Roman Empire

Anthemius, Western Roman Emperor AD 467-472

RIC 2831; Lacam pl. CXIII, var. 2; Depeyrot 65/2, Superb Extremely Fine

Rome, AD 467-472. D N ANTHE-MIVS P F AVG, diademed, helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust of Anthemius facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder. Reverse: SALVS R-EIP-VBLICAE, the emperors Anthemius and Leo standing facing in military dress, holding between them a globus cruciger; (ROMA)/·//COMOB.

Ex Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection (Heritage 3032, 10 April 2014), 23746; Neil S. Phillips Collection (Spink, London, 9 October 1997), 439

In AD 465, Leo I, together with Ricimer, designated Anthemius, the eastern magister militum, as Western Emperor in order to prevent Gaiseric from establishing a Vandal puppet on the throne and to place a proven commander with a trained army in Italy. The problems of Anthemius’ reign mounted quickly through his participation in a costly and disastrous joint campaign with Leo I against the Vandals and a failed attempt to oppose the Visigoths in Gaul. His closeness to the Eastern Emperor also embittered the Roman Senate and Ricimer. At last, open conflict broke out between Ricimer and Anthemius, who found himself besieged in St. Peter’s Basilica in AD 472. With his food supply dwindling, Anthemius was captured and beheaded.