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Antoninanii
Portrait of Valerian I on Antoninanii
Antoninanii
Reverse of Antoninanii
Valerian I
253-260

Born into a traditional Roman aristocratic family in c.200 AD, Valerian followed a Senatorial career, eventually becoming Governor of Norricum and Raetia in about 251 AD. It was in this capacity that he tried to come to the assistance of the Emperor Trebonious Gallus, who was struggling to put down a revolt by the usurping general Aemillianus. Although he failed to arrive in time to prevent the murder of Gallus by forces loyal to Aemillianus, he managed to secure his own position as Emperor when his own troops declared him Augustus by persuading the followers of the usurper to assassinate their leader and defect to him.
The reign of Valerian was notorious for two key events in his reign. In 258, he instigated one of the worst Imperial persecutions of Christians since Nero. He ordered the death of many senior Christians, including Pope Sixtus, Cyprian of Carthage, St Lawrence and others who became prominent Christian martyrs. He also confiscated their property and enslaved many others.
Two years later, Valerian suffered the ignominy of becoming the first and only Roman Emperor to endure captivity at the hands of a foreign power when he was seized by the Sassanid Persian King Shapur I following the defeat of the Roman Army at the Battle of Edessa. His ultimate fate thereafter is uncertain, but many (mainly Christian sources) detail with great relish the alleged degradations and humiliations suffered by Valerian at the hands of his captor, including being used as a footstool by the Persian King, and having his skin flayed from his body and used as a decoration in the Kingís palace after his death from having molten gold poured down his throat in mockery of his attempt to ransom himself out of captivity.
This event had the effect of destabilising the already volatile Empire and Valerianís son and co-emperor, Gallienus, proved too weak to hold it together as Provincial Romans in the East and West lost confidence in the ability of the Central Roman Empire to protect them from foreign invasion. The Empire subsequently split up into three pieces, with a secessionist Gallic Empire, led by the usurper Postumus in the North and West, the Palmyrene Empire in the East led by Odaenathus, with the remaining part of the official Roman Empire in the centre. The Empire would remain divided thus until the reign of Aurelian (370-375).

Price & Availability:-
DescriptionGradePrice £Price $Availability
Silver Antoninianus of Valerian IAVF£19.50$AskYes (more than one available)

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