Reece Period attributed: Period 13

Obverse image of a coin of Vaballathus

Member of the Third Century Emperors dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 271 until 272.

Julius Aurelius Septimius Valbalathus Athenodorus was the son of a lieutenant of Gallienus, Septimius Odaenathus. This lieutenant served Gallienus well and ruled Palmyra, until he was killed under suspicious circumstances which left power in the hands of his widow Zenobia and ten-year-old son Vabalathus.

Gallienus, Claudius, and Quintillus all refused to grant Vabalathus the titles his father had won. When Aurelian became emperor, he didn’t have the resources to directly confront Vabalathus, so he granted him the titles. Two years later, Aurelian had the means to destroy Palmyrene power; he took both Valabalathus and Zenobia captive and paraded them through Rome in his triumph. Zenobia was permitted to live out her days in honourable retirement; the fate of Vabalathus is unknown.

Therefore, Vabalathus had the title Augustus in AD 272, when he issued joint coinage honouring himself and Aurelian.

Other resources about Vaballathus

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Vaballathus.

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