ROMAN EMPIRE, Valentinian III, 425-55 AD, gold, solidus, Ravenna mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Valentinian III, 425-55 AD, solidus, no date (426-445 & 450-455 AD), Ravenna mint, Obverse: diademed bust R, D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, Reverse: emperor standing facing, holding long cross & Victory on globe, foot on captive, VICTORIA AVGGG, COM OB, R in left field, V in right field, gold, 21mm, 4.44g, Sear notes Kent’s opinion that this was made by the Visigoths in Gaul, SR21265, AU-Unc

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Valentinian III should have succeeded Honorius as Western Emperor, but that was delayed by the usurpation of Johannes. During his reign the Vandals passed through Spain to Africa, where they set up a kingdom. The loss of the African revenues crippled the Western Empire.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.