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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late EmpireView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of the Late Roman Empire

Zeno, 18 January - 17 November 474 and August 476 - 11 April 491 A.D.

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Zeno, an Isaurian chieftain, married Emperor Leo I's daughter, Ariadne. Their son, Leo II, succeeded Leo I as emperor and shortly after declared his father Augustus. Unpopular, Zeno spent his 17-year reign fighting not only barbarians but also against many rebellions. He died after an epileptic fit.
SH89781. Gold solidus, DOCLR 643 (also 10th officina), Tolstoi 24, Ratto 284, RIC X 910, Depeyrot 108/1, SRCV V 21514, Choice VF, well centered and struck, some die wear, scratch/graffito on obverse, weight 4.449 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, Aug 476 - 11 Apr 491, 5th issue; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed with trefoil ornament on crested helmet, cuirassed, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down and spearing enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVGGG I, Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; $760.00 (668.80)


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

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This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; $150.00 (132.00)


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

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Marcian indirectly saved Rome from Attila the Hun. In 452, Attila captured and ransacked Aquileia, Milan, and other cities in Northern Italy. It seemed Attila would soon attack Rome itself, whose walls were weaker than some cities Attila had already captured. Meanwhile, however, Marcian's Eastern Roman forces had taken the offensive across the Danube, attacking the breadbasket of the Hunnic Empire. The loss of food supply from Attila's own land, and a famine and plague in Italy, depleted Attila's forces, allowing the Western Roman Empire to bribe him into returning to his homeland. Back home, Attila threatened to invade the Eastern Empire and enslave the entirety of it. Marcian and Aspar ignored his threats. The Eastern Empire had already paid Attila about six tons of gold, yet he still threatened them. They reasoned that gold would be better spent building up armies. Attila's attack never came, as he died unexpectedly in 453, either from hemorrhaging or alcoholic suffocation, after celebrating a marriage to one of his many wives. Attila's tribal confederation empire fell apart within a year after his death. Marcian settled numerous tribes, formerly under Attila, within Eastern Roman lands as foederati (subject tribes which gave military service in exchange for various benefits). Map 450 A.D.
RL89178. Bronze nummus, RIC X Marcian 548 (S), LRBC II 2463, SRCV V 21396, DOCLR 507, aVF, dark green patina, typical tight flan, weight 1.363 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 180o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian monogram (RIC monogram 5) in wreath, NIC in exergue (off flan); scarce; $100.00 (88.00)


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

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The Column of Marcian was dedicated to Marcian, built by the praefectus urbi Tatianus, sometime between 450 and 452. It still stands in modern Istanbul, though the statue of Marcian which originally topped it has been lost. Marcian also had a statue in the Forum of Arcadius, which contained the statues of several of Arcadius' successors.Column of Marcian
RL87908. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Marcian 553 (R), LRBC II 2464, SRCV V 21396, Hunter V 12 var. (monogram variation), VF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, earthen encrustation, small edge crack, weight 0.978 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c 450 - 457 A.D.; obverse D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian monogram (RIC monogram 4) in undivided wreath, no cross above, NIC in exergue; ex Beast Coins; rare; $95.00 (83.60)


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

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At the beginning of Marcian's reign, the Eastern Roman treasury was almost bankrupt, due to the huge tributes paid to Attila by Theodosius. Marcian reversed this near bankruptcy not by levying new taxes, but rather by cutting expenditures. Upon his accession, he declared a remission of all debts owed to the state. Marcian attempted to improve the efficiency of the state in multiple ways, such as mandating that the praetorship must be given to senators residing in Constantinople, attempted to curb the practice of selling administrative offices, and decreed that consuls would be responsible for the maintenance of Constantinople's aqueducts. He repealed the Follis, a tax on senators' property which amounted to seven pounds of gold per year. Marcian removed the financial responsibilities of the consuls and praetors, who had since the time of the Roman Republic been responsible for funding the public sports games or giving wealth to the citizens of Constantinople, respectively; additionally, he made it such that only the Vir illustris could hold either office. By the time of his death, Marcian's shrewd cutting of expenditures and avoidance of large-scale wars left the Eastern Roman treasury with a surplus of 100,000 pounds (45,000 kg) of gold.
RL87909. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Marcian 561 (R), LRBC II 2609, SRCV V 21398, Hahn MIB 33, DOCLR -, Hunter V -, VF, tight flan, obverse off center, edge crack, small pit on obverse, weight 1.354 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 453 - 457 A.D.; obverse D N MARCINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian's monogram (RIC monogram 1) , in wreath, CVZ in exergue; ex Beast Coins; rare; $95.00 (83.60)


