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Coin of Valerian. Archaeological Museum of Izmir (Turkey). Photo Jona Lendering.
Valerian (Archaeological Museum, Izmir)
Valerian: emperor of the Roman world (253-260).


  • ±200: Publius Licinius Valerianus 
  • August 253: Imperator Caesar Publius Licinius Valerianus Augustus
  • June 260: taken captive by the Persians
  • 262: died in captivity
Successor of: Aemilianus


  • father: Valerius Flaccinus (?)
  • married to: Mariniana
  • children: Gallienus, Valerianus Junior

Main deeds:

  • ±200 Born
  • Before 238 Consul
  • 238 Sent by Gordian I to Rome
  • Commander of III Gallica
  • 253 Proclaimed emperor; marches on Rome; recognized by the Senate after the death of Aemilianus; Sasanian invasion of Syria; Gothic naval expedition to Asia Minor; appoints Gallienus co-ruler
  • 254 Consul II (with Gallienus); Sasanian king Shapur takes Nisibis; the Visigoths enter Thrace; the Marcomans invade Pannonia and cross the Alps; they reach Ravenna but are repelled; Valerian accepts title Germanicus maximus; moves to the east to wage war against the Sasanian empire; liberates Antioch; end of usurpation of Uranius Antoninus in Emesa
  • 255 Consul III (with Gallienus II); continued war in the east
  • 256 Naval expedition by the Visigoths to Asia Minor; Valerian returns to the west (to Rome?); Sasanians sack Dura Europos
  • 257 Consul IV (with Gallienus III); start of persecution of the Christians
  • 258 Again in Antioch; Gallienus in the Rhineland
  • 260 Unsuccessful war against the Sasanian Empire; taken captive by king Shapur
  • 262: died in captivity

Contemporary events:

  • 258 Martyrdom of Sixtus II and Laurentius
  • 258 (or 259) Martyrdom of Cyprian
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Shapur and the captive emperor Valerian. Relief at Bishapur. Photo Marco Prins.
Shapur and the captive
emperor Valerian

Succeeded by:


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