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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Crisis and Decline ▸ Valerian IView 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 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.


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

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP70938. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 304; SNGvA 1343; BMC Mysia p. 108, 116, VF, perfect centering, struck with a damaged obverse die, weight 4.774 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Parium mint, obverse IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate,draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, CGIHP below; ex Russian Coins; $450.00 (€391.50)


Philadelphia, Lydia, c. 217 - 260 A.D., Time of Caracalla to Gallienus

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Philadelphia, south-east of Sardeis, was founded by Attalos II Philadelphos, King of Pergamon. It was an important and wealthy trade center that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation.
GB71847. Bronze AE 27, SNG Cop 360; SNGvA 3068; BMC Lydia p. 193, 39 and pl. XXI, 14, Choice F, broad flan, nice patina, edge crack, weight 8.637 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia (Amman, Jordan) mint, c. 217 - 260 A.D.; obverse ∆H-MOC, draped head of young Demos right, hair long and bound with taenia, border of dots; reverse ΦΛ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Aphrodite standing right, drawing drapery over right shoulder with right hand, left elbow on column, apple in left hand, border of dots; $90.00 (€78.30)


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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.
RS64726. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684l (Samosata), RIC V 285 (Antioch), RSC IV 152, SRCV III 9955 (uncertain Syrian mint), VF, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PIETAS AVGG, Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted, sacrificing over altar between them, each togate and holding short scepter; $45.00 (€39.15)


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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.
BB57680. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687e, SRCV III 9995 (uncertain Syrian mint), RIC V 293 (Antioch), Cohen 276, VF, weight 4.155 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (Adiyman Province. Turkey) mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG, Valerian and Gallienus standing facing; Valerian on left, scepter in right, globe in left; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left; $40.00 (€34.80)


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This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.

RIC assigns this issue to Antioch but MIR gives the issue to a second Eastern mint located at Samosata.
RS40244. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1700l (Samosata), RIC V 287 (Antioch), SRCV III 9967 (uncertain Syrian mint), gVF, weight 3.614 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syrian mint, 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS, turreted female (the Orient) presenting wreath to the Emperor standing left holding spear, pellet in wreath above; $36.00 (€31.32)


Click for a larger photo
This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.

RIC assigns this issue to Antioch but MIR gives the issue to a second Eastern mint located at Samosata.
RS40231. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1700q (Samosata), RIC V 287 (Antioch), SRCV III 9967 (uncertain Syrian mint), aVF, weight 3.496 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS, turreted female (the Orient) presenting wreath to the Emperor standing left holding spear, star above; $27.00 (€23.49)


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BB58175. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 222, Cohen 212, aVF, weight 2.927 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Viminacium (near Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VENVS VICTRIX, Venus standing left holding helmet and transverse scepter, resting on shield; Viminacium (near Stari Kostolac, Serbia); $2.50 (€2.17)







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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).
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., Sydenham and Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Seaby, H.A. and Sear, D.R. 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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 07, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Valerian I