Trebonianus Gallus Bronze Coins

The reverse themes of Trebonianus Gallus' coins are very peaceful types involving personifications, Gods, and Goddesses of health, peace, healing, equality, concord, and liberty.  One late type adds Victory.  Two of these reverses are unique to Trebonianus' reign: APOLLO SALVTARI (to Apollo the Healer), and IVNONI MARTIALI  (Juno of Mars).  Both of these coins have been explained as appeals to the gods for healing from the devastating plague that ravaged the empire starting in Trebonianus' reign, but the Juno reverse is by no means certainly referring to that.

Trebonianus wished to express himself as a benevolent ruler more than as a General of the Army.  This is consistent with other numismatic evidence: when Trajan Decius was killed, Trebonianus adopted Hostilian as Augustus rather than Trebonianus own, older son Volusian.  Trebonianus also did not confer the Title of Augusta to his own wife since Herennia Etruscilla still held that title.  These acts are in keeping with a man of conscience.  Perhaps too, Trebonianus wanted to play up these characteristics to down play the peace that he bought from the Goths.  Paying tribute to these barbarians was a blow to Roman pride and the and so when Aemilian drove back the Goths, it is not surprising that there was great jubilation and a desire to replace the 'inadequate general'.  Here are some good  portraits of Gallus

 

 

 

 

98

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Likely a small medallion not intended for circulation.

rev.PONTIF MAX TRPIICOSII SC Gallus and Volusian seated facing in Quadrig, crowned by Victory between them.  Three soldier with palms, one with shield also.

99

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Reverse proper to Volusian

rev.PM TRP IIII COS IIPP  Genius of Senate stg. l., holding branch and transverse scepter.

100 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

One of the two types of dated Trebonianus sestertii.  Both types are listed as rare, but I have seen only a couple of RIC 99 and many of these. 

Note the TR.P. IIII COS II:  How do we account for Tribune year 4, when Trebonianus only reigned two years?  Also, there are no coins from year 1 and 2 (except a very rare As does have TR.P.II).  One scholar has suggested that Trebonianus had adopted himself into Trajan Decius' family and had not simply adopted adopted Hostilian as a son.  If this were true, Trebonianus, just as Decius' other 'sons', could use the parent's title on their coins.

18.1 g

rev. P M TR P IIII COS II P P SC   Emperor stg. l. sacrificing over lighted tripod and holding short sceptre.
100 var obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

This is the only coin of Trebonianus that I have ever seen with " TRP III".   The whole subject of the dating of Trebonianus' coins and reign is dealt with in detail in RIC.  I can find no evidence of tooling but I can not be sure that this is not just a normal type that, for some reason intentional or not, has lost a numeral.

Ex-Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger Auction 376 (who noted the unusual date and apparently believed the coin was unaltered).

rev. P M TR P III COS II P P SC   Emperor  stg. l., sacrificing over lighted tripod and holding short sceptre

101

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Reverse proper to Volusian

AEQVITAS AVGG SC  Aequitas stg. l., holding scales and cornucopiae

102 obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Perhaps the last coin to celebrate Rome's 1000th anniversary of 248AD.  Philip had issued a whole series of coins, and Decius had issued the DIVO antoninianii series which had continued on under Gallus (mules exist of DIVO series coins with obverses of Volusian and Gallus).

AETERNITAS AVGG SC  Aeternitias stg. l., holding phoenix on globe and raising skirt
103 obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 20.7g ex-Astarte

APOLL SALVTARI SC  Apollo stg. l., holding branch and leaning on lyre, set on rock.
103 var

unlisted

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

RIC only lists this As with APOLLO (RIC 104b) and not APOLL.  I have seen one other of these, at cgb.fr

 

 

APOLL SALVTARI SC  Apollo stg. l., holding branch and leaning on lyre, set on rock.
104a obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Same as above except "APOLLO" instead of "APOLL."  This type is much rarer. 

