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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., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $280.00 (257.60)


|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.||sestertius|
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them, in money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. This coin advertises that Elagabalus has made his third distribution to the people. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia.
RB110380. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 66h, RIC V-1 J165 (S), Hunter IV J45; SRCV III 10468, Cohen V 110, VF/F, nice green patina, nice portrait, tight round flan, most of legends off flan, weight 17.182 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 2nd issue, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, laureate, cuirassed and slightly draped, bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG, Liberalitas standing slightly left, wearing long chiton, counting board in right hand, cornucopiae in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; ex Degani Venizia (Plaza San Marco, Venice, Italy); scarce; $210.00 (193.20)


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

|Pisidia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Isinda,| |Pisidia||assarion|
Isinda stood in a strategic position at the western end of the pass leading from Pamphylia by Termessus to Pisidia. The coinage of Isinda indicates the city considered itself an Ionian colony.
RP97734. Bronze assarion, SNG BnF 1622; SNG Pfalz 234; BMC Lycia p. 227, 21; SNG Hunterian -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, aVF, dark brown patina, weight 8.444 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Isinda (Kisla, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AK ΠΛ OVAΛEPIANON CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ICIN-Δ-EΩN, mother goddess seated right on a high backed throne, holding swaddled infant on her lap, coiled serpent rising up before her; ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 100 (29 May 2017), lot 1320; $90.00 (82.80)


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

|Pisidia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Isinda,| |Pisidia||assarion|
Isinda stood in a strategic position at the western end of the pass leading from Pamphylia by Termessus to Pisidia. The coinage of Isinda indicates the city considered itself an Ionian colony.
RP110212. Bronze assarion, SNG BnF 1622; VA Pisidiens 940; SNG Pfalz 234; BMC Lycia p. 227, 21; SNG Hunterian -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, Choice aVF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, reverse struck a little flat, weight 10.475 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Isinda (Kisla, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AK ΠΛ OVAΛEPIANON - CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ICIN-Δ-EΩN, mother goddess seated right on a high backed throne, holding swaddled infant on her lap, coiled serpent rising up before her; $80.00 (73.60)


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

|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Alexandreia| |Troas,| |Troas||AE| |22|
Alexandreia Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP112294. Bronze AE 22, BMC Troas p. 29, 160, SNG Cop 191, Bellinger A436, aVF, appealing portrait, off center, tiny edge cracks, light deposits, weight 4.891 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, c. 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC VALERIANVS A, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL AVG, horse grazing to right, TRO in exergue; $60.00 (55.20)


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

|Valerian| |I|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Irenopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |28|
Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysus rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pine-cone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines, and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.
SH42420. Bronze AE 28, SNG Levante 1623 var. (legends), SNGvA 5597 var. (same), BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 18.526 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 225o, Irenopolis (Dzici, Turkey) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse AVT K Π ΛI OYAΛEPINOC [...], radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IPENOΠOΛITΩN, Dionysos facing in biga of panthers, H (mark of value) left, retrograde ΓC (year 203) right; rare; SOLD


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

|Troas|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Alexandreia| |Troas,| |Troas||AE| |24|
Silenus, the old man of the forest with horse ears (sometimes also a horse tail and legs), was the oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, and was said in Orphic hymns to be the young god's tutor. He was usually drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, he possessed special knowledge and the power of prophecy. Eager to learn from Silenus, King Midas caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. In another myth, when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly and entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
RP71870. Bronze AE 24, Bellinger Troy A435; SNG Cop 194; SNG Munchen 125; BMC Troas p. 30, 165; SNGvA - (refs ID the central figure as drunken Hercules), gVF, grainy surfaces, weight 6.082 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC VALERIANVS AVG (N retrograde), Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse COL A-VG, TROAC (ending in exergue, AC ligate), Silenus standing half right, supported by three satyrs, one standing behind with arms around his waist, and two more at sides; very rare; SOLD


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

|Thessalonika|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia||AE| |22|
The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP57215. Bronze AE 22, Varbanov III 4771, Lindgren 1252, SNG Cop 441, cf. SNG ANS 900 (Salonina), VF, weight 8.865 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AYT K ΠOΠ OYANTΛΕPIANTNOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind; reverse ΘΕCCAΛONIKH B NΕ, Kabeiros standing within distyle temple, rhyton in right, hammer in left, altar at feet left, anvil(?) at feet right; rare; SOLD


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

|Thessalonika|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia||AE| |22|
The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP63719. Bronze AE 22, Varbanov III 4771, Lindgren 1252, SNG Cop 441, cf. SNG ANS 900 (Salonina), VF, weight 6.465 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AYT K ΠOΠ OYANTΛΕPIANTNOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind; reverse ΘΕCCAΛONIKH B NΕ, Kabeiros standing within distyle temple, rhyton in right, hammer in left, altar at feet left, anvil(?) at feet right; rare; SOLD


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

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Cotiaeum,| |Phrygia||tetrassarion|
Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Asklepios' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP91190. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG Munchen 333; SNGvA 3791; SNG Hunterian 2048; BMC Phrygia p. 177, 95 var. (exergue in two lines...Ω/N); SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, highest points flatly struck, small edge split, central depressions, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠI Π AI ΔHMHTPIANOY IΠΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios, archon and hipparchos), Hygieia, on left, standing right, feeding serpent in right hand from patera in left hand; Asklepios, on right, standing facing, head left, leaning with right hand on serpent-entwined staff; Telesphoros between them, standing facing, ΛP/X in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; SOLD







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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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