Postumus, Romano-Gallic Emperor, 260-269. Antoninianus (Billon, 21 mm, 3.45 g, 6 h), Cologne, early 268. POSTVMVS AVG Radiate bust of Postumus to left, in the guise of Hercules, holding club over his right shoulder and lion skin over his left. Rev. P M TR P VIIII COS IIII P P Bow, club and Skythian quiver. AGK (corr.) 65b. Cohen 282. Cunetio 2445. Elmer 560. RIC 292. Very rare and undoubtedly among the finest known. A wonderful, spectacular coin, beautifully toned, sharply struck and without the porosity and flatness that usually plague Postumus' late antoniniani. Thin flan crack, otherwise, good extremely fine.
Postumus' worship of his comes Hercules went far beyond the normal fondness of Roman generals for the belligerent hero. The Romano-Gallic usurper maintained a close relationship with Hercules ever since his insurrection in 260, in particular with Hercules Magusano and Hercules Deusoniensi, local cult forms that certainly reflect preferences by the Rhine Legions - the backbone of Postumus' power. The present issue, of which this is a particularly spectacular example, portrays the emperor in the guise of Hercules on the obverse, holding the hero's club in his right hand and with the lion skin draped over his left shoulder, whereas the reverse shows the demigod's trademark weapons: a bow, a quiver, and his redoubtable club.