Roman Empire

Odovacar, King of Italy AD 476-493

RIC 3657 (Zeno); Lacam class II; Metlich p. 11, fig. 2; Depeyrot 92/1 (Zeno), Extremely Fine

Rome, in the name of Zeno. D N ZENO P-ER P F AVG, diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust of Zeno facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder and shield with horseman spearing fallen enemy motif. Reverse: VICTORI-A AVGGG, Victory standing facing, head left, holding long jewelled cross; in right field, *; A//·COMOB·.

Ex NAC 111 (24 September 2018), 290

After the removal of Romulus Augustus, Zeno granted patrician rank to the Germanic Odoacer and ended the old tradition of ruling alongside a Western Emperor. Henceforth, Odoacer ruled in Italy as the supposed agent of the Eastern Emperor, but in reality he established his own kingdom. This coin, however, continues the illusion that the authority of Zeno still extended into Italy and that Odoacer was really his barbarian vassal. While it was generally acceptable for Odoacer to claim the title of rex (king) on other coins, like Ricimer before him, there remained a taboo about claiming the imperial title.