Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 93   |   24 May 2016
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Lot 1120





Estimate: 1'750 CHF   |   Starting price: 1'400 CHF Unsold
THE OSTROGOTHS
Theoderic, 493-526
Pseudo-Imperial Coinage. In the name of Zeno, 474-491. Solidus, uncertain mint 493-526, AV 4.14 g. DN ZENO – PERP 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 G Victory standing l., holding long jewelled cross; in r. field, star, and in exergue, CONOBR (BR ligate). BMC Vandals –. Kraus –. Lacam pl. 54, 5 (this coin) (Ticinum). MEC I, –. RIC –.
Extremely rare and of very unusual style. Several edge mark,
otherwise about very fine
Ex M. Dürr - R. Michel sale 8 November 1999, Lacam, 242.
Odovacar was successful enough to demolish the Rugians on the Danube in 487, but Zeno was able to destroy him through Theoderic, the Ostrogoth who captured and killed him in 493. The Ostrogoths remained in Pannonia as vassals of the Huns after 375 but became increasingly active as the 5th century progressed. They formed part of the Hunnish armies but later became foederati after the death of Attila. In 459 the young Theoderic was sent to be brought up as a hostage in Constantinople but when he returned, in 471, he succeeded his father Theodemir as king of the Ostrogoths in Moesia. After a few years, Zeno gave him the rank of Patrician and he was authorised to take over the rule of Italy and drive out Odovacar. The Ostrogoths therefore officially ruled as foederati of the emperor and, nominally at least, maintained their allegiance. As king in Italy from 493, Theoderic was surprisingly capable and gave the peninsula one of the longest stretches of good government. He enforced religious tolerance and also attempted to form a major Germanic coalition thanks to family alliances. With the death of Alaric in 507, Theoderic ruled over Spain and southern Gaul as well as being regent for his grandson Amalaric. The grand scheme broke down with the accession of Hilderic the Vandal in 523 and the renewal of the Arian persecution by Justin I. Theoderic was preparing an attack on his enemies when he died in 526.

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