Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 132Auction date: 30 May 2022
Lot number: 695

Price realized: 70,000 CHF   (Approx. 73,161 USD / 68,303 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


Julius Nepos first reign, 24th June 474 – 28th August 475
Solidus, Ravenna 474-475, AV 4.49 g. D N IVL NE – POS P F AVG Helmeted, pearl-diademed and cuirassed bust facing three-quarters r. facing, holding spear and shield with horseman and enemy motif. Rev. VICTORI – A AVGGG: Victory standing l., supporting long jewelled cross; in field, R – V. In exergue, COMOB. C 6. Lacam 9. LRC 939. Depeyrot 41/1. RIC 3212.
Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, among the finest specimens known.
An almost invisible mark on reverse field, otherwise virtually as struck and almost Fdc

Ex NAC sale 78, 2014, 1276.
The year 472 was of critical importance to the Western Roman Empire: not only had two emperors, Anthemius and Olybrius, perished, but the 'emperor-making' general Ricimer also had died. Ricimer was replaced by his nephew Gundobad, who, after a four-month hiatus, appointed Glycerius, a man of no particular distinction, to the vacant throne. The usurpation was not recognised by the emperor Leo I in Constantinople, as the right to rule, or to determine who would rule, had rightfully passed to Leo. To remedy the situation, Leo sent Julius Nepos, the magister militum of Dalmatia and a relation by marriage to Italy at the head of an army. Nepos captured Glycerius without a fight, and appointed him bishop of Salona (in his own land of Dalmatia), and thus spared his life. With Leo's death in 474 and the eruption of contest for power in the East, Nepos acted decisively and seized the western throne himself. The new emperor was immediately beset by many difficulties: the local population did not support him, and he had to cede Gaul and Spain to the Visigoths under their new and energetic king Euric. Furthermore, he appointed the former secretary to Attila the Hun, Orestes, as his magister militum, an unfortunate choice since Orestes soon rebelled. Nepos was forced to flee back to his native Dalmatia, and afterwards Orested placed his own son Romulus Augustus on the throne. Though he had no real power in the West, Nepos was still the constitutional emperor, and at least initially was viewed as such by the new Eastern emperor Zeno. Nepos continued to rule Dalmatia autonomously as he had done before until in 480 he was murdered, seemingly at the instigation of Glycerius, the former emperor whose life he had mercifully spared.

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Estimate: 30000 CHF