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451, Lot: 390. Estimate $100.
Sold for $160. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Gallienus. AD 253-268. Antoninianus (20.5mm, 3.50 g, 1h). “Legionary series” issue. Mediolanum (Milan) mint. 2nd emission, AD 261. GALLIENVS AVG, radiated, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield / LEG VII CL VI P VI F, bull standing right. RIC V 348; MIR 36, 1006i; Toffanin 101/3; RSC 512; Cunetio 1465. Toned. VF. Good silver quality. Rare.

Legio VII Claudia was founded by Julius Caesar at the outset of his Gallic campaign, circa 58 BC, and remained loyal to him throughout the heavy fighting and civil conflict that followed. Its first cognomen, Paterna, derives from Caesar’s title of Pater Patriae (”father of the fatherland”). Caesar actually disbanded his seventh circa 45 BC and settled them near Capua, but after the Ides of March 44 BC, his nephew and heir Octavian quickly called up the veterans and re-formed Legio VII to back his successful bid for supreme power. Its postings during the early Empire are not well understood, although it likely fought in the Thracian campaigns of Augustus and shored up the Dalmatian frontier after the Varian disaster of AD 9. During the reign of Claudius, the Seventh refused to back a rebellion by the governor of Dalmatia, and was rewarded with the title Claudia Pia Fidelis (”loyal and dutiful Claudian”), which it retained to the end. It eventually settled into permanent quarters at Viminacium in Moesia Superior (modern Kostolac, Serbia) and was still recorded there at the end of the fourth century AD. Like many legions founded by Caesar, its symbol was his natal sign, the bull.