Ostrogothic Kingdom

Theoderic, King 493-526

COI 55; MIB 49; MEC 1, 121 (Rome), Very Fine

Ravenna, in the name of the Byzantine Emperor, Justin I (518-527). Struck ca. 518-526. D N IVSTI-NVS P AVC, diademed and cuirassed bust of Justin I right / Monogram of Theoderic within wreath; above, cross. Metlich 55; MEC 121 (Rome).

Ex Dr. Murray Gell-Mann Collection (Roma XI, 7 April 2016), 948

Although these quarter siliquae carry the portrait and legend of the Byzantine Emperor Justin I, the reverse type features the monogram of Theoderic, the Ostrogothic king of Italy. The imperial obverse may have been intended to continue the illusion that Theoderic was somehow still an agent of the Byzantine Emperor and not really an autonomous king in his own right. On the other hand it may also appear simply because people had an expectation that the portrait of the Emperor should appear on their coins. At the same time, the complicated monogram, which was a Byzantine fashion in the fifth and sixth centuries, lends an imperial quality to the name and therefore the reign of the Germanic Theoderic.