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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, 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; $400.00 SALE PRICE $320.00
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, in Homonoia with Ephesos, 253 - 260 A.D.

|Hierapolis|, |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia,| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesos,| |253| |-| |260| |A.D.||diassarion|
The title NEOKOPON on the reverse of this type, and other similar coins, has been the topic of debate for more than a century. Hierapolis was honored with a neokoros (imperial temple) either during the reign of Caracalla or Elagabalus. Caracalla rarely gave this honor, but if the honor was given by Caracalla, it would have lasted many decades. If the honor was given during the reign of Elagabalus, as many numismatists and historians believe, it would have been lost with his damnatio. Yet, the title appears here, on a coin struck long after Elagabalus' demise. This coin, however, was struck by Hierapolis honoring its alliance (homonoia) with Ephesos, Ionia. After Elagabalus, at Hierapolis, neokoros titles only appear on homonoia coinage. It seems odd, especially since the title is on the reverse with the name Hierapolis, but the most supported argument is that NEOKOPON refers to a temple at Ephesos, not one at Hierapolis.
RP97256. Bronze diassarion, Franke-Nolle, type IX, 760 - 763 (B/49); Weber HpH p. 74 (A/b); Johnston Hierapolis -; BMC Phrygia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -, gVF, well centered and struck with full legends, nice dark green patina, some porosity, weight 5.120 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, time of Valerius and Gallienus, 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse OMONY/A - K EΦEC-IΩN (clockwise from 3:00), laureate, veiled, and draped bust of Boule right; reverse IEPAΠ-O-ΛEITΩN; NEOKO-PΩN in fields, clockwise from lower left, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond against left shoulder in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 August 2020), lot 886; this coin is one of only two specimens of this type listed in Coin Archives auction records spanning the last two decades; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


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

|Cilicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||hexassarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire, it was known as Caesarea and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in 525, it became Justinopolis. Despite the name changes, the old native name persisted. When Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.

According to Ziegler (p. 124), the Γ Γ means,"[chairman of] 3 [provinces], [holder of] 3 [neocorates]." ET BOC is the date, year 272 of Caesarea. The era began in 19 B.C. when the city was visited by Augustus, refounded and renamed Caesarea, dating this coin to 253 - 254 A.D. In the reverse exergue, Anazarbus boasts A M K T (ΠPΩTH MEΓIΣTH KAΛΛIΣTH TIMΩTATH), meaning First (A is the Greek numeral one), Greatest, Most Beautiful, and Most Esteemed (or Honored).
RP97262. Bronze hexassarion, Ziegler 834 (Vs1/Rs4); SNG BnF 2162; SNG Levante 1520; SNGvA 5508; BMC Lycaonia p. 40, 43 Weber 7505; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, some legend and highest points a little weakly stuck, light marks, weight 17.070 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, Oct 235 - 254 A.D.; obverse AVT K OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOV MHTPOΠ, six agonistic prize crowns arranged in two rows of three, Γ − Γ above, ET • B•OC (year 272) across center, •A•M•K•T below; ex Zeus Numismatics auction 11 (1 Aug 2020), lot 459; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


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-∆-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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $120.00
 


Cotiaeum, Phrygia, c. 235 - 238 A.D. Diogenes, Archon

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Cotiaeum,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |235| |-| |238| |A.D.| |Diogenes,| |Archon||diassarion|
The image of Demos, the personification of the People, was used on ancient coinage as early as the 5th century B.C. In Roman times, many towns under Roman domination struck pseudo-autonomous coinage depicting either the bust or head of Demos, or showed him standing with the Emperor, Boule (the city council), or the Demos of another city.
RP97257. Bronze diassarion, SNG Cop 318 - 319; BMC Phrygia p. 162, 20, SNGvA 3776, SNG Righetti 1165, Kurth Demos 398, Martin Demos 16, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice dark green patina, light earthen deposits, light marks, some die wear, weight 7.915 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cotiaeum (Kütahya, Turkey) mint, time of Valerian I - Gallienus, c. 235 - 238 A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC (Demos) KOTIAEΩN, diademed bust of the Demos to right, slight drapery over far shoulder; reverse EΠI ∆IOΓENOVC ∆IONVCIOV (struck under Diogenes, son of Dionysios), Zeus seated left on a low backless throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, A-PX (archon - Diogenes' title) divided across fields, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 


