Heritage World Coin Auctions > ANA Signature Sale 3101Auction date: 25 August 2022
Lot number: 32140

Price realized: 7,000 USD   (Approx. 7,013 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

VISIGOTHS. Gaul. Euric or Alaric II (ca. AD 461-470/507). AV solidus (21mm, 4.31 gm, 6h). NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5. In the name of Libius Severus, uncertain mint in southern Gaul, probably Toulouse. D N IIBIVS SEVE-RVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust of Libius Severus right, seen from front / VICTORI-Λ ΛVCCC, emperor standing facing, long cross in right hand, stylized rendering of Victory left on globe in left, right foot on man-headed serpent; R-A across fields, COMOB in exergue. RIC X 3754. MEC 1, 174. Lacam p. 50, 10. Reinhart 1938, 72. An attractive, well-detailed piece of later Germanic style. Very rare, only two other examples offered in the last five years, with this example being the best of the three.

From the Historical Scholar Collection. Ex Jean Elsen & ses Fils, Auction 97 (13 September 2008), lot 569

After deposing his former friend and ally Majorian, the Master of Soldiers Ricimer deliberated for three months before appointing a shadowy character named Libius Severus to the vacant West Roman throne. His accession is recorded as occurring on 19 November AD 461. His most compelling qualifications for office seem to have been his lack of any real ambition and a willingness to do whatever Ricimer asked of him. The Eastern Roman emperor, Leo I, refused to recognize Severus and regarded the Western Roman throne as empty for the duration of the reign. However, Ricimer commanded enough loyal soldiers that the Eastern regime could do little more than take umbrage and wait for the apparently elderly Severus to die. The next three years were a dreary continuation of the decay and disintegration of previous decades in the West, punctuated by the occasional Vandal raid on Italy and barbarian attack in the north. Severus' death is listed as having occurred on 15 November AD 465, just shy of four years after his appointment, but neither his subjects nor later historians took much note of his reign or his passing.

As this coin is an imitation of a Libius Severus solidus, it is likely that it was struck during or shortly after his reign. However, another theory takes the R-A legend in the reverse fields to mean "Rex Alaric" and attributes this coin several decades later to the reign of the Visigothic king Alaric II (AD 484-507). Alaric II was slain in battle against the Franks, allegedly by their king Clovis himself, thus ending the period of Visigothic rule in France. They subsequently moved their kingdom to Spain, where it survived until the arrival of the Arabs in AD 711.



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Estimate: 2000-3500 USD