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A Valens Acquisition on the Anniversary of Andrianople


LONGINUS

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Today, August 9, is the 1645th anniversary of the devastating Roman defeat.

 

Here is my latest ancient coin acquisition and a salute to a fallen emperor.

 

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Show us your emperors who died in battle.

 

 

 

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Valens, one of two impetuous brothers, the other being Valentinian.  Valentinian suffered a stroke while ranting at what he perceived as the insolence of some Quadi ambassadors.  Valens rushed into battle without waiting for the arrival of reinforcements under his nephew Gratian.  

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As usually, congratulations for the elegant presentation. BUT, and please do not get upset, I think Andrianople is incorrect.

The first ancient coin I have ever seen was from emperor Valens. I was not able to attribute it myself and requested help from experts. The fact the the coin is chipped, with an incomplete legend, was not very helpful/encouraging for a beginner. 

The ironic part was that I was convinced that this is the standard condition of ancient coins (or even worse); if I want something better, they are extremely rare and expensive. So at that time (10 years ago) ancient coins were not something I wanted to collect/study. I bought it just because I wanted an ancient coin. 

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Valens, Augustus 364-378. Ӕ Follis, Arles.
DN VALEN-S PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / SECVRITAS-REIPVBLICAE, Victory walking left (or standing left) holding wreath and palm branch. OF-III across fields. Mintmark CONST.
RIC IX Arles 9b, type ii(c).

The first emperor who died one the battlefield was Gordian II. I do not have a coin from him (for obvious reasons).

The second was Philip the Arab, who died in battle. But it was something awfully close to a civil war as it was killed by the troops led by the future emperor Decius. 

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.... the third was Decius himself. Making him the first emperor to die in battle against foreign troops. 

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Edited by ambr0zie
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Lovely siliqua, @LONGINUS, and informative write-up! Gordian III died in battle with Shapur I. Here's a coin from Hadrianopolis, too!

GordianIIIHadrianopolisArtemissunlight.jpg.f66c08a82d25c7e4f887662eb4c01602.jpg
Gordian III, 238-244.
Roman provincial Æ tetrassarion, 9.53 g, 24.2 mm, 1 h.
Thrace, Hadrianopolis, 238-244.
Obv: AVT K M ANT ΓOPΔIANOC AVΓ, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: AΔPIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis standing left, holding patera and bow; stag at side.
Refs: RPC VII.2, 681.22 (this coin); BMC 3.120,30; Moushmov 2685; Varbanov 3888; Jurukova 476–7, 507–8, 543.

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Lovely coin @LONGINUS! And it goes without saying, that the art is fantastic! 

When it comes to the death of he emperors, i enjoy reading this article: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/actat/article/view/52565/41170

The article makes a distinction between death by soldiers, and deaths on he battlefield. According to it, 5 died in the battlefield: Gordian II, Philip the Arab, Decius, Constantine II, and Julian. Overall, it was dangerous being an emperor, about half of the total 77 emperors were murdered in some fashion. 

anyway, here's my Philip. Apparently, my only emperor that died on the battlefield.

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16 minutes ago, Limes said:

Lovely coin @LONGINUS! And it goes without saying, that the art is fantastic! 

When it comes to the death of he emperors, i enjoy reading this article: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/actat/article/view/52565/41170

The article makes a distinction between death by soldiers, and deaths on he battlefield. According to it, 5 died in the battlefield: Gordian II, Philip the Arab, Decius, Constantine II, and Julian. Overall, it was dangerous being an emperor, about half of the total 77 emperors were murdered in some fashion. 

anyway, here's my Philip. Apparently, my only emperor that died on the battlefield.

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This coin is a gem 🤩. I love the reversed S C in the exergue 😂.

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22 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

Interesting, @Roman Collector. This would suggest that in fact Gordian III was the first Roman emperor who died in a battle against FOREIGN troops. Until today I was convinced it was Decius. 

Well, this means this Gordian III from Hadrianopolis fits the theme. 

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20 minutes ago, Limes said:

Lovely coin @LONGINUS! And it goes without saying, that the art is fantastic! 

When it comes to the death of he emperors, i enjoy reading this article: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/actat/article/view/52565/41170

The article makes a distinction between death by soldiers, and deaths on he battlefield. According to it, 5 died in the battlefield: Gordian II, Philip the Arab, Decius, Constantine II, and Julian. Overall, it was dangerous being an emperor, about half of the total 77 emperors were murdered in some fashion. 

anyway, here's my Philip. Apparently, my only emperor that died on the battlefield.

42.1.png.272a51652ff399eaa3cd1aaf262e2c15.png

Gordian III likely died in battle and wasn't murdered by the troops.

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A wonderful post and coin, @LONGINUS.

