The American Numismatic Society

Coins uncovered in the ruins of Kourion help to date the massive earthquake that leveled the city. A number of the coins bear the image of the Roman emperor Valens (364–378 A.D.) wearing a pearl diadem. Coins issued during the first years of his reign are easily identifiable: The first five letters (“VALEN”) of the emperor’s name appear to the left of his portrait while the “S” appears on the right. The so-called split-Valens bronze coin above, from the collection of the American Numismatic Society, is similar to those recovered from Kourion—which strongly suggests that the site was destroyed in 365 A.D.