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

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Leo I (Latin: Flavius Valerius Leo Augustus; 401 18 January 474) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 457 to 474. A native of Dacia Aureliana near historic Thrace, he was known as Leo the Thracian. Ruling the for nearly 20 years, Leo proved to be a capable ruler. He oversaw many ambitious political and military plans, aimed mostly at aiding the faltering Western Roman Empire and recovering its former territories. He is notable for being the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek rather than Latin. He is commemorated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 20.
RL87910. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X 693 (R), LRBC II 2264, DOCLR 565, cf. SRCV 21441 ff., Hunter V -, VF, tight flan, crude, weight 0.580 g, maximum diameter 8.5 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 462 - 472 A.D.; obverse D N LEO P F AVG (or similar, all off flan or unstruck), pearl-diademed, draped [and cuirassed?] bust right; reverse Leo's Latin monogram within wreath, mintmark in exergue (off flan); ex Beast Coins; rare; $95.00 (83.60)


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

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Marcian laid out many legal reforms in his five novels, or codes of law, many of which were targeted at reducing the corruption and abuses of office that existed during the reign of Theodosius. Marcian decreed that anyone who performed pagan rites would lose their property and be condemned to death, and that no pagan temples, which had previously been closed, could be re-opened. He repealed a marriage law enacted by Constantine I, which decreed that a man of senatorial status could not marry a slave, freedwoman, actress, or woman of no social status (humilis), in an attempt to preserve the purity of the senatorial class. Marcian adjusted this law by declaring that the law should not exclude a woman of good character, regardless of her social status or wealth. He banned the export of weapons, and tools used to manufacture them, to barbarian tribes. In order to ensure his laws were implemented, he set a penalty of 50 pounds (23 kg) of gold for any judge, governor, or official who did not enforce the law.
RL87911. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Marcian 561 (R), LRBC II 2609, SRCV V 21398, Hahn MIB 33, DOCLR -, Hunter V -, VF, typical tight flan, earthen deposits, light marks, weight 1.192 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 453 - 457 A.D.; obverse D N MARCINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian's monogram (RIC monogram 1) , in wreath, CVZ in exergue; better in hand than the photos suggest, ex Beast Coins; rare; $95.00 (83.60)


Eudoxia, Augusta 9 January 400 - Early October 404 A.D., Wife of Arcadius

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The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL91462. Bronze centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 3rd officina), RIC X Arcadius 104 (S), LRBC II 2800, DOCLR 288, SRCV V 20895, VF, dark patina, well centered on a tight flan, weight 2.484 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right with hand of God holding wreath over her head; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing Christogram on shield resting on cippus, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $90.00 (79.20)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

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The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
RL88044. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 40(b)2, LRBC II 2719, SRCV V 20265, Cohen VIII 22, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, glossy black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scattered areas of minor porosity, weight 4.980 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 378 - 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust right holding spear and shield; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor standing slightly left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand in salute, Victory seated steering at stern, wreath left, cross upper right, ANTE in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

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Valentinian II tried to restrain the despoiling of pagan temples in Rome. Buoyed by this instruction, pagan senators, led by Aurelius Symmachus, the Prefect of Rome, petitioned in 384 for the restoration of the Altar of Victory in the Senate House, which had been removed by Gratian in 382. Valentinian, at the insistence of Ambrose, refused the request and, in so doing, rejected the traditions and rituals of pagan Rome.
RL88046. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 51.1, LRBC II 2670 corr. (no star), SRCV V 20330, Cohen VIII 80, Choice VF, dark patina, earthen highlighting, slightest porosity, weight 2.351 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS IVN P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, star right, ANTB in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)




  







Catalog current as of Monday, July 15, 2019.
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The Late Roman Empire