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Siliqua (Coin) Portraying Valentinian II

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.

Date:

378-383

Artist:

Roman, minted in Trier

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin portrays Emperor Valentinian II, diademed, draped, and cuirassed (wearing a military cloak), facing right. The back (reverse) depicts Roma seated on a throne, holding Victory on globe and spear.

Although the fourth century was a time of tremendous political, social, and religious change for the Roman Empire, the imagery presented on the coins tells a different story, one of an unbroken chain of powerful rulers supported by the deities of traditional Roman religion. Diocletian (reigned 284–305), through a series of administrative, military, and monetary reforms, had brought to an end the chaos of the third century. He also divided the rule of the vast empire under four men, a senior and junior ruler in the Western half and the Eastern half.

Constantine I (reigned 306–37) reinstituted sole control over the empire; moved the imperial capital to the new city named after him, Constantinople; and not only brought an end to the persecution of Christians, but also built monumental churches in Rome, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. In 380, Theodosius (reigned 379–95) proclaimed Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. His coin in this case, however, stands true to numismatic tradition; a personification of Fortune appears on the back of his coin.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Siliqua (Coin) Portraying Valentinian II

Origin

Trier

Date

378 CE–383 CE

Medium

Silver

Dimensions

Diam. 1.9 cm; 1.56 g

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Roger Trienens

Reference Number

1996.360

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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