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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.


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Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them, in money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. This coin advertises that Elagabalus has made his third distribution to the people. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia.
RS64690. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR RIC V 99, RSC IV 108, Hunter IV 28, Cunetio 477 (36 specs.), SRCV III -, F, weight 2.595 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG, Liberalitas standing facing, head left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $25.00 (€22.00)
 


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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RS64712. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 72c, RIC V 72, RSC IV 17, Cunetio 468 (455 spec.), Hunter III - (p. xxxiv), SRCV III -, F, well centered, struck with worn dies, coppery spots, weight 3.419 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 2nd emission, Aug 254 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse APOLINI CONSERVAT, Apollo standing half-left, laurel-branch downward in right hand, resting left hand on lyre placed on small rock on left; $24.00 (€21.12)
 


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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."
RS90026. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 886c, RIC V 13 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 140b, Hunter IV 60, SRCV III 9951, F, centered, toned, die wear, scratches, small encrustations, light corrosion, weight 3.451 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVGG, Sol standing slightly left, radiate head left, chlamys over shoulders, left arm and hanging down back, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $24.00 (€21.12)
 


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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."
RS90058. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 886c, RIC V 13 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 140b, Hunter IV 60, SRCV III 9951, F, centered on a tight flan, struck with worn dies, coppery areas, weight 2.862 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 225o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVGG, Sol standing slightly left, radiate head left, chlamys over shoulders, left arm and hanging down back, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $24.00 (€21.12)
 


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RIC V 106 lists this type as either holding a whip or a globe, issued in 257, and common. This type holding a globe should be listed as an entirely separate issue. Göbl dates it to Rome's third issue, Aug 256 - Dec 256 A.D. With only two specimens in the Cunetio hoard and few examples online, it appears to be scarce.
RS90062. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 108b, Cunetio 45 (2 spec.), RSC IV 140, RIC V 106, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, F, rough, tight flan, weight 2.765 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd issue, Rome mint, Aug 256 - Dec 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse ORIENS AVGG, Sol standing facing, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, left arm and hanging down back, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; scarce; $18.00 (€15.84)
 


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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."
RS64697. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 868h, RIC V 12, RSC IV 143a, Hunter IV 53, SRCV III 9952, aVF, centered on a tight flan, struck with worn dies, light marks, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVGG, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left; $.99 (€.87)


Click for a larger photo
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."
RS90015. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 75c, RIC V 106, RSC IV 135, Hunter IV 31, SRCV III 9950, F, centered, toned, porous, weight 2.876 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 257 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVGG, Sol standing slightly left, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand; better in hand; $.99 (€.87)




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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


REFERENCES

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
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. & D.R. 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 Wednesday, May 04, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Valerian I