LYDIA. Nysa. Gallienus, 253-268. Hexassarion (?) (Bronze, 31 mm, 10.40 g, 7 h), Kol. Pollionos, grammateus, 253-260. ΠΟ ΛΙKINN ΓΑΛΛIHNOC K Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gallienus to right, seen from behind. Rev. EΠI ΓP KΩΛ ΠΩΛΛIΩNOC - NYCAEΩN A two-storied structure (stoa?) with five statues atop; to left, two male figures (Valerian and Gallienus?), one holding scepter or spear and the other raising his right hand in salute; in the middle, a female figure (Victory or the city-goddess?) standing left; to right, two attendants standing left, greeting the figures on the left; above, [ΔΩPЄA]. BMC -. Imhoof-Blumer, AGM, in: SNR XIX (1913), 154 and pl. II, 16 = Winterthur 3517 (same dies). SNG Copenhagen -. SNG Leypold -. SNG von Aulock -. Extremely rare and of great interest. Sharply struck and perhaps the best of very few known examples. Somewhat smoothed and with a flan flaw on the neck, otherwise, good very fine.
The identification of the building on the reverse of this enigmatic issue is seriously hampered by its stylized rendering and the lack of any distinct architectural features. That it must have been a structure of monumental size derives from the group of five statues which it supports and from the fact that it apparently was, as the coins show, a source of local pride. The designation of the building as a ΔΩPЄA, a donation or a present, indicates that its (re)construction was financed either by a local benefactor or, more plausibly, by the imperial family as a form of euergetism to the city. If the latter is true, the identification of the two figures on the left as the two emperors Valerian I and Gallienus, who are being hailed by the city-goddess and two local dignitaries on the right, becomes rather convincing. Based on the comparison with a 1st century issue from Nicaea (SNG von Aulock 7012), Bloesch has suggested that we may be looking at a stylized rendering of a two-storied stoa, much like the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos in Athens. Modern excavations have, in fact, brought to light such a stoa on the eastern end of the Nysaean agora, which might have been repaired or reconstructed under Valerian I and Gallienus, prompting the city to commemorate the benefaction with a coin emission.