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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.
Also see: ERIC - VALERIAN I
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VALERIANVS I. (Caius Publius Licinius), who had been voted worthy of the honour of the Censorship under the Emperor Decius, was unanimously elected Emperor in A.D. 253, solely on account of his merits, and associated with him his eldest son Gallienus. In A.D. 258 he started for the East to repel the attacks of Sapor, and in the following year was successful in re-capturing Antioch from the Persians, commemorated by coins with the legend VICT. PART., and VICTORIA PARTHICA. Valerian having entrusted the further conduct of the war against Sapor to Macrianus, his Praetorian prefect, the latter purposely betrayed the Roman army, and the Emperor was taken in A.D. 260, and died in captivity. Of his treatment during his captivity, there are conflicting statements, but the bas-reliefs do not give any representation of extreme degradation. On two it is thought that he is shown doing homage to Cyriades, the usurper set up by Sapor (Rawlinson, Seventh Anc. Mon. pp. 82,91) [VABALATHVS], but generally Sapor seems to have treated his prisoner with consideration, and to have made use of his engineering talents. (Thomas, Sassanian Inscriptions, p. 64.)
Valerian was twice married (1) to an unknown and (2) to Mariniana, of whom coins are extant, and had two children, Gallienus by his first wife, and Valerian II by his second, and perhaps another, (cf. Eckhel, vol. vii., p. 379.)
The obverse legends of the medallions and coins of Valerian I. are IMP. C. P. LIC. VALERIANVS AVG. or P. F. AVG., IMP. P. LIC. VALERIANO AVG., IMP. VALERIANVS P. or PIVS AVG., IMP. VALERIANVS AVG., IMP. VALERIANVS P. F. AVG., VALERIANVS P. F. AVG. [see Valerian II.]
The principal reverse legends are: Silver Medallions: ADLOCVTIO AVGVSTORVM (400 frcs.), AEQVITAS AVGG. (300 frcs.), MONETA AVGG. (150 to 250 frcs.) Gold Coins: AETERNITAS AVGG. (350 frcs.), ANNONA AVGG. (350 frcs.), APOLINI CONSERVA. (400 frcs.), FELICITAS AVGG. (350 frcs.), FIDES MILITVM (350 frcs.), IOVI CONSERVA. (350 frcs.), LAETITIA AVGG. (400 frcs.), LIBERALITAS AVGG. (350 frcs.), ORIENS AVGG., (350 frcs., Quin. 350 frcs.), RESTITVTOR ORBIS (Quin. 350 frcs.), ROMAE AETERNAE (350 frcs.), VICTORIA or VICTORIAE AVGG. (350 to 450 frcs.), VIRTVS AVGG. (400 frcs.) Billon or small Brass Coins (c to 12 or 30 frcs.): AEQVITAS AVGG., AETERNITAS AVGG., ANNONA AVGG., APOLINI CONSERVA, or PROPVG., APOLL. SALVTARI, CONCORDIA AVGG., CONCORDIA EXERCIT., or MILIT., CONSERVAT. AVGG., DIANA LVCIFERA, FELICITAS AVGG. or SAECVLI, FIDES MILITVM, FORTUNA REDVX, GALLIENVS CVM EXERC. SVO; Jupiter holding victory and scepter standing on a cippus, which is inscribed IOVI VICTORI; IOVI CONSERVA., CONSERVAT., or CONSERVATORI, or STATORI, LAETITIA AVGG., LIBERALITAS AVGG., OR AVGG. II, ORIENS AVGG., PACATORI ORBIS, PAX AVGG., or AVGVSTI, PIETAS or PIETATI AVGG., P.M. TR. P. II. COS. II. P.P. (A.D. 254), P.M. TR. P. III. COS. III. P.P. (A.D. 255), P.M. TR. P. IIII. COS. III. P.P. (A.D. 256), P.M. TR. P. V. COS. IIII. P.P. (A.D. 257)—one type, Valerian and Gallienus standing each other leaning on their shields, in the field two spears—an imitation of that of the coins of Caius and Lucius Cćsares on the reverse of coins of Augustus,—PROVID. or PROVIDENTIA AVGG., RELIGIO AVGG., RESTITVT. or RESTITVTI GENER. HVMANI., RESTITVTOR or RESTITVTORI ORBIS, RESTITVT ORIENTIA, ROMAE AETERNAE, SAECVLI FELICITAS, SALVS AVGG., SECVRIT. PERPET., SPES PVBLICA, TEMPORVM FELICITAS, VENVS VICTRIX, VICTORIA OR VICTORIAE AVGG., VICTORIA EXERCIT., or GERM. or GERMANICA, VICT. PART. or PARTHICA, VIRTVS AVGG., VOTA ORBIS, VOTIS DECENNALIBVS (? A.D. 250). Brass Medallions: ADLOCVTIO AVGVSTORVM (300 frcs.), FELICITAS TEMPORVM IIII ET III COS. (A.D. 257, 400 frcs.), MONETA AVGG (200 frcs.), PONTIFF. MAX. TRI. P. F. (400 frcs.), VICTORIA AVGG (200 frcs.), VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM (400 frcs.) Large Brass (200 to 400 frcs.) Second Brass (6 to 150 frcs.) All the Billon or third brass coins of Valerian I. having the bust laureated are of smaller size and better fabric than the others, they seem to have been struck from gold dies. (Cohen, Méd. Imp., 1st ed., vol. iv., p. 329, note.)
Valerianus [SALONINVS] the obverse legends of the coins of Saloninus Valerian are: LIC. COR. SAL. VALERIANVS. N. CAES., SAL. VALERIANVS CS. (Cćsar) or NOB. CAES., P. COR. SAL. VALERIANO CES. (sic), P. COR. SAL. VALERIANVS CAES., P. LIC. or P. LIC. COR. VALERIANVS CAES., P. C. L. VALERIANVS N. C. or NOB. CAES., COR. or COR. LIC. VALERIANVS CAES. (?), SALON. VALERIANVS CAES. or NOB. CAES., IMP. SALON. VALERIANVS AVG., DIVO CAES. or CAESARI VALERIANO, DIVO VALERIANO AVG.