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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and Decline| ▸ |Valerian I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

Valerian I was proclaimed emperor after the death of Trajan Decius. He successfully repulsed many barbarian incursions but the standard of living declined and would never recover. In 260 A.D., after four years of war during which Roman forces suffered great losses in battle and to a plague, he arranged for peace talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian emperor Sapor and was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown, but in Rome, it was rumored that he had been murdered and that Sapor was using his stuffed body as a footstool.


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB92356. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 22g, RIC V-1 160, SRCV III 10012, Cohen V 70, Hunter IV - (p. xxxiv), VF, excellent portrait, centered on a tight flan, smoothing, weight 16.655 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 1st issue, Oct 253 - 254 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing facing, head left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people, and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RA91646. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1676e (Samosata), RIC V-1 284 (Antioch), RSC IV 153 (Antioch), SRCV III 9955 var. (...P F AVG), Hunter IV 73 var. (same), Choice EF, well centered and struck, white metal, weight 3.365 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, c. 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted, sacrificing over altar between them, each togate and holding short scepter; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tübingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77245. Bronze AE 32, Franke-Nolle, type VII, 743 (Vs. B/ Rs. 39); cf. BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Hunterian 1957; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, slightly ragged flan, potentially active corrosion, weight 10.522 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AV• KE• - ΠOV ΛIK OYA/ΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis from which two snakes rise; reverse IEPAΠOΛEI/TΩN - K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, resting each hand on the head of a stag, one stag flanking on each side, NEΩ/KO/PΩ/N in four lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77249. Bronze AE 33, SNG Hunterian 1957 (same dies); cf. Franke-Nolle, type VII, 736 (Vs. A/Rs. -, unlisted reverse die); BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, large edge split, potentially active corrosion, weight 17.950 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 190o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse A K Π Λ OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩ-N K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head, holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, with two supports, flanked by a stag on each side, NE/OK/O in three lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS87829. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 868h, RIC V-1 12, RSC IV 143a, Hunter IV 53, SRCV III 9952, VF, well centered, attractive toning, soft strike, die wear, light bumps and marks, weight 2.996 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ORIENS AVGG (the rising sun of the two emperors), Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, left arm and flying behind, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand; $48.00 (€42.24)
 


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS64723. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-1 219 (Viminacium), RSC IV 155, Göbl MIR 1563a, Cunetio 818 (8 spec.), SRCV III 9956, Hunter IV - (p. xxxviii), VF, toned, porous, reverse off center, edge cracks, weight 3.007 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse PIETATI AVGG (to the piety of our two emperors), Pietas standing left, long scepter in right hand, leaning with left elbow on short column; $45.00 (€39.60)
 


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Saturn was an ancient Roman god of fertility, especially of agriculture and usually carries a sickle as his symbol. Saturn was worshiped in a winter festival called the Saturnalia and his name was and is used for the day of the week, Saturday.
RS90043. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1559a, RIC V-1 210 (S, Viminacium), RSC IV 8, Cunetio 801 (8 spec.), SRCV III 9922, Hunter IV - (p. xxxviii), F, good portrait, well centered, horn silver deposits, porous, edge crack, weight 3.355 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNITATI AVGG, Saturn standing right slightly right, head right, holding scythe in left hand; scarce; $45.00 (€39.60)
 


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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RS90005. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687e (Samosata), SRCV III 9995, RIC V-1 293 (Antioch), RSC IV 276 (Antioch), Hunter IV 76, Cunetio 851 (39 spec.), aVF, slightly off center, porous/grainy, weight 4.090 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syria mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand; $38.00 (€33.44)
 


Click for a larger photo
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS90007. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-1 219 (Viminacium), RSC IV 155, Göbl MIR 1563a, Cunetio 818 (8 spec.), SRCV III 9956, Hunter IV - (p. xxxviii), VF, toned, nice style, coppery encrustations, porosity, light corrosion, tiny edge chips, weight 4.381 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 225o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse PIETATI AVGG (to the piety of our two emperors), Pietas standing left, long scepter in right hand, leaning with left elbow on short column; $38.00 (€33.44)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CONCORDIAAVGVSTORVM
PIETASAVGVSTORVM
FELICIBVSAVGG
IMPCAESPLICVALERIANVSAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANOAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSPAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPCVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPPLICVALERIANOAVG
IMPVALERIANVSAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPIVSFELAVG
VALERIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES|

Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Bourdel, B. Les Antoniniens emis sous le regne conjoint des empereurs Valerien et Gallien, Mariniane, Salonine, Valerien II, Salonin (253-260 Apr. J.-C.). (2017).
Burnett, A. & R. Bland, eds. Coin Hoards from Roman Britain: The Normanby Hoard and Other Roman Coin Hoards. (London, 1988).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941).
Göbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung des Kaiser Valerianus I/Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) un Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). (Vienna, 2000).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, |Part| I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schaad, D. & J. Lafaurie. Le trésor d'Eauze. (Toulouse, 1992).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume Three, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Sunday, September 15, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Valerian I