Zeno was an Isaurian chieftain who moved to Rome and married Emperor Leo I's daughter, Ariadne. Their son, Leo II, succeeded Leo I as emperor, and shortly after declared his father Augustus. An exceedingly unpopular emperor, Zeno spent his 17-year reign defending the empire not only against the barbarians but also against many rebellions. He died in 491 A.D after suffering an epileptic fit.
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VICTORIA AVGGG [A-I], Victory standing half left holding long jeweled cross, star right, CONOB in exergue
1st Issue, p. 306, pl. 30
905 (R5) D N ZENO P-ERP AVG
3rd Issue, p. 307, pl. 30
910 (C) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed with trefoil ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
911 (S) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed without ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
912 (R4) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed with cross on helmet, horseman ridding down enemy
4th Issue, p. 308, pl. 31
927 (R) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed with trefoil ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
928 (R3) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed without ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
5th Issue, p. 309, pl. 31
929 (C) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed with trefoil ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
930 (C) D N ZENO - PERP AVG, pearl diademed without ornament, horseman ridding down enemy
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1. Gold Tremissis. Obverse: D N ZENO ET LEO NOV CAES. Diademed bust of Zeno facing right. Reverse: VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM. Victory standing facing left, holding wreath and globe surmounted by cross; in exergue, CONOB.
2. AE 1. Obverse: ZENO ET LEO NOV CAES. Diademed head of Zeno facing right; in exergue, IIII. Reverse: INVICTA ROMA. Victory walking right, holding wreath and trophy over left shoulder; in field, S C; in exergue, XL.
With respect to the letters NOV CAES, some have considered them to stand for Novus Caesar, but it is more probable that the NOV equates to NOB, and should be interpreted as Nobilissimus. A similar interchange of V and B can be found, on the gold coins of Theodosius II and Marcian, in the legend GLORIA ORVIS [ORBIS] TERRAR.
Eckhel observes that, why Zeno and Leo are called Nobilissimi Caesares, when they were certainly Augusti, as testified by history and other coins, cannot be explained.
Obverse legends for gold and silver, D N ZENO PERP [or PERPE] AVG [or AV]. Principal reverse legends: Solidus, semissis and tremissis - VICTORIA AVGGG.
Gold coins - SALVS REIPVBLICE (sic). Christogram within wreath; No legend. Cross within wreath.Silver coins - GLORIA ROMANORVM. Zeno standing facing; in exergue, THCOB; TOV VIMV MTI [for VOT V MVLT X] in three lines within wreath; No legend. Military figure; in field, MD (Mediolanum) – Barbarous type; Military figure on the prow of a ship; in field, RV (Ravenna); Eagle standing facing right or left; Victory walking left. Bronze Coins: AE 1 – Obverse: IMP ZEN [or ZENO] FEL [or FELIX] PERP AVG, or IMP ZENO SEMPER AVG. Reverse: INVICTA ROMA. Type as No 2 of Zeno and Leo II.
AE 3 – Obverse: D N ZENO PERP AVGG. Reverse: VICTORIA AVGG.
AE 3 – Obverse: D N ZENO P F AVG. Reverse: No legend. Emperor standing.
AE 4 – Obverse: D N ZENO P F AVG. Reverse: Monogram of Zeno within wreath.