Roman Empire

Priscus Attalus, Western Roman Emperor First reign, AD 409-410

RIC 1401 (R5); Depeyrot 37/1, Superb Mint State

Rome, AD 409. IMP PRISCVS AT-TALVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Priscus Attalus right. Reverse: VICTORIA AVGVSTI, emperor standing facing, head right, holding vexillum and victory on globe, foot on bound captive; R-M//COMOB. Extremely rare, one of two known, and the finest example extant.

Ex Goldberg 72 (3 February 2013), 4231; Heritage 3030 (5 January 2014), 23987; S. C. Markoff Collection (NAC 62, 6 October 2011), 2121; Barry Feirstein Collection, pt. II (NAC 42, 20 November 2007), 236; NAC 18 (29 March 2000), 773

In AD 409, the Visigoths promoted the Roman senator Priscus Attalus as emperor in opposition to Honorius. His reign was ended after a few months when Alaric thought his elevation was hampering negotiations with Honorius. Attalus was again elevated to the purple in AD 414, but he was subsequently abandoned by his Visigothic supporters and captured by the forces of Honorius. Although the defeated usurper was paraded through Rome in a triumphal procession he was spared execution.