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

|Cilicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Augusta,| |Cilicia||AE| |29|
Augusta, Cilicia was founded in 20 A.D., and named for Livia (Julia Augusta). Just over 16 km north of Adana in a loop of the river Seyhan (Sarus), and at the west end of a narrow plain bounded to the north and south by low hills. Represented at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the city probably did not long survive the Moslem invasion of Cilicia in the 7th century. The site, discovered by chance in 1955, was identified by ancient literary sources and from finds there, and in the neighboring village of Gübe, of Roman provincial coins naming the city. Later that same year Gübe, and with it the ruins of Augusta, disappeared below the waters of the Seyhan dam, but not before the site had been partially surveyed. Two colonnaded streets crossed each other at right angles typical of Roman towns in Cilicia. The foundations of a triumphal arch, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, were mapped. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably dated to the 3rd century.
RP97260. Bronze AE 29, Karbach Augusta 124.7; BMC Lycaonia p. 46, 15; Mionnet III p. 568, 15; SNGvA 5538; SNG BnF 1911; Waddington 419, aVF, tight flan, some porosity, some encrustation, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, 253 - 254 A.D.; obverse AV KAI ΠOV ΛIK OVAΛEPIANO CB (sic!), radiate and cuirassed bust of Valerian right, gorgoneon on breastplate, countermark: V; reverse AVΓOVCTAN-ΩN E ∆ΛC (Augusta, year 234), Athena standing facing, looking left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, resting right hand on grounded shield, vertical spear in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 83 (3 Nov 2019), part of lot 980; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
 


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

|Troas|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Alexandria| |Troas,| |Troas||AE| |21|
Alexandria 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.
RP97240. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 190; Bellinger Troy A439; SNG Canakkale 410 var. (obv. leg); SNGvA 7572 var. (legends); BMC Troas p. 30, 164 var. (legends, bust), gVF, bare toned bronze, flow lines, a little off center, scattered porosity, weight 4.139 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC VALERIA, laureate, draped, and bearded bust right, seen from behind; reverse CO AVG TRO, eagle flying right, bull forepart right in its talons; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00
 


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

|Cilicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||tetrassaria|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire, it was known as Caesarea and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in 525, it became Justinopolis. Despite the name changes, the old native name persisted. When Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.

On the reverse, Anazarbus boasts that their city is A M K (ΠPΩTH MEΓIΣTH KAΛΛIΣTH), meaning First (A is the Greek numeral one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful. According to Ziegler (p. 124), the Γ Γ means,"[chairman of] 3 [provinces], [holder of] 3 [neocorates]." ET BOC is the date, year 272 of Caesarea. The era began in 19 B.C. when the city was visited by Augustus, refounded and renamed Caesarea, dating this coin to 253 - 254 A.D.
RP97261. Bronze tetrassaria, Ziegler An 825 (Vs1/Rs4); SNG BnF 2158 (corr., same dies); BMC Lycaonia p. 39, 41 var. (rev. inscriptions); SNG Levante 1516 var. (same), F, well centered, red and green patina, weight 13.225 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, Oct 235 - 254 A.D.; obverse AVT K Π ΛIK OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOV MHTPO (Z reversed), Dionysos reclining left on rump of a panther, head right, raising his hands, panther lying right with head turned back left, Γ − Γ flanking figures in fields, ET•B•O•C• (year 272) over •A•M•K• in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 83 (3 Nov 2019), part of lot 980; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 







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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).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 5: Gordian I to Valerian II. (Paris, 1885).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941).
Göbl, R. et al. Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung 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 trésor 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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