My own two favorite coins of the unfortunate Valens:

Valens (brother of Valentinian I, reigned AD 364-378), AR reduced Siliqua, AD 364-367, Rome Mint. Obv. DN VALEN-S PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / Rev. VOT- V- MV • LT - X in four lines within wreath. In exergue: Mintmark RB. RIC IX Rome 10c (p. 118), RSC V 91(h) (ill.), Sear RCV V 19687. 17 mm., 2.00 g.  From 1887 East Harptree hoard (one of 19 coins of this type in hoard; see
https://archive.org/details/thirdnumismatic08royauoft/page/46/mode/1up). Ex Spink Auction 16006, 26-27 Sep 2016, Part of Lot 3028. (See  .)*

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* The East Harptree hoard was discovered in 1887 on the land of Mr. W. Kettlewell of Harptree Court, while a search for a new spring was being conducted. Mr. Kettlewell kindly made them available for study at the British Museum, and they were written up by John Evans for the Numismatic Chronicle of 1888, pages 22-46. The British Museum was given a few of the most interesting coins, and the rest were returned to the owner. Many years later they were given to the father of the consignor by Mr. Kettlewell's son, and they have remained in their packing ever since. Evans noted \The coins when found were to some extent coated in dirt, and with what was probably a little chloride of silver. When carefully washed and brushed their remarkably good preservation became apparent, and there were none but what could be attributed to the emperor under whom they were struck\\. The coins offered here are as they were when returned from the BM in 1887/1888. Many exhibit light deposit, which could be easily removed by a competent conservator, but at the expense of the mint bloom that is apparent on many. The overall quality is remarkable, and few, if any, are clipped. Large numbers look ordinary to the naked eye, but when tilted towards the light, or examined under magnification, reveal extraordinary quality. (See https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=1689&lot=2858.)

Valens (younger brother of Valentinian I, reigned as Emperor in East AD 364-378), AV Solidus, Treveri (Trier) Mint, 1st Officina, issued 376 - mid-377 AD after death of Valentinian I [see Depeyrot pp. 77, 121]. Obv. Pearl-diademed (with double band of pearls held by single rosette gem at top), draped, and cuirassed bust right, DN VALENS – PF AVG / Rev. Valens & Gratian enthroned facing in single large throne, each with left leg uncovered and right hand on a globe between them; above and behind, Victory facing with wings spread; palm-branch on ground between them; VICTOR – IA AVGG around; in exergue, mintmark TROBC [TR = Treveri Mint; OB = “obryzum, which means refined or pure gold, and is the Greek numeral 72. Thus the . . . OB . . . may be read ‘1/72 pound pure gold’” (see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=CONOB); C = Capita, for 1st Officina (see Depeyrot p. 52)]. 19.5 mm., 4.42 g., 6 h.  Depeyrot, Trèves [Trier] 45/1 Valens at p. 121 (45th emission for city since AD 337) (26 examples of type from 1st Officina; 33 overall) [Depeyrot, George, Les Monnaies d'Or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491) (Wetteren 1996)]; RIC IX 39(d)1 at p. 21; Sear RCV V 19578 (obv. ill. p. 324). Purchased from CNG (Classical Numismatic Group, LLC) Electronic Auction 525, 20 Oct. 2022, Lot 1319; ex. “Conti Collection.”*

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*This is my only example of a solidus bearing the reverse legend “VICTORIA AVGG” (“To the Victory of the Two Emperors,” see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=VICTORIA%20AVGG), depicting two reigning emperors enthroned together on the reverse. This type was “for more than a quarter of a century . . . the main gold currency of the western empire,” issued in the names of all the co-emperors during that period, beginning with Valentinian I and Valens in the 360s AD. See RIC IX p. 5 (introduction to Treveri Mint section.)

Despite relying on Depeyrot and correctly describing the obverse as depicting Valens with a pearl-diademed bust, CNG’s lot description for this coin was erroneous in several respects. Thus, CNG identified the coin as Depeyrot 43/2 rather than the correct 45/1, even though the obverse of 43/2 is identified in Depeyrot (see p. 119) with a code signifying a rosette-diademed bust rather than the code for a pearl diadem, used for 45/1 (see p. 121). As a result of this relatively minor error, and because 43/2 was issued before the death of Valentinian I, CNG incorrectly dates the coin to the period from mid-373 to April 375 AD, and incorrectly identifies the two emperors on the reverse of the coin as Valentinian I and Valens, rather than Valens and Gratian.

As it happens, Depeyrot 43/2 overall is about four times as common as 45/1 (126 examples cited compared to 33), but the number of cited examples from the 1st Officina, with TROBC in the exergue, is approximately the same (28 as compared to 26). So I doubt that the price of this coin was materially affected by CNG’s errors in identifying it. Although I should point out that CNG’s citation of RIC IX 39b.1 for this coin also appears to be incorrect, independently: as far as I can tell, that type is coded as a coin of Valentinian I rather than Valens. Hence, my citation to a different type.

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