Valerian (A.D. 253-260), Silver Antoninianus Very Fine

Valerian was from a traditional Roman senatorial family and had a long, distinguished career. In A.D. 253, at 58, he was declared emperor and his son, Gallienus, was made joint ruler. Valerian left Gallienus in the West and took command in the East. He campaigned against the Persians and restored order but, in A.D. 260 he and his army were captured alive by the Persian king, Shapur. Legends talk of Shapur using Valerian as a footstool, a mounting step and feeding him molten gold; then flaying him and placing the skin on display. But, in all stone carvings on the necropolis of Naghshe-Rostamhat, Valerian is showing holding hands with Shapur in submission as a living prisoner. Also, Band-e Kaisar (Caesar’s Dam) near modern Shushtar, Iran was built around the time of Valerian with Roman techniques, alien to anything around. I suspect he and his captured army was put to work! We may never know sadly, a mystery lost to time. What you can have though is a coin from his reign, before he was captured! We have a little group of his billon silver Antoninianus in Very Fine condition. Enjoy your coin of the ensnared emperor.
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