Lot 478. Valerian I. A.D. 253-260. BI antoninianus. Samosata, A.D. 255.
Valerian I. A.D. 253-260. BI antoninianus (20 mm, 3.90 g, 12 h). Samosata, A.D. 255. IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian I right / RESTITVT OR-IENTIS, the Orient, turreted, standing right, presenting wreath to Valerian standing facing, head left, holding spear. RIC 286; Göbl 1677e; RSC 188. Darkly toned. Extremely fine / good very fine.
From the Maple Leaf Collection.
Some of the most ironic propagandizing can be found on Valerian's coinage. On the reverse of this coin he is shown receiving the submission of the East, represented by the turreted personification of the Orient presenting him the symbol of victory, the wreath. Considering that Valerian was captured by the Sasanians during the Battle of Edessa in A.D. 260, which not only destabilized the eastern provinces but the Empire as a whole, the type is nothing more than wishful boasting. It is not certain Valerian's fate after his capture. Eutropius (Roman History ix.7) said that he ""grew old in ignominious slavery among the Parthians,"" while Lactantius (De Mortibus Persecutorem v) maintained that Valerian was used as a human footstool by Shapur when mounting his horse, and that subsequently he was flayed alive, his hide stuffed with straw and displayed as a trophy.