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Historical Article

Trebonianus Gallus - Cult of Juno Martialis



This medallion, in such fine a state of preservation, presents a stunningly detailed architectural type which is also present, though in a more modest form, on the silver and bronze coinage of these emperors. While both the obverse and reverse dies of this piece are known, there are no published examples of them used in conjunction. Furthermore, although this reverse type is paired with a confronted portrait type obverse (Gnecchi III 5), that obverse has Gallus and Volusian in the opposite positions. As mentioned above, Juno appears often as a type on the coinage of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian, both with her temple and as a solitary figure. While the militarism of their age certainly gives occasion for her appearance as martialis, the exact meaning or reason for types here are uncertain. A common theory is that Gallus promoted a new cult of Juno Martialis, which he promoted through his issues, but there is no corroborating evidence. Nonetheless, her appearance on a number of medallions indicates that she certainly held a position of great importance.

TREBONIANUS GALLUS, with VOLUSIAN. 251-253 AD. Æ Medallion (37mm, 56.28 g, 12h). IMP VOLVSIANVS AVG IMP GALLVS AVG, confronted laureate, draped, and cuirassed busts of Volusian, right, and Trebonianus Gallus, left / IVNONI M-ARTIALI, Temple of Juno: circular tetrastyle temple with Corinthian columns and ribbed dome, floral pattern at apex, large ornament and two garlands hang below dome; within, statue of Juno, holding two grain ears in extended right hand, seated facing on winged throne; to lower left, peacock standing left; between columns, urns(?) atop low pedestals. Gnecchi III 5, pl. 112, 1 var. = Banti 5 var. (on obverse, Gallus and Volusian in opposite positions); cf. Gnecchi III pl. 111, 9/5 (same obv./rev. die) = Froehner p. 207/208 (obv./rev.); cf. Grueber 5, pl. XLVI = Toynbee pl. XLV, 7 = Kent & Hirmer 474 (same rev. die; different obv. type); Tocci -; Dressel -.