Coins of Trebonianus Gallus

Roman Emperor (AD 251-253)

Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, born to a high-ranking family in AD 206, followed the typical path of the Roman patrician through the imperial offices and became the provincial governor of Moesia Superior in 250. Gallus was victorius in battle against the Goths and was strongly favoured by the troops. He embodied all the characteristics of the “soldier-emperor” with his intimidating bearing and manner. Indeed, the army proclaimed him emperor after Decius’ death in battle in AD 251.

Gallus returned to Rome and made his son, Volusianus, his co-emperor. But the army’s favour was fickle. The soldiers soon proclaimed Aemilianus, the new governor of Moesia Superior, emperor, as he was seen to be more aggressive than Gallus in the war with the Goths. By the time Aemilianus marched into Italy in 253, Gallus and his son had already been murdered by their own soldiers.

AR Antoninianus, Rome
c. AD 251-253

Obverse:
Radiate bust of Gallus, draped and facing r. encircled by IMP <CAE> C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG

Reverse:
Aeternitas standing l. holding in r. hand a phoenix on globe, l. hand. raising skirt at side; encircled by AETERNITAS <AVG>