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Valerian (emperor)

Third century. Also known as Valerian I or Publius Licinius Valerienus. [[Emperor]] before October 253. Like the data for most of the [[Rome|Roman]] rulers of the troubled third century, the sources are less than adequate. Valerian would have been born near the beginning of the century, since at the time he became emperor, the son he associated with him, [[Gallienus]] (235-68), was already in his mid-thirties; Valerian must have been about sixty. He was from a noble family, and in the midst of the anarchical conditions of crisis from frontier assaults and internal disorder, he had already played important roles under preceding emperors. Under [[Decius]] (249-51), he was special finance officer, wherein he assisted in the efforts to compel by libelli revival of the state religion, which was the condition for the major persecution of the church. Under [[Gallus]] (251-53) he was military commander of troops from [[Raetia]], but he was unable to prevent that emperor's death at the hands of