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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.

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

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Cotiaeum,| |Phrygia|, |tetrassarion|
Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Askelpois' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP91190. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG München 333; SNGvA 3791; SNG Hunterian 2048; BMC Phrygia p. 177, 95 var. (exergue in two lines...Ω/N); SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, highest points flatly struck, small edge split, central depressions, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠI Π AI ∆HMHTPIANOY IΠΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios, archon and hipparchos), Hygieia, on left, standing right, feeding serpent in right hand from patera in left hand; Asklepios, on right, standing facing, head left, leaning with right hand on serpent-entwined staff; Telesphoros between them, standing facing, ΛP/X in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Sardis|, |AE| |30|
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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |32|
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; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |33|
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; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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.
RS90037. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1685e (Samosata), RSC IV 189 (Antioch), RIC V-1 287 (Antioch), SRCV III 9967 (uncertain Syrian mint), VF/F, well centered on a broad flan, toned, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 4.358 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS (to the restorer of the East), turreted female (Oriens) standing right, presenting wreath to Valerian, standing left, wearing military attire, spear vertical in left hand; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Victoria or Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, personifies victory. She was described variously in different myths as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal). Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame, symbolized by a wreath of laurel leaves.
RS90056. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 77c, RIC V-1 127 (S), RSC III 221, SRCV III 9984, SRCV III 9984, Hunter IV - (p. xxxiv), F, well centered, toned, marks, porosity, some corrosion, weight 4.164 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory standing half left, head left, resting right hand on grounded oval shield, upright palm frond in left hand; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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.
RS90065. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687e (Samosata), SRCV III 9995, RIC V 293 (Antioch), RSC IV 276 (Antioch), Hunter IV 76, Cunetio 851 (39 spec.), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous surfaces, tiny edge cracks, tiny encrustations, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 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; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00
 


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Hephaestus gave Apollo his golden bow and quiver of golden arrows when he was a child, after Apollo asked for it to protect his mother, Leto, from Python. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi and killed the monster. Since Python was a child of Gaea, Apollo was punished with exile from Olympus for a long time. The golden bow can cause health or famine, although its main function is that of a regular bow, but with much greater power. It is described as the opposite of Artemis' Silver Bow; where her bow kills painlessly, like the soft rays of the moon, his tears life away like the harsh rays of the sun.
RS90070. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 44d, RSC IV 25, Cunetio 437 (148 spec.), Hunter IV 8, RIC V-1 74, SRCV III 9926, Fine/Fair, toned, porosity, corrosion on reverse, weight 3.176 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse APOLINI PROPVG (to Apollo the defender), Apollo standing half right drawing bow, nude but for chlamys flying behind; $28.00 SALE |PRICE| $25.20
 







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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).

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