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    RIC Plate Coin of Majorian

    Majorian, Western Roman Emperor (AD 457-461). AV solidus (22mm, 4.35 gm, 6h).  Uncertain mint in Gaul under Visigothic control in the style of Arles, AD 459-461. D N IVLIVS MAIORI-ANVS PΓ AVC, helmeted, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed and bust of Majorian right, in right hand holding spear pointing forward, shield over left shoulder emblazoned with cross-in-circle / VICTORI-A AVGGG, Majorian in military dress standing facing, left foot on human-headed serpent, holding long cross in right hand and stylized Victory-on-globe in left, A - R across fields, COMOB in exergue. RIC 2742 (R4)(this coin illustrated). Extremely rare! A little weakly struck in center. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice XF 4/5 - 3/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Leu 72 (Zurich, 12 May 1998), lot 586; Ex Marquesa Venturi-Ginori & Gariazzo Collection (Santamaria, 24 January 1938), lot 1089. 

    The last heroic character to occupy the western Roman throne, Flavius Julius Valerius Majorianus was born ca. AD 420 to an aristocratic Roman family. His mother was daughter of the elder Majorianus, who served as Master of Soldiers to Theodosius I (AD 379-395), while his father was a financial officer  during the long reign of Valentinian III (AD 430-455). Majorian entered military service at an early age and distinguished himself in battle, as well as cutting a dashing figure at court. When Valentinian III was murdered in AD 455, his widow Licinia Eudoxia favored Majorian as his replacement, but was outmaneuvered by the usurper Petronius Maximus. Majorian then allied himself with the powerful barbarian general Ricimer, master of soldiers under the emperor Avitus, whom they deposed late in October of AD 456. After a six-month "interregnum," Majorian was hailed as emperor by Ricimer and his troops on April 1, AD 457. His letter to the Roman Senate setting forth his military and domestic policies is one of the few reliable documents to have survived from this shadowy period. Majorian spent most of the next two years leading military expeditions into Spain and Gaul, regions that had virtually broken away from Roman authority. Defeats were dealt to the Visigoths, Burgundians, and Vandals, the first such Roman victories in decades. Coinage struck in his name by the Visigoths (including this rare gold solidus) show his efforts met with considerable success. He next prepared to launch an invasion of North Africa to eject the Vandals from their home base, but before he could embark, the Vandals attacked and captured his fleet at Cartagena late in AD 459. The disaster fatally crippled Majorian's regime. Forced to conclude a humiliating peace treaty, Majorian attempted to return to Italy. But after dismissing his bodyguard in Gaul, he was intercepted, arrested and executed by his former ally Ricimer, who appointed the docile Libius Severus in his stead. 

    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: 6
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