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HOME : Roman Coins : Emperor Valentinian I : Bronze Coin of Emperor Valentinian I
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Bronze Coin of Emperor Valentinian I - C.7583
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 364 AD to 375 AD

Collection: Roman Coins
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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Obverse: DN VALENTINIANVS PF AVG; Diademed, Draped, and Cuirassed Bust of the Emperor Facing Right

Reverse: GLORIA ROMANORVM; Valentinian I Walking to the Right, Holding a Labarum and Dragging a Captive Behind Him

Flavius Valentinianus had risen to the position of Praetorian Prefect under Emperor Jovian. After Jovian’s death, he was raised to the throne by the soldiers in Bithynia. One of his first acts as emperor was to promote his brother Valens to the rank of co-Augustus to rule the Eastern half of the Empire. However, the transition of power was complicated by the fact that the army was marching back from Jovian’s aborted invasion of Persia. Taking advantage of the power vacuum in the capital, an opportunistic relative of Jovian, Procopius, rushed ahead of the army back to Constantinople where he was declared emperor. Valentinian left Valens to deal with the usurper while his set off to establish control in the west. Valentinian set up court in Milan and spent the majority of his reign fending off the increasingly powerful German attacks along the Rhine. After falling seriously ill in 367 A.D., Valentinian appointed his young son Gratian as Augustus. By 374 A.D., Valentinian was forced to stem a new series of German assaults across the Danube. Valentinian eventually passed away after suffering a stroke in 375 A.D., apparently brought on by his frustration.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine- made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial to an emperor passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.
- (C.7583)


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