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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and 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., Alexandreia Troas, Troas

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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 München 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 mint, obverse IMP LIC VALERIANVS AVG (N retrograde), Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, 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., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Dido, the founder and first queen of Carthage, is primarily known from Virgil's Aeneid. Upon succeeding their father as king of Tyre, Dido's brother Pygmalion had her husband Sichaeus killed in a plot to seize his immense wealth. Dido, with a large group of friends and followers, escaped Tyre, carrying with them all of Sichaeus' treasure. As depicted on the reverse of this coin, Dido made a sacrifice at the temple of Melqart-Hercules before leaving. The reverse on some other Valerian types, we know of one example struck with this same obverse die, depict Dido in Carthage beginning construction.
RP75357. Bronze dichalkon, Unpublished in the many references examined by Forum, cf. SNG Righetti 2354 (radiate and cuirassed bust), Rouvier 2503 (same), VF, well centered, porous, flan adjustment marks, weight 11.064 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP CP LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL TVRO MET, Dido standing right, kalathos on head, extending both hands toward a distyle temple of Melqart-Hercules in perspective to upper right, club within the temple, flaming column altar at her feet, murex shell on right below temple; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; the best of the few examples of the type known to Forum; extremely rare; SOLD


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

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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 mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse AYT 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., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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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 OYAΛEPIANOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKH B NE, Kabeiros standing within distyle temple, rhyton in right, hammer in left, altar at feet left, anvil(?) at feet right; rare; SOLD


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB86118. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 73h, RIC V-1 157, SRCV III 10011, Cohen V 58 var. (draped), Hunter IV - (p. xxxv), VF, centered on a broad squared flan, excellent portrait, obverse cut, reverse double struck and center weak, weight 20.492 g, maximum diameter 3.15 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 2nd emission, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG (the good fortune of the two emperors), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; SOLD


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

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP70938. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 304; SNGvA 1343; BMC Mysia p. 108, 116; SNG BnF -; SNG Hunterian -, VF, perfect centering, struck with a damaged obverse die, weight 4.774 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate,draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; ex Russian Coins; SOLD


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

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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 OYAΛEPIANOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKH B NE, 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., Laertes, Cilicia

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Laertes, on the coast of Cilicia near the western border, struck coins from the reigns of Trajan to Saloninus.
RP57152. Bronze 11 assaria, SNG BnF 604, cf. SNG Levante 378 (same obv. die(?), Zeus rev.) and 382 (Gallienus, same rev. die), VF, weight 17.621 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Laertes mint, obverse AYT KAI ΠO ΛI OYAΛEPIAN ON CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, IA before; reverse ΛAEPTEITΩN, Ares standing right, spear behind in right, shield resting on ground in left; large flan; SOLD


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The reverse composition is clearly based on sculpture. Placing the lyre atop a rock provided additional structural support for sculpture. Several Roman sculptures with a similar composition, with the lyre resting on a stump, have survived.
RP55002. Orichalcum sestertius, Göbl MIR 72h, RIC V-1 152, SRCV III 10008, Cohen V 22, aVF, weight 21.046 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse APOLINI CONSERVA (to Apollo the protector), Apollo standing half-left, laurel branch in right hand, resting left on lyre placed on small rock, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; SOLD


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RP83129. Copper as, RIC V-1 190, VF, weight 8.867 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse APOLINI CONSERVA (to Apollo the protector), Apollo standing half-left, laurel-branch pointed downward in right hand, resting left hand on lyre placed on small rock, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; rare; 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).
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).

Catalog current as of Monday, August 26, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Valerian I