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

Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

Valentinian II was the son of Valentinian I and declared Augustus shortly after his father's death. He seems to have exercised no real authority, and was a figurehead for various powerful interests: his mother, his co-emperors, and powerful generals. His influence steadily waned, and after the death of Gratian, he only controlled Italy. Although he and Theodosius II quickly repulsed the invasion of Magnus Maximus in 387 A.D., Theodosius remained in Milan until 391 and Valentinian took no part in the triumphal celebrations. Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius appointed his trusted general Arbogast, a Frank, as magister militum for the Western provinces (excluding Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. While the general campaigned successfully on the Rhine, the young emperor remained at Vienne, in contrast to his warrior father and his older brother, who had campaigned at his age. Valentinian II was strangled, probably on the order of Arbogastes.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||solidus|
The mint mark in the exergue may be read MD for Mediolanum, OB for obryzium (refined gold).
SH57454. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 5(c) (R4); Depeyrot p. 167, 6/3; SRCV V 20179; Cohen VIII 36 (20 fr.), Choice EF, weight 4.466 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Emperors enthroned facing, Valentinian II smaller on right, together they hold a globe, palm frond between their legs, Victory facing in center above behind throne with spread wings, MDOB in exergue; bold, well centered strike; very rare; SOLD


|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||siliqua|
On 9 August 378, in Rome's greatest defeat since Hannibal, Valens was defeated by the Visigoths at the Battle of Adrianople. The emperor was killed along with two-thirds of his army. Rome was left with no choice but to ally with former enemies. In 379, the Visigoths were settled in the Balkans. In 380, the Germans, Sarmatians and Huns were taken into Imperial service. Barbarian leaders began to play an increasingly active role in ruling the Roman Empire.
RL93289. Silver siliqua, RIC IX Lugdunum 43(a)1, RSC V 76b, SRCV V 20224, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, well centered, dark toning, flan crack, weight 1.740 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 28 Aug 388 - 15 May 392 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe offering wreath and holding palm in Roma's right hand, scepter vertical behind in left hand, LVGPS in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; SOLD


|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||siliqua|
In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action "vow, promise", it may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion, a bargaining expressed by do ut des, "I give that you might give."
RS56053. Silver siliqua, RIC IX Constantinopolis 77(a) (R), RSC V 71c, SRCV V 20251, VF, toned, weight 1.864 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 384 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, CONS• in exergue; rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DNVALENTINIANVSIVNPFAVG
DNVALENTINIANVSPFAVG


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.E. & D.R. 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.W.E. 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.R. 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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