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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis & Decline| ▸ |Valerian I||View 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.

Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia|, |AE| |28|
Artemis is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture has a stag at her side, rather than a hound. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Muse du Louvre, Paris.
RP94243. Bronze AE 28, Karwiese 1032(c); SNGvA 1922; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunter -; BMC Ionia -, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, light corrosion, weight 7.719 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKIN BAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN Γ NEOKOPΩN, Artemis advancing right, bow in left hand, with right hand drawing arrow from quiver, on shoulder, hound at feet behind running right; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Sardis|, |AE| |30|
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a citys status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tbingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY K - ΠOY ΛIK OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |32|
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a citys status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77245. Bronze AE 32, Franke-Nolle, type VII, 743 (Vs. B/ Rs. 39); cf. BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Hunterian 1957; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, slightly ragged flan, potentially active corrosion, weight 10.522 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AV KE - ΠOV ΛIK OYA/ΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis from which two snakes rise; reverse IEPAΠOΛEI/TΩN - K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, resting each hand on the head of a stag, one stag flanking on each side, NEΩ/KO/PΩ/N in four lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |33|
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a citys status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77249. Bronze AE 33, SNG Hunterian 1957 (same dies); cf. Franke-Nolle, type VII, 736 (Vs. A/Rs. -, unlisted reverse die); BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, large edge split, potentially active corrosion, weight 17.950 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 190o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse A K Π Λ OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩ-N K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head, holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, with two supports, flanked by a stag on each side, NE/OK/O in three lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS64723. Silver antoninianus, RIC V-1 219 (Viminacium), RSC IV 155, Gbl MIR 1563a, Cunetio 818 (8 spec.), SRCV III 9956, Hunter IV - (p. xxxviii), VF, toned, porous, reverse off center, edge cracks, weight 3.007 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse PIETATI AVGG (to the piety of our two emperors), Pietas standing left, long scepter in right hand, leaning with left elbow on short column; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

|Members| |Auction| |Listed|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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.
MA95638. Silver antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1684e (Samosata), Hunter IV 73, SRCV III 9955, RIC V-1 285 (Antioch), RSC IV 152 (Antioch), VF, well centered, nice portrait, weight 3.960 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Emperors standing confronted, sacrificing at altar in center, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right holding parazonium; $33.33 (30.66)


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RS90065. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1687e (Samosata), SRCV III 9995, RIC V 293 (Antioch), RSC IV 276 (Antioch), Hunter IV 76, Cunetio 851 (39 spec.), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous surfaces, tiny edge cracks, tiny encrustations, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syria mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome, it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.
RS90037. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1685e (Samosata), RSC IV 189 (Antioch), RIC V-1 287 (Antioch), SRCV III 9967 (uncertain Syrian mint), VF/F, well centered on a broad flan, toned, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 4.358 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS (to the restorer of the East), turreted female (Oriens) standing right, presenting wreath to Valerian, standing left, wearing military attire, spear vertical in left hand; $24.00 SALE |PRICE| $21.60







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CONCORDIAAVGVSTORVM
PIETASAVGVSTORVM
FELICIBVSAVGG
IMPCAESPLICVALERIANVSAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANOAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSPAVG
IMPCPLICVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPCVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPPLICVALERIANOAVG
IMPVALERIANVSAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPFAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPVALERIANVSPIVSFELAVG
VALERIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES|

Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Bourdel, B. Les Antoniniens emis sous le regne conjoint des empereurs Valerien et Gallien, Mariniane, Salonine, Valerien II, Salonin (253-260 Apr. J.-C.). (2017).
Burnett, A. & R. Bland, eds. Coin Hoards from Roman Britain: The Normanby Hoard and Other Roman Coin Hoards. (London, 1988).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Mnzprgung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Kln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbcher 146 (1941).
Gbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Mnzprgung des Kaiser Valerianus I/Gallienus/Saloninus (253/268), Regalianus (260) un Macrianus/Quietus (260/262). (Vienna, 2000).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, |Part| I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schaad, D. & J. Lafaurie. Le trsor d'Eauze. (Toulouse, 1992).
Seaby, H. & D. 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).

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