ROMAN EMPIRE Valerian 253-60 AD antoninianus


ROMAN EMPIRE, Valerian, 253-60 AD, antoninianus, no date (258-60 AD), Syrian mint, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, Reverse: emperor standing L receiving wreath from turreted tyche standing R, RESTITVT ORIENTIS, dot in wreath, billon, 21mm, 4.1g, SR9967, heavy full silvering, VF

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Valerian I was a high official and general who came to the defense of Trebonianus and Volusian against the usurper Aemilian, was too late, and was acclaimed Emperor by the Senate. He immediately elevated his son, Gallienus, to Augustus, making him co-Emperor. There were wars in the north and the east. Valerian tried to arrange a peace treaty with the Sasanids of Persia, but he was captured during the conference and taken hostage. Ransom was not paid, and he died in captivity. There is a story that the Persian king had his body stuffed and put on display in the palace.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

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.