the throne before and after him, Gallienus appeared to understand that the Empire's history had to be preserved if it were to have been worth fighting for. Culture and the ancient humanities required promotion, and Gallienus was up to the task when he was allowed a breath. Traveling to Attica in Greece, he had himself initiated into the mystery-cult of Eleusis and encouraged others to do the same. His coin series (further elucidated below), in which he was depicted in the guise of several Greek deities, powerfully reminded ordinary Romans of the Hellenic side of their own culture. And Plotinus of Lycopolis, referred to as 'the last man of antiquity' by German historian Ivar Lissner, was encouraged and patronized by the Roman royal family during this time. Given Plotinus' Neo-Platonist beliefs and their concentrated nature centering about an ur-Soul or nous, it is very possible that Gallienus, in an attempt to counter Christianity, sought to curb its growth via some method other than persecution. For this he is well spoken of in Eusebius' Ecclesiastia Historica, just as he is not as fondly recalled for losing Gaul in Eutropius' Breviarium. Plotinus Plotinus (Greek: ) (ca. ... Eusebius is the name of several significant historical people: Pope Eusebius - Pope in AD 309 - 310. ...


In 260, Valerian was taken prisoner by Shapur I, ruler of the Sassanid Empire, while trying to negotiate a peace settlement. Although aware that his father had been taken alive (the only emperor to have suffered this fate), Gallienus did not make public Valerian's death until a year later. His decision hinged on the fact that Romans believed that their fate rose and fell with the fate of the emperor, which in turn depended upon his demonstrating the proper amount of piety (Latin pietas) to the gods and maintaining their favor. A defeated emperor would surely have meant that the gods had forsaken Valerian and, by extension, Gallienus. This belief had a point: after all, the Persians looted and murdered at will after Valerian was captured. It took a rally by a general full named Callistus, a prefect full named Macrianus, the remains of the Eastern Roman legions and one Odaenathus and his Palmyrene horsemen to turn the tide against Shapur. A coin of Shapur I. Shapur I, son of Ardashir I (226–241), was King of Persia from 241 to 272. ... The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Empire (Persian: ‎ Sasanian) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226 - 651). ... Pietas, as virtue of the Roman Emperor Herennius Etruscus, celebrated with the instruments of cult, such as patera and lituus. ... Roman mythology can be considered as two parts. ... Septimius Odaenathus, or Odenatus (Greek: (Hodainathos), Palmyrene אחינל = little ear), the Latinized form of Odainath, was a famous prince of Palmyra, in the second half of the 3rd century AD, who succeeded in recovering the Roman East from the Persians and restoring it to the Empire. ... A general view of the site Palmyra was in the ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. ...

Arch of Gallienus in Rome, 262 - dedicated to, rather than built by, Gallienus.
Arch of Gallienus in Rome, 262 - dedicated to, rather than built by, Gallienus.

Gallienus's chief method of reinforcing his position is seen in the coinage produced during his reign. The coins, especially those which full name-check the gods, provide clear evidence of a successful propaganda campaign in a time previous to television or newspapers. Quite a few of the Roman mints' issue had images of soldiers and the legend FIDES MILITVM ("loyalty of the soldiers") as well, despite the constant usurper problems. Gallienus took pains to make sure that he was regularly represented as victorious, merciful, and pious. The peasants and merchants who used these coins on a daily basis saw these messages and, with little evidence to the contrary, remained supportive of their Emperor. Word of mouth, one hoped (and Rome's rumor mill was second to none in the ancient world), did the rest. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1524x2032, 786 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gallienus Cornelia Salonina Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1524x2032, 786 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gallienus Cornelia Salonina Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Arch of Gallienus, Rome Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Arco di Gallieno // The Arch of Gallienus was built in Rome in 262 on the site of the Porta Esquilina, the start of the via Labicana and via Tiburtina. ... // Events Births Deaths Xi Kang, author Other Often associated with the legendary Laurence 262, whos origins are unknown. ... The main Roman currency during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including the aureus (gold), the denarius (silver), the sestertius (bronze), the dupondius (bronze), and the as (copper). ...


There were, however, those who knew better. Propaganda worked both ways; several comedians ambled through the triumphal procession in Rome that Gallienus staged in 263 to commemorate his decennalia (tenth anniversary on the throne). When asked what they were doing, they answered that they were searching for the Emperor's father. As if anticipating this, Gallienus had had a number of men dressed in Persian costumes to resemble prisoners of war.[citation needed] Events The Wei Kingdom conquered the kingdom of Shu Han, one of the Chinese Three Kingdoms. ...


During Gallienus' reign, there was constant fighting on the western fringes of the Empire. As early as 258, Gallienus had lost control over a large part of Gaul, where another general, Postumus, had declared his own realm (typically known today as the Gallic Empire). As Gallienus' influence waned, another general came to the fore. In time-honored tradition, Claudius II Gothicus gained the loyalty of the army and succeeded Gallienus to the Imperium. Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus was emperor of the Gallic Empire from AD 259 to 268. ... The Gallic Empire (in Latin, imperium Galliarum) is the modern name for the independent realm that lived a brief existence during the Roman Empires Crisis of the Third Century, from 260 to 274. ... Claudius Gothicus on a coin celebrating his equity (AEQUITAS AUGUSTI). ...


