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Lot 299:
Valens (364-378). AE 19 mm. 364 AD. Sirmium mint. Obv. DN VALENS P F AVG. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev. GAVDIVM R P. Two emperors standing facing, head turned towards each other, holding vertical sceptre or reversed spear (?) and globe. RIC -. AE. g. 2.59 Unicum. About EF/Good VF.

 

Unknown reverse type in the Roman imperial coinage.

 

This coin was published by Marinov Momtchil and Veselin Stoev in 'The Celator', 15.8 (August 2001), p. 18-25: Valens' GAVDIVM ROMANI POPVLI.

Summary (pp. 24-25):

"For much of his fourteen-year reign, Valens spent his time defending the Eastern Empire against the Persians and on the Danube-against the Goths. In 376 AD, the Huns made numerous attacks to the northern regions of the empire. Even the Goths applied to Valens for relief by allowing them to cross the Danube and settle peacefully within Roman territory. Valens deciding that the Goths might provide at least a buffer against the Huns, agreed to the petition and the Goths began a mass migration. However, once settled within Roman territory, the Goths found themselves persecuted and badly treated by the local Roman inhabitants. This harsh treatment could no longer be endured and the Goths rebelled. Valens was forced to march against them with disastrous consequences. Valens meet his death on August 9th, 378 AD in one of the greatest military catastrophes ever suffered by the Roman Legions –the Battle of Adrianopolis. It was in this fateful battle to the death with the Goths where the legions of Rome were totally annihilated. The devastation and carnage was so vast that the body of the Emperor Valens was never recovered. This battle was one of the worst defeats ever suffered by Rome. No one before had ever totally destroyed the powerful legions of the Roman army while under the personal command of an Emperor himself. Valens’ period of rule could be associated with quite a few positive political and strategic actions for the glory of Rome. Some of those that we can provide using the historical sources are: -The defeat in the spring of 366 over Procopius’ rebellion; -His preceding defeat over Procopius’ general Gomoarius at Thyatira; -In 369, Valens attacked the northeasterly Gothic tribe of Greuthungi before facing Athanaric’s Tervingi and defeated the in 370; -The following year larger forces were sent under Terentius to regain Iberia and to garrison Armenia near Mt. Npat. When Sapor counterattacked into Armenia in 371, his forces were worsted by Valens’ generals Traianus and Vadomarius at Bagavan. Having overstepped the 363 AD treaty, Valens had successfully defended his transgression. A truce settled after the 371 victory held as a quasi-peace for the next five years while Sapor was forced to deal with a Kushan invasion on his eastern frontier; -In Isauria, the mountainous region of western Cilicia, a major revolt had broken out in 375 which diverted troops formerly stationed in the east. Furthermore, by 377, the Saracens under Queen Mavia had broken into revolt and devastated a swath of territory stretching from Phoenicia and Palestine as far as the Sinai. Though Valens successfully brought both uprisings under control. Considering all historical sources and data, our contemporary theory for the mint of the 'GAVDIVM ROMANI POPVLI' reverse would be based on and concerned with Valens' greatest defeat, that over Procopius in 366 AD. In addition, the second period of the Sirmium mint would be prolonged either with two more years (351-366 AD) or year 366 could be added as another (fifth) period of coinage at Sirmium when only this commemorative reverse had been struck. The coin is extremely rare and this specimen is the first published".
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