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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Leo I||View Options:  |  |  | 

Leo I, 7 February 457 - 18 January 474 A.D.

Leo I, a native of Dacia, assumed the purple after the death of Marcian in 457 A.D. Leo came to the throne at a time when the Eastern Roman army was made up almost entirely of Germans, and it is through the efforts of Leo that the powerful German military faction's influence was destroyed. After being struck down by illness, he raised his infant grandson to the purple, then died shortly after.

|Leo| |I|, |Leo| |I,| |7| |February| |457| |-| |18| |January| |474| |A.D.|, |half| |centenionalis|
In 467, Vandal pirates raided, sacked and enslaved the people living in Illyricum, the Peloponnese and other parts of Greece. In 468, Leo spent 64,000 pounds of gold (more than a year's revenue and bringing Leo near to bankruptcy) to assemble a fleet of over 1,100 ships carrying 100,000 men. During peace negotiations the Vandal King Genseric used fire ships, filled with brushwood and pots of oil, to destroy 700 imperial galleys 45 miles from Carthage. The defeated General Basiliscus escaped back to Constantinople where he was forced to seek sanctuary in the church of Hagia Sophia to escape the wrath of the people. Leo I gave him an imperial pardon, but banished him for 3 years to Heraclea Sintica (Thrace).
RL91322. Bronze half centenionalis, cf. RIC X 674, LRBC II 2258, DOCLR 573, SRCV V 21457, Hunter V -, aF, oval flan with large split, weight 0.740 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse D N LEO P F AVG (or similar), pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse lion crouching left, head right, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; $2.00 (1.84)

|Leo| |I|, |Leo| |I,| |7| |February| |457| |-| |18| |January| |474| |A.D.|, |solidus|
RIC X divides this type into two phases. The earlier phase (457 - 468) is distinguished by an angular form of the letter G and the spear usually pointing between the second P and E of PERPET. The later phase (468 - 473) the G's are rounded and the spear usually points between the E and T.
SH87295. Gold solidus, DOCLR 525, Hunter V 6, Tolstoi 8, Ratto 245, RIC X 605, Depeyrot 93/1, SRCV V 21404, Choice EF, well centered on a broad flan, nearly as struck with much mint luster, radiating flow lines, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, early phase 457 - 468 A.D.; obverse D N LEO PERPET AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left decorated with horseman; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG S (victory of the three emperors, 6th officina), Victory half left supporting long jeweled cross, star right, CONOB in exergue; ex Dutch Numismatic Auction, auction 1, lot 485; SOLD





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Catalog current as of Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
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