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Item Description:

These two coins were struck under Gallienus and Salonina, who were emperor and empress of the Roman Empire during the third century. The denomination of the coins is known as an antoninianus, which was a type of low grade, debased silver introduced earlier in the century.

Relatively little is known about Salonina, the wife of Emperor Gallienus. Gallienus began his rule jointly with his father Valerian. Valerian realized the empire had become too large to rule by himself, and decided to split the empire with Gallienus ruling the west and Valerian remaining in control of the eastern half. Gallienus’ reign initially found much success in fending off invading forces of German forces as well as Gaul, and his military accomplishments included expanding the role of the cavalry.

In 260, Valerian was defeated by the Sasanian Empire, leaving control of the entire Roman Empire to Gallienus. Without Valerian, the empire plunged into civil war, plagued with revolts, rebellion, and usurpers, notably, Postumus, who declared his own rule over what is now known as the Gallic Empire. Internal chaos was exacerbated by natural disasters that ran rampant through the Third Century, including plague and volatile weather that led to drought and famine. Despite his tumultuous and contentious reign, Gallienus managed 15 years in office, the longest of any emperor in half a century. While her fate is unclear, many historians believe Salonina was murdered alongside her husband in 268 during the Aureolus revolt.

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