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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ Valentinian IIView Options:  |  |  | 

Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

Valentinian II was the son of Valentinian I and declared Augustus shortly after his father's death. He seems to have exercised no real authority, and was a figurehead for various powerful interests: his mother, his co-emperors, and powerful generals. His influence steadily waned, and after the death of Gratian, he only controlled Italy. Although he and Theodosius II quickly repulsed the invasion of Magnus Maximus in 387 A.D., Theodosius remained in Milan until 391 and Valentinian took no part in the triumphal celebrations. Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius appointed his trusted general Arbogast, a Frank, as magister militum for the Western provinces (excluding Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. While the general campaigned successfully on the Rhine, the young emperor remained at Vienne, in contrast to his warrior father and his older brother, who had campaigned at his age. Valentinian II was strangled, probably on the order of Arbogastes.


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In 380, Rome's enemies the Germans, Sarmatians and Huns were taken into Imperial service; barbarian leaders began to play an increasingly active role in the Roman Empire.
RL74501. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 62(a)1 (S), LRBC II 1864, SRCV V 20340, Cohen VIII 12 corr., VF, interesting turrets, tight and slightly irregular flan, weight 0.925 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 345o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 384 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA REIPVBLICE (glory of the Republic), campgate with two turrets, A left, TES in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to the restoration of the Republic. The turreted woman symbolizes the cities and the state of Rome, grateful to the Emperor who lifts her up while he holds the world in his hand and is crowned by Victory.
RL84392. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Siscia 26(b)1, LRBC II 1513, SRCV V 20276, Cohen VIII 22, Hunter V 29 var. (2nd officina), Choice aVF, dark green patina, weight 6.099 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 45o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS IVN P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse REPARATIO REIPVB, emperor standing slightly left, head left, raising kneeling turreted woman before him with his right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, ASISC in exergue; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


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Valentinian II was declared Augustus shortly after his father's death. His influence steadily waned and after Gratian's death, he controlled only Italy. Although he and Theodosius II quickly repulsed the invasion of Magnus Maximus, his power waned again. He was strangled, probably at the orders of general Arbogastes.
RL86236. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Nicomedia 44(a)3-4 (S), LRBC II 2400, SRCV 20284, Cohen VIII 57, aVF, tight flan cutting off mintmark, weight 3.780 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI (courage of the army), emperor standing right, left foot on kneeling captive, vexillum in right hand, globe in left hand, palm frond in left field, SMNA or SMNB in exergue (off flan); scarce; $25.00 SALE PRICE $22.50







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNVALENTINIANVSIVNPFAVG
DNVALENTINIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Pearce, J.W.E. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Valentinian II