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Roman Empire, Galerius for his Wife Galeria Valeria, Follis

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Roman Empire, Galerius for his Wife Galeria Valeria, Follis (obverse) Roman Empire, Galerius for his Wife Galeria Valeria, Follis (reverse)

Galeria Valeria was the the daughter of Emperor Diocletian and married to Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus, the adopted son and co-emperor. The marriage had taken place for political reasons: Galerius (305-311) was entrusted with the care of the Danubian provinces including Greece, and advised Diocletian with ongoing problems. Thus depending on Galerius and to ensure the latter's loyalty, Diocletian wanted to tie him closer to his family with this marriage. Coin portraits of Galeria Valeria depict a strong face with a large jaw and prominent chin. She probably did not look much like her portraits, though. The style used for imperial coin portraits show all four Tetrarchs and their later caesars and co-emperors with thick necks, large jaws, prominent brows. In fact, all the portraits of these men look very much alike – this style of portraiture was intended to convey the image of a tough, united, no-nonsense group of men who ruled as imperial brothers. For Valeria's coins, the standard imperial portrait was only a little changed, in order to make it look like a woman's face.

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