 

 

APOLLO SALVTARI SC  Apollo stg. l., holding branch and leaning on lyre, set on rock.
104b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

From the collection of Niklovitz, Auktion L. Hamburger[76] 10/19/1925 and Leo Benz,  Lanz Auction 100 (2000) lot 318, and Jacquier List 36 (2009).   8.45 g

APOLLO SALVTARI SC  Apollo stg. l., holding branch and leaning on lyre, set on rock.
105a obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Reverse proper to Volusian. 

CONCORDIA AVGG SC  Concordia stg. l., holding patera left and double cornucopias right. S_C across fields.
105b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

CONCORDIA AVGG SC  Concordia stg. l., holding patera left and double cornucopias right. S_C across fields.
106a obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Reverse proper to Volusian.  A very rare type. Bottom coin available for sale/trade.

CONCORDIA AVGG SC  Concordia std. l., holding patera and double cornucopias.
106b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

 

CONCORDIA AVGG SC  Concordia std. l., holding patera and double cornucopias.

107

obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Very rare, early type.

rev. FELICITAS PVBLICA SC  Felicitas stg. l., holding long cadaceus and cornucopiae.

108a

obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Reverse proper to Volusian

rev. FELICITAS PVBLICA SC  Felicitas stg. l., holding cadaceus and transverse sceptre, leaning on column.

108b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

 

rev. FELICITAS PVBLICA SC  Felicitas stg. l., holding cadaceus and transverse sceptre, leaning on column.

109 obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

This coin from "Collection E P Nicolas", Paris, 9-10 mars 1982, Drouot, estimate 3800 FF, sold 4600 FF

 

IVNONI MARTIALI SC Juno std. l., holding corn ears and globe.
110a corr obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

Cohen correctly did not list this type as having a peacock next to Juno.  RIC incorrectly states "Cohen omits peacock in error".  The peacock is only found on the tetrastyle temple types

Juno Martialis is found exclusively on the coins of Gallus.  Juno is the wife of Jupiter and Martialis mean "of Mars".  This could then mean "to the warlike Juno" since Mars is the god of war (and Juno's son) and it has been conjectured that it is an appeal to Juno (who was worshipped as a goddess of healing in addition to other attributes) to fight the terrible plague that ravaged the empire.  (continued below)

20.07g (no peacock)

 

IVNONI MARTIALI SC  Juno seated front in round distyle temple
110b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right Reverse proper to Volusian
IVNONI MARTIALI SC  Juno seated front in round distyle temple, peacock at her side.
111 As above two small figures by Juno

I've seen the BM coin that RIC describes as - "two small children"; this seems like artistic license used on what the rest of us would call urns.

112 obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

  (continued from RIC 110a var above) Others believe that the "Of Mars" refers to "of the month of March".  Juno Martialis had a festival on March 7, and Juno Martialis may be identified with Juno Perusina of Perugia, Italy - Trebonianus' home town that received special favors from him.  A third theory is that as goddess of fertility, "Juno Martialis" is just referring to Juno as being the mother of Mars.  The fourth theory is that these coins are in honor of his wife, Baebiana, who had not been elevated to Augusta in favor of allowing Herennia Etruscilla to retain her title.

Ex:  Frank L. Kovacs, San Francisco lot viewing June 6, 1999 (ZEJH)

IVNONI MARTIALI SC  Juno seated front in round tetrastyle temple, peacock at her side.
112 var obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 RIC incorrectly states that this variation doesn't exist

IVNONI MARTIALI SC  Juno seated front in round tetrastyle temple,  no peacock
113 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Liberalitus: Initially the personification of generosity, it came to specifically mean the spirit of the emperor's donative to the soldiers. 

LIBERALITAS AVGG  Liberalitas stg. l., holding abacus and cornucopiae
114a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

21.0 grams

LIBERTAS AVGG SC  Libertas stg. l., holding pileus and sceptre.
114a var obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right, right shoulder back

A very rare bust type.  I have seen a total of five of these on coins of Gallus and Volusian, all different reverses.  I think the obverse die was made for medallions.

