Billon Antoninianus. 3.46g, 22.5mm
MINTED: Antioch mint, AD 258-260
REF: RIC 287 (Antioch); AHG 115 (this coin); Göbl MIR 1700a (Samosata)
OBVERSE: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: RESTITVT ORIENTIS, turreted female (the Orient) standing right presenting wreath to the Emperor who is standing half left and holding spear.
Good Fine. Decent billon.
The reverse, declaring Valerian the Restorer of the East (Orient), is richly ironic in the context of the emperor's eventual fate.
This coin is part of a published hoard of 583 coins (The Antioch Hoard of Gallienus, by Malloy, Sorenson, Percival, 1992). The hoard was most likely formed in the 3rd century near the mint city of Antioch. The high quality and general lack of circulation wear of the coins hoarded suggest that the owner was fairly wealthy and had access to freshly-minted coins. Coins of Gallienus are most numerous (311), followed by those of Valerian (114). The earliest coin is that of Elagabalus, and the latest, Aurelian. An e-link to the full published analysis of the hoard is available.
Emperor Valerian was a senator with an illustrious career prior to his ascending the throne in 253. He ruled together with his son Gallienus at a time when the Empire was facing onslaughts on many fronts. In 260, an army he led against the Persians was defeated and he was treacherously taken captive while attending a peace parley. He was then held captive at the court of the Persian king, Shapur the Great, and treated as a slave for many years. Shapur eventually tired of his royal captive and had him flayed alive. His skin was stuffed with straw and kept as a gruesome trophy.
VALERIAN . AD 253-260 . Antoninianus . From the Antioch Hoard of Gallienus
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