Roman Empire

Valerian I, Co-Emperor AD 253-260

RIC 50; Calicó 3441, Extremely Fine

Rome, AD 256/7. IMP C LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian I right. Reverse: RESTITVTOR ORBIS, emperor standing facing, head left, holding spear and raising kneeling female.

Ex NAC 46 (2 April 2008), 657

At the death of Trebonianus Gallus in AD 253, the elderly senator, P. Licinius Valerianus (Valerian), was hailed as Emperor in opposition to Aemilian. He accepted the position but convinced the Senate to also appoint his son Gallienus, as co-ruler due to his age and the many problems of the Empire. The first years of Valerian’s reign were spent trying to push back the invading Goths and Heruli along the Black Sea and in Asia Minor. In AD 260, Valerian undertook a war against the Sasanian Persian shah, Shapur I. Finding himself defeated at Edessa, the Emperor attempted to negotiate an end to the conflict in person. Unfortunately, during the negotiations the Emperor was seized and carried off into Persian captivity where he was humiliated and abused. For four years he was forced to serve as Shapur’s living footstool before he was finally killed and stuffed as a trophy for the Sasanian court.