Volusian, 251-253. Medallion (Bimetallic, 37 mm, 51.37 g, 12 h), Rome, late 251-early 252. IMP CAE C VIB VOLVSIANO AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Volusian to right. Rev. ADVENTVS AVGG Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian on horseback to left, raising their right hands in salute, led by Victory hurrying to left and holding wreath and palm; behind, two soldiers walking left, carrying shields and spears; in the back, vexillum and two signa; above, eagle flying left, crowning the emperors with a wreath. BMC Roman Medallions p. 60, 2 = Cohen 3 = Gnecchi p. 104, 1. Froehner -. Toynbee -. Of the highest rarity, the second and best known example. A spectacular bimetallic medallion of great beauty, bodly struck and with a superb portrait struck in high relief and a delightful reverse composition. Slightly smoothed and with minor nicks on the obverse and light doubling on the reverse , otherwise, good very fine.
Volusian's father Trebonianus Gallus was appointed emperor by the Danubian legions following Decius' death in the lost Battle of Abrittus. To avoid a civil war, Gallus accepted the co-rule of Decius' son Hostilian and made peace with the Goths before moving to the capital in summer 251. Hostilian died soon thereafter, be it due to the plague or by the order of Gallus, and the emperor's son Volusian became the second Augustus. The wonderful reverse of our impressive bimetallic medallion shows us the arrival of the victorious emperor and his son in the Eternal City, ignoring not only that Gallus' co-ruler had actually been Hostilian at that time, but also the fact that Gallus had been forced to agree to a humiliating peace treaty with the Gothic invaders. The medallion was likely produced in late 251 to be used as a New Year's gift on 1 January 252. It is a classic example of Roman imperial propaganda and undoubtedly one of the most impressive medallions from the troubled reign of Gallus and Volusian in existence.