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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.
BB08356. Silver antoninianus
, RIC V
282, VF, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, weight
3.27g, maximum diameter
25.2mm, die axis
, 257 - 259 A.D.; obverse
IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG
, draped, and cuirassed bust
right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG
fortune of the two emperors), Felicitas
standing left, caduceus
in right hand, cornucopia
in left hand; slightly bent flan
Catalog current as of Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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