Gold coins of Egypt Emperor Valens
storage of artifacts still buried underneath of
a pellicle of sand and soil is daily
investigated by archaeologists. Indefatigable
researches are conducted to extract history from
beneath, to find clues on a nation’s past and to
restore World history.
And thanks to its immense archaeological
materials, scientists regularly unearth new
items who change more or less our understanding
of this great ancient civilization.
The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities
announced an interesting discovery. Gold coins
forged by Roman Emperor Valens were unearthed at
the astonishment of archaeologists; these
findings represent the first of this kind in the
Land of the Pyramids.
The two coins were found during excavations in
the west part of St. Catherine’s monastery in
Sinai. The image represented on the front side
of the coins is very similar to that of Valens’
and specialists agreed that he is indeed.
Valens ruled the Eastern Roman Empire between
364 and 378 AD; his reign was nothing close to
peaceful. He had to black-out the revolt by
Procopius, and then fight the Sassanids, but the
war with the Goths meant his end.
In 378 AD a battle was to be fought which will
decisively change roman history. Near the town
of Adrianople, now Edirne, Valens organized his
forces in battle formations. He wanted a quick
victory against the unprepared Goths. He had
received word of a huge gothic army walking the
fields of his Empire, but when scouts returned
they reported a far smaller number, thus giving
the Romans numerical superiority. Valens
couldn’t wait, he wanted a victory, a quick
success would give him eternal glory. Following
his probably egoistic reason he ignored messages
from the Western Emperor Gratian, who urged him
not to attack but wait for his reinforcements.
All in vain, he saw an opportunity and was keen
to use it.
As shields began to clash and swords rage, the
Gothic cavalry returned from food gathering.
They were sent earlier the day to bring supplies
back to the half starved Goths. The battle was
intense at their arrival, so by performing a
decisive maneuver they were able to storm the
roman left flank. The consequences were
disastrous; panic overtook the Romans who were
now trying to save their skin. Valens quickly
realized his defeat so he set haste away from
the field; Goths followed. They caught the Roman
Emperor hiding in a farm house and preparing
himself for a final stand. The Goths had other
plans, no more were they to sacrifice their own
so they circled the farm house and set it on
fire. The last true roman, as Valens was named,
found his ending. Of course, there is another
theory concerning Valens’ death, he may as well
died on the battlefield.
Gold coins of this type were known in Valens’
time as solidii. This type was introduced by
Constantine I in 309 and was used until the 10th
century. Formally, a gold coin in roman times
was known as aureus.
This new finding offers us a glimpse at Egypt’s
economy and political status during the reign of