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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 1191. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $4750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Odovacar. King, AD 476-493. AV Solidus (21mm, 4.46 g, 12h). In the name of Zeno. Mediolanum (Milan) mint. Struck circa AD 476-491. D N ZENO P ERP AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed facing bust, holding spear in right hand, on left arm a shield decorated with horseman spearing an enemy below / VICTORI A AVGGG, Victory standing left, holding jeweled cross in right hand; star to left; M-D//COMOB. RIC X 3601 (Zeno); Lacam 54; Depeyrot 39/1 (Zeno). EF, underlying luster, some striking weakness on reverse. Extremely rare.

A member of the foederati (allied Germanic tribes who served in the Roman army in return for land), Odovacar was appointed their leader in Italy in AD 475 by the magister militia Orestes, who promised in return a third of the Italian peninsula if Odovacar and his Germans would assist Orestes' revolt against the western emperor, Julius Nepos. Following the defeat of Nepos, Orestes elevated his son, Romulus, to the rank of Augustus, and immediately set about revoking his earlier arrangement with the foederati. In return, Odovacar revolted against Orestes, who was defeated, captured, and executed. Odovacar was subsequently proclaimed rex Italiae and, on 4 September AD 476, he compelled the young Romulus to abdicate, sending the imperial insignia to Constantinople and thus ending Roman Imperial rule in the West.