Rome, Valerian Tyre mint AE30 253 - 260 AD

Obv: Radiate draped bust right
Right Rev: .Legionary eagle and standards
Metal: Bronze 15.5 Grams, 30 mm diameter. Condition: VF

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History of Valerian 253 - 260 AD

Little is know of Valerian's early life. He was a senator from a distinguished Licinia family. In 250 Trajan Decius created a special post for Valerian with nearly unlimited power to maintain the peace while Trajan Decius was absent from Rome. A few months later the new emperor, Trebonianus Gallus, sent Valerian to the Rhine to recruit soldiers. This task was cut short when Aemilian revolted and marched on Italy. Trebonium Gallus ordered Valerian to lead an army to defend Italy, but Valerian was too late and Aemilian took Rome. However, his soldiers hailed Valerian as the new emperor in opposition to Aemilian. The two armies met in Umbria and Aemilian was killed by his own soldiers after a minor battle. Meanwhile, Valerian's eldest son Gallienus was in Rome and he got the senate to approve Valerian as Augustus and Gallienus as co-Augustus.

There was trouble on the frontiers and the two emperors effectively divided the responsibilities with Gallienus in the west and Valerian in the east. Valerian was defeated and became the first emperor to be captured by an enemy (Shapur I of the Persians/Sassanians). Valerian was mutilated and forced to be a stepping stool for Shapur when mounting his horse. When not being humiliated Valerian was said to have been kept huddled in a small cage. It is unknown when Valerian died in captivity, but upon his death his skin was removed, dyed, stuffed and preserved and put on display for a very long time.