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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 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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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.
RS64689. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 72c, RIC V 72, RSC IV 17, Cunetio 468 (455 spec.), Hunter III - (p. xxxiv), SRCV III -, F, toned, struck with a worn-die reverse, weight 3.641 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 315o, 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; $27.00 (€24.03)
 


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Cunetio identifies this type as a mule using an older obverse die from Valerian's second series. Although Cunetio included 18 specimens, this is the first example of the type handled by Forum and it does seem to be quite scarce.
RS90021. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 183a, Cunetio 521 (18 spec.), RIC V 107 var. or corr.(?) (no cuirass), RSC 141 var. or corr.(?) (same), SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, aVF, well centered on a tight flan, nice portrait, porous, uneven toning, weight 2.993 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th issue, Rome mint, c. Aug 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse IMP VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed 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; $27.00 (€24.03)
 


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RS73876. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 815d, RIC V 245 (Milan), RSC IV 147 (Milan), cf. SRCV III 9954 (...P F AVG, Rome), Hunter IV -, F, porous, weight 3.038 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 2nd emission, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP VALERIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX AVGG, Pax standing half left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand; $25.00 (€22.25)
 


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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."
RS64720. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 75c, RIC V 106, RSC IV 135, Hunter IV 31, SRCV III 9950, F, porous, coppery spots, small flan crack, weight 3.177 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 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 facing, 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; $23.00 (€20.47)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS90028. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 73c, RIC V 87, RSC IV 53, SRCV III 9936, Hunter IV - (p. xxxv), F, toned, part of legends unstruck, weight 3.468 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 2nd emission, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG, Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $21.00 (€18.69)
 




  



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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. & 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 Tuesday, December 06, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Valerian I