LIBERTAS AVGG SC  Libertas stg. l., holding pileus and sceptre.
114b As obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Obverse inscription is normal to sestertii and not middle bronzes.  This type likely an error in RIC and not actually exist.    
LIBERTAS AVGG SC
114c

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Libertas:  The spirit of Liberty.

Pileus: Skullcap (note that early American personifications of liberty often had the "Liberty Cap" too).

 

 

LIBERTAS AVGG SC  Libertas stg. l., holding pileus and sceptre.

unlisted

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right Listed in Cohen but Mattingly could not find an example so it was not included in RIC.  I know of only this coin and one other (in a New York collection).

rev. MARTI PACIFERO

115a

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right This reverse, as with almost all the coins of Gallus and Volusian, is proper to only one emperor for each metal.  In this case, sestertii with PAX (holding branh down) are normal to Volusian (approximately 15 to 1 ratio).  The scarcer coins that are made for the other emperor are normally attributed to accidental mixing of dies (mules), but the coin below doesn't follow that rule.  See a detailed comparison of the types here.

rev. PAX AVGG  Pax stg l., raising palm branch and holding transverse sceptre

115a var

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right, right shoulder back Unlisted bust type (medallion dies) - right shoulder back

rev. PAX AVGG  Pax stg l., raising palm branch and holding transverse sceptre

115a

var

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right Although the PAX reverse is normal to Volusian, this one die with Pax lowering the palm branch seems exclusive to Gallus.  I have seen five of them and none of Volusian.  This appears to be at odds with the common view of Gallus' coinage.  Find out more about the odd use of PAX on Gallus' coins.

rev. PAX AVGG  Pax stg l., lowering palm branch and holding transverse sceptre

115b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. PAX AVGG  Pax stg l., raising palm branch and holding transverse sceptre

116a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Pietas:  The personification of Duty, she had a festival on December 1.

PIETAS AVGG SC  Pietas veiled, stg. l., raising both hands.
116b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. PIETAS AVGG SC  Pietas veiled, stg. l., raising both hands.

116c

Dp

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Radiate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. PIETAS AVGG SC  Pietas veiled, stg. l., raising both hands.
117a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Same as above but with altar.  Both Trebonianus Gallus and Trajan Decius get a lot of extra RIC numbers from moving this podium on and off stage.  34mm (unusually large flan)

PIETAS AVGG SC  Pietas veiled, stg. l., raising both hands, altar left.
117b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

The mint took a great care in making the few middle bronzes that were struck.  These coins are almost always round, centered, and with an attractive, good-relief portrait.  Sestertii were not struck with the same consistent quality.

top coin: one of the nices middle bronzes I have seen of this period.  Thanks to my friend RB for helping me to get it!

bottom coin 9.7 grams

PIETAS AVGG SC  Pietas veiled, stg. l., raising both hands, altar left.
118 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right I know of only one example - in the British Museum.  That coin has the medallic obverse bust (laureate draped cuirassed bust right, right shoulder back) which can also see on one example of RIC 114a above.
PRINCIPI IVVENT SC  Apollo Seated l., holding branch and resting elbow on lyre.
119

As

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right Reverse proper to Hostilian as Caesar
PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS SC  Apollo Seated l., holding branch and resting elbow on lyre.
unlisted obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right Reverse proper to Volusian: I have seen two examples of this.  Here a nice one.

 

PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS SC  Volusian stg. l., holding wand and spear.
120 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

RIC has a footnote questioning the existence of this type and stating that the design is unusual for Trebonianus.  The type is hardly rare in bronze but very rare in silver.  Most of Gallus early coin designs are common in one metal, but very rare in the other.  VOTIS DECENNALIBVS, LIBERALITAS, and ROMAE AETERNAE are common in bronze but very rare in silver.  MARTI PACIFERO and PROVIDENTIA are fairly common in silver but extremely rare in bronze.

