Theodebert I, AD 534-548

Belfort 3755; Prou 49; Kluge p. 1132, 15 (same dies); cf. MEC pl. 19, 389 (another, Metz[?]), Extremely Fine

After a tumultuous succession, which saw him in conflict with his uncles Childebert and Clothaire I, Theodebert I assumed the throne as king of the Merovingian Frankish kingdom of Austrasia. He was courted as an ally for the grandiose Gothic War of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and accepted handsome rewards. However, the duplicitous Theodebert I used the conflict as an opportunity to plunder Ostrogothic settlements and exert Frankish rather than Byzantine control over northern Italy. The king famously rejected the Byzantine view of his status as a lesser ruler and claimed rights to territory formerly belonging to the Byzantine Empire. He even went so far as to give up the longstanding Frankish custom of striking coins in the name of the Byzantine Emperor and, like a true tyrant, instead named himself, although the types—including the portrait and mintmark—remained obviously Byzantine.

Reims. D N THEODEBERTVS VICTOR, diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust of Theodebert facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder and shield with horseman motif. Reverse: VICTORIA AVCCC, Victory standing facing, holding long jewelled cross and globus cruciger; *//CONOB.

Ex Stack’s (12 January 2009), 3405; Vecchi 1 (1996), 932