Roman Empire

Olybrius, Western Roman Emperor AD 472

RIC 3004; Ulrich-Bansa pl. XIII, 147 same dies); Lacam 37 same dies); Depeyrot 33/1, Very Fine

Mediolanum. D N ANICIVS OLVBRIVS AVG (S’s retrograde), diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Olybrius right. Reverse: Cross within wreath; COMOB.

Ex NAC 75 (18 November 2013), 398

After the death of Libius Severus, Gaiseric promoted the Roman patrician Anicius Olybrius as Western Emperor in the hope of establishing a Vandal puppet on the throne. He was forestalled by the installation of Anthemius by Leo I, but when conflict broke out between Anthemius and Ricimer, the Eastern Emperor supposedly dispatched Olybrius to Rome as a mediator. However, upon his arrival he was recognized by Ricimer and proclaimed Western Emperor shortly before Anthemius was captured and killed on July 11, AD 472. Ricimer died a month later leaving Olybrius to reign as Western Emperor without an immediate puppet-master. Unfortunately he was doomed to die from dropsy in October or November of the same year.