Billon Antoninianus. 2.76g, 21.7mm
MINTED: Mediolanum (Milan) mint, AD 257
REF: RIC 266; Cohen 257; MIR36, 794d
OBVERSE: IMP P LIC VALERIANO AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: VIRTVS AVGG, Mars standing left, holding Victory in right hand and a spear in the left hand, at his feet a shield.
Very Fine. Good metal.
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 . "VIRTVS AVG" . Milan
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