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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Valentinian I||View Options:  |  |  | 

Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

Upon becoming emperor Valentinian I made his brother Valens his co-emperor, giving him rule of the eastern provinces while Valentinian retained the west. During his reign, Valentinian successfully fought the Alamanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians. Most notable was his victory over the Alamanni in 367 at the Battle of Solicinium. His brilliant general Count Theodosius defeated a revolt in Africa, and the Great Conspiracy, a coordinated assault on Roman Britain by Picts, Scots, and Saxons. Valentinian was the last emperor to conduct campaigns across both the Rhine and Danube rivers. He rebuilt and improved the fortifications along the frontiers, even building fortresses in enemy territory. He founded the Valentinian Dynasty, with his sons Gratian and Valentinian II succeeding him in the western half of the empire. Due to the successful nature of his reign and almost immediate decline of the empire after his death, he is often considered the "last great western emperor."

|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.|, |solidus|
During the Empire, Nicomedia was a cosmopolitan and commercially prosperous city which received all the amenities appropriate for a major Roman city. Nicomedia was well known for having a bountiful water supply from two to three aqueducts, one of which was built in Hellenistic times. Pliny the Younger complains in his epistulae to Trajan, written in 110 A.D., that the Nicomedians wasted 3,518,000 sesterces on an unfinished aqueduct which twice ran into engineering troubles. Trajan instructs him to take steps to complete the aqueduct, and to investigate possible official corruption behind the large waste of money. Under Trajan, there was also a large Roman garrison. Other public amenities included a theater, a colonnaded street typical of Hellenistic cities and a forum.
SH37578. Gold solidus, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(b)2, VF, a few marks, weight 4.462 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right, Victory on globe in left hand, SMNS in exergue; ex CNG 174, Lot: 237 (sold for $990 plus fees) ; rare; SOLD


|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.|, |solidus|
A major earthquake, however, on 24 August 358, caused extensive devastation to Nicomedia, and was followed by a fire which completed the catastrophe. Nicomedia was rebuilt, but on a smaller scale. In the sixth century under Emperor Justinian I the city was extended with new public buildings. Situated on the roads leading to the capital, the city remained a major military center, playing an important role in the Byzantine campaigns against the Caliphate. From inscriptions we learn that in the later period of the empire Nicomedia enjoyed the honor of a Roman colony.
SH56284. Gold solidus, Depeyrot 12/1, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(b) var. (officina, no pellet); officina letter re-engraved over A(?), VF, scratches, graffiti, weight 4.408 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 364 - 365 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVLICAE, emperor standing facing in military garb, head right, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in right, Victory on globe presenting wreath and holding palm frond, SMNB in exergue; graffiti X - IV; ex CNG, ex Deyo Collection, ex Royal Coin Co. (1950s?); SOLD


|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.|, |solidus|
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
SH52919. Gold solidus, RIC IX Antioch 2(a)ii.2, Depeyrot 30/1, SRCV V 19270, Cohen VIII 28, Hunter V 48 var. (10th officina), aVF, scrape, weight 4.286 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right, Victory on globe in left hand, ANTS in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

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REFERENCES|

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Pearce, J. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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