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    Last Great Western Emperor

    Valentinian I (AD 364-375). AV solidus (22mm, 4.45 gm, 6h).   Constantinople, AD 367-375. DN VALENTINIANVS PF AVG, rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valentinian right / RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, holding labarum and Victory bearing wreath on globe; *CONS (wreath) in exergue. RIC 25a. Cohen 25. Faint scratch in reverse field, otherwise Choice Extremely Fine.

    The last truly great Emperor of the West, Valentinian I was born in AD 321 to a Pannonian peasant who rose through army ranks to become a general. He received a solid education and followed his father into the army, becoming a cavalry officer and winning distinction under Constantius II. Upon Jovian's death, leaders of the Roman army met and deliberated for ten days before proclaiming Valentinian emperor on February 25, AD 364. With the army deeply divided between regional factions, Valentinian appointed his younger brother Valens co-emperor and placed him in charge of the East, while Valentinian himself took command of the more seriously threatened West. Valentinian made Milan his provisional capital but spent most of his time on the German frontier strengthening fortifications and battering barbarian tribes into submission. Concerned that the burden of taxation was falling too heavily upon the poor, he appointed officers called "Protectors of the People" who made sure the rich paid their fair share. Though the Senatorial class deeply resented him as an uncultured brute, Valentinian possessed a firm understanding of administration as well as an appreciation for art and literature. He also followed a policy of strict religious tolerance, unlike rulers before and after him. He did, however, have a ferocious temper, which got the better of him during an audience with several Germanic chieftains in November AD 375. When they failed to show him proper respect, the emperor flew into a rage and suffered a stroke. His death proved a great tragedy for the Empire, as a man of his skill and energy might have averted the catastrophes that soon followed.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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