Rome, Valerian Tyre mint AE28 253 - 260 AD

Obv: Laureated head r wearing paludamentum and cuirass "[IMP]CPLICVALERIAN[VSAVG]
Rev: Athena or Roma, wearing helmet, chiton, and himation, seated left on seat with back; in her right she holds a pair of statuettes on a prow; with left she leans on spear, at foot of which is her shield; in field r., murex-shell "COLTV [RO] MET.R."
. Metal: Bronze 13.64 Grams, 28 mm diameter. Condition: Fine

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History of Valerian 253 - 260 AD

After the death Licinius, Valerianus became the undisputed ruler of the Roman world. He returned to Rome with the task of bringer order the empire after the civil wars of 253. As an ex-Consul from a distinguished family Valerian was acceptable to the Senate. He quickly elevated his son Gallienus as joint ruler. Gallienus took charge of the West and Valerian headed to the East to settle the situation in Syria where many cithes had been sacked by the Persian invasion of Shapur I. He arrived in Antioch in 254 - never to return to the west. He had a series of military successes and gained the title "Restorer of the Orient", "Restorer of the Human Race" and "Restorer of the World". This did not last and in early summer 260 Valerian's army decimated by plague was besieged at Edessa. Valerian attempted to negotiate to save his army and appeared with a seior delegation before Shapur who seized the entire party including Valerian himself. Valerian was never released and spent the rest of his life as a slave to Shapur. Valerian, even as an old man, was forced to crouch down so that Shapur could step on his back when mounting his horse (some say he was kept in the nude to increase the humiliation) When he finally died, he was skinned and the skin was died vermilion and placed in a Persian temple where it was shown to visiting Roman delegations as a warning.

Valerian persecuted the Christians during his reign including two edicts issued in 257 and 258 specifically against Christians with the purpose to eradicate Christians from the upper echelons of Roman society. His rule was plagued by war and famine and was considered the most unhappy period since the founding of the Roman empire and nearly brought the empire to collapse, which to the Christians was evidence of the wrath of God.