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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ ZenoView Options:  |  |  | 

Zeno, 18 January - 17 November 474 and August 476 - 11 April 491 A.D.

Zeno was an Isaurian chieftain who moved to Rome and married Emperor Leo I's daughter, Ariadne. Their son, Leo II, succeeded Leo I as emperor, and shortly after declared his father Augustus. An exceedingly unpopular emperor, Zeno spent his 17-year reign defending the empire not only against the barbarians but also against many rebellions. He died in 491 A.D after suffering an epileptic fit. Mediterranean 476 AD


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Zeno, an Isaurian chieftain, married Emperor Leo I's daughter, Ariadne. Their son, Leo II, succeeded Leo I as emperor and shortly after declared his father Augustus. Unpopular, Zeno spent his 17-year reign fighting not only barbarians but also against many rebellions. He died after an epileptic fit.
SH89781. Gold solidus, DOCLR 643 (also 10th officina), Tolstoi 24, Ratto 284, RIC X 910, Depeyrot 108/1, SRCV V 21514, Choice VF, well centered and struck, some die wear, scratch/graffito on obverse, weight 4.449 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, Aug 476 - 11 Apr 491, 5th issue; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed with trefoil ornament on crested helmet, cuirassed, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down and spearing enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVGGG I, Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; $850.00 (748.00)


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Zeno the Isaurian, was originally named Tarasis Kodisa Rousombladadiotes. The Isaurians were a people who lived inland from the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, in the core of the Taurus Mountains. They were looked upon as barbarians by the Romans, however, being Orthodox Christians rather than Arians, as the Goths and other Germanic tribes were, they were not formally barred from the throne. Zeno married Ariadne, daughter of Leo I and Verina. To make himself more acceptable to the Roman hierarchy and the population of Constantinople, Tarasis adopted the Greek name of Zeno and used it for the rest of his life.
SH26063. Gold solidus, RIC X 930 (pearl diadem, no jewel), DOCLR 629 var. (4th officina), Depeyrot 108/1, SRCV V 21514, Choice EF, bold strike with sharp dies and nice centering - very attractive coin!, weight 4.307 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, second reign; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG S (victory of the three emperors, 6th officina), Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


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Gold never tarnishes, however, ancient gold coins were never pure gold. There is always a small amount of silver in the gold and for reasons that only a chemist could explain, the small amount of silver sometimes tones slightly red. This coin is attractive red toned gold.
SH85084. Gold solidus, RIC X 929, DOCLR 633, Depeyrot 108/1, Tolstoi 16, SRCV V 21514, Ratto -, Choice about Uncirculated, well centered and struck, lustrous with red tone, weight 4.456 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, Aug 476 - 11 Apr 491, 5th issue; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, trefoil on front of crested helmet, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down and spearing enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVGGG ∆ (victory of the three emperors, 4th officina), Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNZENOPERPAG
DNZENOPERPAVG
DNZENOPERPFAV
DNZENOPERPFAVG
DNZENOPFAVG
INPZENOFELICISSIMOSENAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Zeno