ROMAE AETERNAE SC  Roma std. l., holding Victory and spear, shield at her side.
unlisted

Dupondius

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Radiate draped cuirassed bust right Not mentioned in any reference.  8.9 grams.
ROMAE AETERNAE SC  Roma std. l., holding Victory and spear, shield at her side.
121a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Salus, goddess of Health and preservation.  She feeds a sacred snake from a patera (a shallow circular vessel used for drinking or for pouring libations). Medallic flan: 34mm,  21.95g.   I have seen only a handful of Gallus sestertii on this sort of flan - they were quite possibly presentation pieces.

 

 

SALVS AVGG SC  Salus stg. r., holding snake in arms.
121b

As

IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. SALVS AVGG SC  Salus stg. r., holding snake in arms.
122a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

This comes from Trebonianus' first issue.  First coin has a perfect untouched patina.

rev. SALVS AVGG SC  Salus stg. l., snake coiled around altar and holding sceptre
122b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. SALVS AVGG SC  Salus stg. l., snake coiled around altar and holding sceptre
123

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

A rare early type having the interesting "AVGVS" instead of AVGG.  Could this be a special issue after the death of Hostilian but before Volusian was elevated to Augustus?  I asked Curtis Clay of HJB and he explained that AVGVS is ambiguous as to the number of augustii, since it could mean either AVGVStorum (singular) or AVGVStii (multiple).  Furthermore, since sestertii of Hostilian as Augustus were issued with the same SALVS reverse, it is unlikely this coin started after his death.

SALUS AVGVS SC  Salus stg. l., feeding snake coiled around altar and holding sceptre.
Sestertius

unlisted

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

There is one of these in the Glasgow Hunter Coin Cabinet (plate 84, no.45).  It is a mule with reverse of Hostilian AVG.

SALUS AVGVS SC  Salus stg. l., feeding snake coiled around altar and holding sceptre.
124 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

This reverse is usual for Hostilian (as Augustus). 

SECVRITAS AVGG SC  Securitas stg. r., legs crossed, placing r. hand on head and leaning on column.
125 obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

RIC incorrectly reports the reverse as AVG (vice AVGG). 

 

rev. VICTORIA AVGG SC  Victory stg. l., holding wreath and palm. 
Unlisted obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

Very unusual in that it shows Victory advancing left instead of standing, and the reverse legend ends in 'AVG'.  I have only seen one other of these (in ARSANTIQVA 2003). The portrait looks very much like Aemilian.

rev. VICTORIA AVG SC  Victory running. l., holding wreath and palm. 
126a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

This coin is not only beautiful; it is a whopping 26.93 grams.  It's the biggest coin of Trebonianus I have but I have seen pictures of a few heavier coins, including a 29 gram sestertius of Gallus.

VIRTVS AVGG SC  Virtus stg. l., resting r. hand on shield and holding spear.
126a var

 unlisted

obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right, right shoulder back

Obverse struck with a medallion die.  There was a die match (obverse and reverse) of this coin in an old cgb.fr sale.

VIRTVS AVGG SC  Virtus stg. l., resting r. hand on shield and holding spear.
126b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

VIRTVS AVGG SC  Virtus stg. l., resting r. hand on shield and holding spear.
127a obv. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. VOTIS DECENNALIBVS SC in laurel wreath
126b

As

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

 

rev. VOTIS DECENNALIBVS SC in laurel wreath 
127c

Dp

obv. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG  Radiate draped cuirassed bust right

Extremely rare denomination for this emperor.  11.1g.  Many thanks to my friend Rafaelle for finding this coin.   

rev. VOTIS DECENNALIBVS  in laurel wreath


 

Fakes

110a obv.. IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG  Laureate draped cuirassed bust right

   

 I bought this cast and patinated Gallus sestertius on eBay.  It was sold as a copy, but I have seen identical examples sold as genuine.

IVNONI MARTIALI SC  Juno seated front in round distyle temple, peacock at her side.

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