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    Description

    Rare Ravenna Zeno Solidus

    Julius Nepos and Odovacer, in the name of Zeno (AD 474-491). AV solidus (20mm, 4.46 gm, 6h).  Ravenna, under titular rule of Julius Nepos, AD 476-480. D N ZENO PERP F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Zeno facing, head slightly right, holding spear over right shoulder and on left arm shield with horseman motif / VICTOR-I-A AVCCC ? (mintmark), Victory standing left, holding long jeweled cross, star in right field, CONOB in exergue. RIC X 3632 (R3) (these dies). Lacam 39. Extremely rare! NGC (as Zeno) (photo-certificate) Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Neil S. Phillips Collection (Spink London, 7-9 October 1997), lot 445. 

    The political situation in Italy during the years AD 474-180 was extremely confused, to say the least. The "official" Emperor of the West, Julius Nepos, was deposed from the imperial seat of Ravenna in 475 and replaced by Romulus Augustus, the adolescent son of the Magister Militum Orestes; Nepos fled to Dalmatia and led a court-in-exile there. Romulus Augustus, in turn, was overthrown in mid-476 by the Germanic warlord Odovacer, who styled himself "king of Italy" and sent word to the Eastern Emperor Zeno (who had only recently regained the throne after the usurpation of Basiliscus) that a Western emperor was no longer needed and that he would rule Italy as regent for the East Roman regime. Zeno also received a deputation from Julius Nepos, requesting that he be restored to the throne. Zeno gave a ambiguous response to both envoys, accepting Odovacer's authority as regent but requesting that Nepos continue to be recognized as emperor of the West. This rare solidus reflects the complexities of the era, struck in Ravenna under the actual control of Odovacer and the titular rule of Nepos, but in the name of the East Roman Emperor Zeno. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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