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Home > Catalog > Roman Coins > Crisis and Decline > Valerian I > BB30741
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.
In 258, Valerian put to death a number of church leaders, including Rome's bishop, Sixtus. Christians belonging to the nobility or the Roman Senate were deprived of their property and exiled. Thinking that the Christian had great hidden treasures, Valerian ordered the leading deacon, Laurentius, him to hand them over. Laurentius agreed but asked for three days to gather them to together. He assembled the poor, aged and sick in Rome and brought them before the emperor, saying "These are the true treasures of the church." Furious, Laurentius was ordered to suffer a slow and cruel death. On 10 August 258, Laurentius was scourged, beaten with irons, and had his joints dislocated. He was then placed on a grate over a fire and slowly roasted to death. Having lain there for some time, he is reported to have called out to the emperor a Latin couplet, "Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca" (This side is done, turn me over and have a bite). His executioner obliged and after he had been tormented for a considerable time, he finally lifted his eyes to heaven and with calmness yielded his spirit to God. Laurentius (Saint Lawrence) is the patron saint of comedians.
BB30741. Billon antoninianus, GŲbl MIR 1599a, RIC V-1 283, RIC IV 56, Hunter IV -, SRCV III -, aVF, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, weight 3.093g, maximum diameter 22.8mm, die axis 0o, 4th emission, 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse IMP VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG (the good fortune of the two emperors), Felicitas standing left, long grounded caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; SOLD











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