Archive for December 17th, 2007

Curses! Lead foiled again.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

It’s not unusual to find Roman cursing charms inscribed on lead in England, but ones cursing the emperor were pretty much unheard of, until now.

Some 1,650 years ago someone was so comprehensively fed up with the state of the Roman empire that they committed an act of treason, blasphemy and probably criminal defacing of the coinage. They cursed the emperor Valens by hammering a coin with his image into lead, then folding the lead over his face.

Valens was emperor from 364 AD to 378 AD. He was a hardcore Arian and not keen on religious tolerance, so doubtless that garnered him some hatred. He also let the Visigoths settle across the natural border of the Danube and then treated them like crap so they revolted, kicking ass all over the Balkans until finally kicking Valens’ own ass for good and annihilating his army at the Battle of Adrianople.

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