Valentinian I (AD 364 - AD 375)

lavius Valentinianus was known in English as Valentinian I. Valentinian is often referred to as the "last great western emperor". Both he and his brother Emperor Valens were born at Cibalae (modern days Vinkovci, Croatia), in Pannonia, the sons of a successful general, Gratian the Elder. He had been an officer who served under the emperors Julian and Jovian, and had risen high in the imperial service. During the short reign of Valentinian there were wars in Africa, in Germany, and in Britain, and Rome came into collision with barbarian peoples, specifically the Burgundians and the Saxons. Valentinian's chief work was guarding the frontiers and establishing military positions. Milan was at first his headquarters for settling the affairs of northern Italy. The following year (365) Valentinian was at Paris, and then at Reims, to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni. During his reign the coasts of Gaul were harassed by the Saxon pirates, with whom the Picts and Scots of northern Britain joined hands, and ravaged the island from the Antonine Wall to the shores of Kent. In 368 Count Theodosius was sent to drive back the invaders; in this he was completely successful, and established a new British province, called Valentia in honour of the emperor. In 374, the Quadi, a Germanic tribe in what is now Moravia and Slovakia, resenting the erection of Roman forts to the north of the Danube in what they considered to be their own territory, and further exasperated by the treacherous murder of their king, Gabinius, crossed the river and laid waste the province of Pannonia. The emperor in April, 375 entered Illyricum with a powerful army. But during an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at Brigetio on the Danube (near today Komįrno in Slovakia), Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.

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Valentinian I 'Restoring the Republic' Solidus 025915

Unpublished Valentinian I 'Restoring the Republic' Solidus
Gold, 4.35 grams, 21.11 mm. Antioch. 364-367 AD. Obverse: DN VALENTIANVS PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, Valentinian standing facing, head right, holding labarum with chi-rho and Victory on globe. Mintmark cross ANT delta dot. (unlisted mintmark with cross). RIC IX Antioch 2a, type xiii var; Friedberg 881; Sear (1988) 4088 var (mintmark). Extremely fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com

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Valentinian I 'Restoring the Republic' Solidus 025915


Main Roman Coin Book and Other References:

RIC = Mattingly, Harold    The Roman Imperial Coinage
BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum
RSC = Seaby, H A    Roman Silver Coinage
RCV = Sear, David R    Roman Coins and Their Values
Cr = Crawford, Michael    The Roman Republican Coinage
SB = Sear, David R    Byzantine Coins and Their Values
S = Coins of England and the United Kingdom
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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