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Bronze coin of Valens. Obverse: Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valens, right facing. Reverse: Victory, draped, left facing, advancing with palm and wreath.

History Of Use

“D N VALENS P F AVG” extends into "Dominus Noster Valens Pius Felix Augustus,” and translates to “Our Lord Valens, Pious and Blessed August". Reverse translates to “Safety of the Republic”. Aes III (denomination); Emperor Valens. This coin was the one and only base metal denomination of Roman coinage at the time, used for small transactions. While the Emperor Valens strictly regulated the purity of gold and silver coinage, he thoroughly debased this particular coin. What little silver was in it was reduced even further, and these “bronze” coins would often be minted with copper, tin, and even lead.

Iconographic Meaning

Coins were one of the primary methods for spreading symbolic information throughout the Empire, such as the ascension of a new emperor. The face of the emperor is a symbol of his authority; his depiction with a military cuirass highlights his role as a military leader and defender of Rome. The Roman goddess of Victory on the reverse of the coin further emphasizes the importance of military success.

Item History

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