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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     721154
Type:     Roman Provincial
Region:     BITHYNIA
City:     Nicomedia
Issuer:     Valerian I
Date Ruled:     AD 253-260
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     AE 26
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 256-258
Diameter:     26 mm
Weight:     10.16 g
Obverse Description:     Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Valerian I right, seen from behind, and radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Gallienus left, seen from behind, vis-À-vis; between, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Valerian II right, seen from behind
Reverse Legend:     ΝΙΚΟΜΗΔΕΩΝ, ΤΡΙC ΝΕΩΚΟ / ΠΩΝ
Reverse Description:     Three neocorate temples situated around central altar with serpent. Top temple with statue of Demeter within.
Primary Reference:     Rec Gen 407
Reference2:     SNG VA 860 (same dies)
Reference3:     cf. BMC 68-70 (legend arrangement)
Reference4:     SNG Cop -
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, hard bright green patina.
Notes:     Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 1154 Ex Triton VII (13-14 January 2004), lot 747.The acclamation of Valerian II as Caesar in AD 256 provided the Empire with a third ruler in addition to the already existent Augusti, Valerian’s father, Gallienus, and grandfather, Valerian I. To commemorate the occasion, Nicomedia produced special coinage with the theme of “three”: three rulers on the obverse, and three civic symbols on the reverse. In both cases the obverses show the confronted busts of the co-emperors Valerian I and Gallienus, with the young Caesar Valerian II between them. The arrangement was carefully considered: Valerian I, as senior emperor, occupied the position of honor at the left; both he and Gallienus as Augusti are radiate, while the young Caesar remained bare-headed. The reverse follows a similar pattern of "three": three temples at Nicomedia. Provincial cities competed aggressively with each other to gain special permission from Rome to build temples dedicated to the emperor; upon earning these honors the cities attained neocorate status. The most famous and prosperous cities accumulated this honor two or more times. Nicomedia was especially fortunate, since it attained such status three times.