ROMAN EMPIRE, Leo I, 457-474 AD, gold, solidus, Constantinople mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Leo I, 457-474 AD, solidus, no date (457-473 AD), Constantinople mint, officina 4, Obverse: helmeted bust 1/4 R, D N LEO PERPET P F AVG, Reverse: Victory standing L holding long cross, VICTORIA AVGGG D, CON OB, star in right field, gold, 21mm, 4.5g, SR21404, Unc

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When Marcian died his designated successor, Anthemius, was blocked by the German Magjster Militum, Aspar, who elevated Leo, at the time a low level soldier. A noteworthy event of his relgn was the loss of most of navy in battle against the Vandals.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.