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The tragic tale of Roman Empress Galeria Valeria

Entry posted by Kohaku · - 219 views

The latest update on my Roman Empire NGC Ancients Custom Set is that I finished and posted my Owner's Comments for my ancient bronze follis featuring Roman Empress Galeria Valeria.

 

For this essay, I spent some time researching what appears to be the most widely cited primary source of information on Valeria, a book called De Mortibus Persecutorum written in 4th century AD by the imperial advisor Lactantius.  Lactiantius' account is necessarily biased, yet even so provides some very interesting insights into Roman Empire history.

 

Regarding the coin, I purchased this one raw at auction and was pleased to see it grade AU, Strike = 4/5, Surface = 3/5, a very respectable grade for an ancient bronze.  One interesting aspect about this coin is that Valeria's obverse bust appears almost masculine; her features mimick the consistent depiction of tetrarchs on their coinage (you can see what I mean if you peruse Page 13 on my Roman Empire set.)

 

Regarding Valeria, she was the daughter of Emperor Diocletian, who placed her into a an arranged marriage with his fellow and subordinate Tetrarch Galerius.  Apparently the union was a rather unhappy one, but as a political pawn Valeria had no choice in the matter.  After her husband's death, she was courted by his successor, whose advances she vehemently rejected.  The enraged Daia proceeded to ruin Valeria, despite her attempts to enlist her retired father for assistance.

 

For more details of Valeria's tragic tale, you can read my Owner's Comments here.

 

Of course, if you are further interested about ancient Rome and its coinage, you can peruse the rest of the Roman Empire collection here.


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