Death

In the months leading up to his mysterious death in September of 268, Gallienus was ironically orchestrating the greatest achievements of his reign. An invasion of Goths into the province of Pannonia was leading to disaster and even threatening Rome, while at the same time, the Alamanni were raising havoc in the northern part of Italy. Gallienus halted the progress of the Allamani by defeating them in battle in April 268, then turned north and won several victories over the Goths. That fall, he turned on the Goths once again, and in September either he or Claudius, his leading general, led the Roman army to victory (although the cavalry commander Aurelian was the real victor) at the Battle of Naissus. Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche, is a highly romanticized portrait of the Goths as cavalrymen. ... Position of the Roman province of Pannonia Pannonia is an ancient country bounded north and east by the Danube, conterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. ... area settled by the Alamanni, and sites of Roman-Alamannic battles, 3rd to 6th century The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Main, land that is today part of Germany. ... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus (September 9, 214–275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Combatants Roman Empire Goths Commanders Gallienus Aurelius Claudius (commander in chief) Domitius Aurelianus (cavalry commander) Strength unknown unknown Casualties unknown 30,000 to 50,000 The Battle of Naissus took place in September of 268 between the armies of the Goths and forces of the Roman Empire, led by Emperor...


At some time following this battle, Gallienus' authority was challenged by Aureolus, commander of the field army in Mediolanum (Milan), who supported Postumus. Gallienus moved to lay siege to Mediolanum, but during the siege he was murdered. Manius Acilius Aureolus (d. ... Arcadius solidus, from Mediolanum mint, 400s. ... Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus was emperor of the Gallic Empire from AD 259 to 268. ...


There are different accounts of the murder. According to the Historia Augusta, an unreliable source compiled long after the events it describes[1], a conspiracy was led by the commander of the guard Aurelianus Heraclianus and Marcianus. Cecropius, commander of the Dalmatians, spread the word that Aureolus was leaving the city, and Gallienus left his tent without his bodyguard, only to be struck down by Cecropius (Historia Augusta - Gallieni, xiv.4-11). One version has Claudius selected as emperor by the conspirators, another chosen by Gallienus on his death bed; the Historia Augusta was concerned to substantiate the descent of the Constantinian dynasty from Claudius, and this may explain its accounts which do not involve Claudius in the murder. The other sources, (Zosimus i.40 and Zonaras xii.25, report that the conspiracy was organized by Heraclianus, Claudius and Aurelian. The Augustan History (Lat. ... Imperator Caesar Flavius Marcianus Augustus or Marcian (c. ... Category: ... For the pope of this name see Pope Zosimus Zosimus, Greek historical writer, nourished at Constantinople during the second half of the 5th century A.D. According to Photius, he was a count, and held the office of advocate of the imperial treasury. ... Joannes (John) Zonaras, Byzantine chronicler and theologian, flourished at Constantinople in the 12th century. ...


Gallienus' wife, Cornelia Salonina, had given him three sons: Valerianus (who died in 258), Saloninus (who, after becoming co-emperor, died in 260 by the hand of his tutor Postumus), and Egnatius Marinianus (consul in 268). Claudius spared the lives of Gallienus' family and declared his predecessor deified. This arch, a gate in the Servian Walls of Rome, was dedicate to Gallienus and SALONINAE SANCTISSIMAE AUG, to Salonina most holy Augusta Cornelia Salonina (d. ... Cornelius Licinius Valerianus, also known as Valerian II, was the eldest son of Roman Emperor Gallienus and Augusta Cornelia Salonina. ... Publius Licinius Cornelius Saloninus (242 - 260) was Roman Emperor in 260. ...


Legacy

Gallienus has been dealt with harshly by ancient historians, partly due to the secession of Gaul and his inability to get it back. According to the modern scholar Pat Southern, however, some historians now see him in a more positive light. Gallienus was the father of some important reforms, including the creation of a more mobile cavalry, which could better deal with sudden security threats. This reform arguably created a precedent for the future emperors Diocletian and Constantine I. The historian Aurelius Victor also reports that Gallienus forbade senators from becoming military commanders. This policy undermined senatorial power, as more reliable equite commanders rose to prominence. In Southern's opinion, these reforms and the decline in senatorial influence not only helped Aurelian to salvage the Empire, but they also make Gallienus one of the emperors most responsible for the creation of the dominate, along with Septimius Severus, Diocletian and Constantine. In his accessing the costumes of the gods on the coins he issued during his reign, Gallienus began the final separation of the Emperor from his subjects. A late bust of Gallienus (see above) shows him of largely blank face and gazing heavenward as we see on the famous stone head of Constantine I. One of the last rulers of Rome to be theoretically called "Princeps" or First Citizen, Gallienus' shrewd self-promotion assisted in paving the way for those who would be addressed with the words "Dominus et Deus" (Lord and God). Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ( 245– 312), born Diocles (Greek Διοκλής) and known in English as Diocletian,[1] was Roman Emperor from November 20, 284 to May 1, 305. ... Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ... Sextus Aurelius Victor, prefect of Pannonia about 360 ( xxi. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... An Equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites) was a member of one of the two upper social classes in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. ... The Dominate was the despotic last of the two phases of government in the ancient Roman Empire between its establishment in 27 BC and the formal date of the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ...

References

  • John Bray, Gallienus : A Study in Reformist and Sexual Politics
  • Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.
  • Ivar Lissner, "Power and Folly; The Story of the Caesars". Jonathan Cape Ltd., London, 1958.
  • A H M Jones, Ammianus and the Historia Augusta, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1968

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Gallienus
Preceded by
Valerian
Roman Emperor
260–268
with Valerian (253–260) and Saloninus (260)
Succeeded by
Claudius II

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