Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 93   |   24 May 2016 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 1095

Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'000 CHF Price realized: 3'000 CHF
Odovacar, 476-493
In the name of Zeno, 474-491. Solidus, Roma 476-493, AV 4.43 g. DN ZENO P – ERP F AVC Pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, three-quarters r., holding spear and decorated shield with horseman and fallen enemy motif. Rev. VICTORI – A AVCCC : Victory standing l., holding long jewelled cross; in r. field, star, and in exergue, CONOB. BMC Vandals –. Kraus –. Lacam pl. 50, 1. RIC 3651.
Very rare. Extremely fine
Ex Lanz sale 97, 2000, 1084.
Odovacar was the most unusual of the Barbarian kings in the West in that his power relied not on his own tribe but rather on a heterogeneous group of mercenaries. He was a Scirian, a minor Germanic tribe originally from Scythia, and his father was a vassal of Attila. In the meanwhile, Orestes, Magister Militum and Patrician of Julius Nepos, had become too ambitious, driven Nepos out of Italy and proclaimed his young son emperor with the name Romulus Augustus. But the Eastern emperor Zeno charged Odovacar with the task of recuperating the western regions and soon afterward Orestes was killed, and his young son was deposed and retired to a villa in Campania. This was the moment in which Odovacar assumed the title of king of Italy (Rex Gentium, 476). He was granted the title of Patrician by the emperor Zeno, who was the ruler in whose name all of Odovacar’s coins were struck, and managed to retain control of Italy, Sicily, and parts of Provence, Noricum and Rhaetia. Odovacar resumed coinage with Zeno’s name, as usual without mintmarks, for the coins struck in Rome.

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