The Cologne Emperor

At the height of the Crisis of the Third Century, the Gallic Empire (260-274) emerges. An empire separated from the actual Roman Empire but still with all Roman characteristics. Except with having the city of Rome in it. With territories of all of Gaul, Spain, half of Germany and the Roman province of Britain, it takes one third of the Roman Empire away. And guess what. Our Cologne will be the capital of this Gallic Empire. It is a turbulent but sadly with only a few written sources. But we will do our best to decipher this time in the best possible way. Why it lived on for 14 years and why it collapsed anyway, we will learn in this episode.

The “Gallic Empire”

Click to enlarge all pictures: Territory of the Gallic Empire at is total geographical height in 263 CE. Cologne is described as “Colonia Agrippina
An Empire divided. The Roman Empire split in three. The rest and “official” Roman empire (red), Gallic Empire (green), Palmyrian Empire (yellow). Von Blank map of South Europe and North Africa.svg: historicair 23:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC) – Blank map of South Europe and North Africa.svgRomanworld271AD.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Postumus, Emperor of the “Gallic Empire”

Postumus as statue at the tower of the Cologne town hall. The town hall has important daughters and sons of the city as statues on its tower. © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), Rathausturm Köln – Konstantin der Große – Postumus-9897, Der Zuschnitt. Der Fokus soll hierbei auf Postumus liegen., CC BY-SA 4.0
An “Antoninian” silver coin with Postumus head on it as Emperor of the “Gallic Empire”
An “Aureus”, a gold coin. What is very remarkable is that we see Postumus’ face in front view. Up until then for centuries, faces have been portrayed sideways.

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