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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."


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On 1 November 365, the Alamanni crossed the Rhine and invaded Gaul. Valentinian I moved to Paris to defend the Gallic cities. Large numbers of Alamanni crossed the frozen Rhine into the Empire on 2 January 366. Valentinian moved his base to Trier and in 368 defeated the Alamanni near the Rhine.
RL89959. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 17(a) 1, LRBC II 1702, SRCV V 19477, Cohen VIII 21, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered, flow lines, die wear/damage, weight 2.801 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) 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 REIP, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in left hand, TESA in exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RL88612. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Cyzicus 11(a)3 (S), SRCV V 19525, Cohen VIII 37, LRBC II 2519, Hunter V -, F, green patina, rough, weight 2.594 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 367 - 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, SMKΓ in exergue; $12.00 (€10.56)


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They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
RL88798. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Aquileia 12(a)xvii(b), LRBC II 1014, SRCV V 19500, Cohen VIII 37, Hunter V -, aVF, well centered, ragged flan edge, weight 1.686 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, •SMAQS in exergue; $19.00 (€16.72)
 


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They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
RL88800. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Siscia 7(a)vii, LRBC II 1296, SRCV V 19506, Cohen VIII 37, Hunter V -, aVF, well centered, ragged flan, weight 2.436 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, star over A in left field, D∆SISC in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


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During his reign, Valentinian fought successfully against 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 also the last emperor to conduct campaigns across both the Rhine and Danube rivers. Valentinian rebuilt and improved the fortifications along the frontiers, even building fortresses in enemy territory. 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." He founded the Valentinian Dynasty, with his sons Gratian and Valentinian II succeeding him in the western half of the empire.
RL91662. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Cyzicus 11(a), LRBC II 2519, SRCV V 19525, Cohen VIII 37 var. (bust left), Hunter V -, aVF, dark patina, irregular flans with splits, weight 1.878 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, 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 SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, palm frond before SMK∆ in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


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An important type. The mint mark abbreviates "Officina Tertia" confirming the use of the term officina for a mint workshop.
RL91664. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Arelate 7(a)ii(c), LRBC II 479, SRCV V 19429, Cohen VIII 12, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, tight flan, irregular ragged edge, weight 2.044 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantina (Arles, France) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor dragging captive with right, labarum (chi-rho standard) in left, OF - III across fields, CONST in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


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In 364 A.D., Valentinian made his brother Valens the eastern emperor and kept the west for himself.
RL88676. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 18(a)i, LRBC II 1706, SRCV V 19513, Cohen VIII 37, F, green patina, scratches, rough cleaning, weight 2.024 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, no stars or symbols in fields, TESA in exergue; $9.00 (€7.92)
 


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In 370, Valentinian I and Valens banned the importation of wine and olive oil from areas controlled by the barbarians and banned marriages between Romans and barbarians under penalty of death.
RL88731. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX 27(a)xxxiii, LRBC II 1806, SRCV V 19518, Cohen VIII 37, Hunter V -, VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 2.448 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, Z left, A right, TES in exergue; $19.00 (€16.72)
 


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In 1423, Despot Andronicus, who was in charge of the Thessaloniki, ceded it to the Republic of Venice in the hope that it could be protected from the Ottomans who were besieging the city (there is no evidence to support the oft-repeated story that he sold the city to them). The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on the 29th of March, 1430. Murad II took Thessaloniki with a brutal massacre and enslaved roughly one-fifth of the city's native population. During the First Balkan War, on 26 October 1912, the feast day of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessalonika; after the Second Balkan War, in 1913 Thessaloniki was annexed to Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest.
RL88736. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 16(a)ii (S), LRBC II 1708, SRCV V 19453, Cohen VIII 12, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, well centered, irregular flan, scratches and marks, a little rough, weight 2.481 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 367 - 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor walking left, dragging captive with right, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in left, •TESB in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


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In 370, Valentinian I and Valens banned the importation of wine and olive oil from areas controlled by the barbarians and banned marriages between Romans and barbarians under penalty of death.
RL88753. Bronze centenionalis, LRBC II 1336, RIC IX Siscia 15(a)xvii, SRCV V 19510, Cohen VIII 37, aVF, dark patina with coppery high points, weight 2.315 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, star over P left, M right, ΓSISC in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 




  






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).

Catalog current as of Sunday, October 13, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Valentinian I