|IMPORTANT ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR GALLIENUS AD 253-268
A remarkable, sensitively carved portrait showing the emperor in early manhood. Son of the emperor Valerian. Compared to other Roman emperors of the age, Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was an exception, as far as he was not a soldier-emperor. He was rather a thoughtful, intellectual ruler, possessing sophisticated Greek tastes.
Cf. Max Wegner, Das römische Herrscherbild Gordianus II to Carinus, Berlin 1979, pp. 106-120, pl. 45; pp. 108-110, no. 117f, pl. 45.
Ex R.F. collection, Brussels, acq. in the 1970s.
Ca. AD 260-268
H. 13 in. (33 cm.)
Art of the Ancient World, 2009, no. 18
FULL-SCREEN FLASH SLIDESHOW
|Between AD 254 to AD 256 he campaigned along the Danube, securing this troubled frontier against the barbarians. In AD 256 he then moved west to fight the Germans along the Rhine. But this success cannot disguise what was a desperate situation for Gallienus. The Franks were attacking in large numbers, crossing the Rhine and forcing their way into Gaul. Gallienus could do little but accept the establishment of a realm by the Marcomanni, north of the Danube -- a challenge earlier emperors would have never accepted. In order to come to peaceful terms with this new kingdom it is said that Gallienus even took a Marcomannic princess as a second wife. During the rest of his reign he was occupied with quelling rebellions and repulsing invasions until at the siege of Mediolanum, he was struck down in the dark as he emerged from his tent. In a final irony, he was deified by the senate at the request of emperor Claudius II Gothicus, one of the men who had brought about his assassination.|