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Avitus: another loser at the roman game of thrones


Ryro

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I picked up an ugly little rarity to add to my rulers of Rome this morning. 

Here's my new Avitus!

1000000867-removebg-preview.png.d986aafd82c25c7598409af3e98fb05d.png

Avitus AD 455-456. Ravenna

Nummus Æ, 11 mm, 1,28 g, Fine

"Who the hell is that?", you may ask.

Well, after the sack of Rome by the Vandals in 455 CE, and murder of Petronius Maximus, Gallic senator, Avitus was tasked with ruling the western Roman empire. This thanks to the backing of Visigoth king Theodoric ll.

81yO68WMEGL.jpg.241958b858a1a45463e2302ff1d5014c.jpg

Too bad for Avitus that Theodoric ll was busy raiding Spain when Majorian, backed by Ricimer, set out to take the purple. Rather than sit around Avitus gathered what troops he could and headed out to meet the threat. He had no chance and was trounced. To add insult to injury, rather than kill his predecessor Majorian let Avitus live but with a stipulation. Like being Christian isn't bad enough, but Majorian made him a bishop of the town their battle was fought near. Either way, and with numerous versions of what happened, Avitus was dead within months of the loss. 

I know the coin kind of looks like something your cat would throw up. 

cat-throw-up-face-funny-k5haox08dx2tje9m.gif.5119f4e5d8f1759e16e1698018691cb5.gif

But it's always fun to add one more to the old collection. 

Thanks for taking a look at this ugly coin and story. Do you have any of his coins, other little known late Roman rulers, Vandals, Visigoths, or anything to add? Let's see em!

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Posted · Supporter
23 minutes ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I think GregH collects the really late LRB's.  If it's truly an Avitus, then that certainly is an acquisition to be proud of.

I guess it's Sear RCV 21581?

Thanks! I didn't know how far back @GregH collection goes and would love to read his thoughts. I recall he has a healthy collection of all the characters that show up on Roman coins and in incredible condition! But not that he was a big LRB guy. He was kind enough to hook me up with his old Agrippa after he'd upgraded (look at that sweet toning):

A1571D66-C26C-48E5-88FD-99DDD00D0C99.png.fc8cbd884276c82d0e45b3e963fcad38.png

Agrippa As (37-41, Rome)-Neptune A/M Agrippa LF COS III. Bust capped from the rostral crown on the left. R/SC. Neptune standing on the left, holding a dolphin and a trident. 47), former @GregH

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38 minutes ago, rasiel said:

"Why do I have to break this guy's heart?"

[Sigh]

https://dirtyoldcoins.com/Roman-Coins-Blog/1239

Rasiel

Not broken, just bent. But I really appreciate you taking the time to share. I'll reach out to Savoca and cancel my order. They've always done right by me in the past. 

My dad got me started on ancient collecting and the first book he gave me was a signed copy of ERIC, some 7 or 8 years ago! I picked up ERIC 2 when it came out as well. I'm glad that the "itch" has brought you back to collecting😁

Thanks for all you've done for the hobby and setting me straight about my new, likely, Honorius.

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And wouldn't the weight be a bit high for a 450's nummus? 

At least there is a relatively happy ending here.  The coin was discovered quickly and it won't be too inconvenient to return it.

Besides the high prices, that's why I avoid buying late nummi.  I had remembered conversations condemning most of the late emperors, but I didn't feel I had the gravitas to bring up my concerns. 

 

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17 hours ago, Ryro said:

Not broken, just bent.

I'm sorry man. I can empathize because my first Roman coin that I bought as an adult was what I thought was an Antoninus Pius. I was so proud, so fascinated. It was only later that I learned with some embarrassment and disappointment that ANTONINVS PIVS AVG was from some other dude named Caracalla (lol)

Thank you for the kind words!

Rasiel

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16 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

And wouldn't the weight be a bit high for a 450's nummus? 

I'm convinced that the last truly imperial AEs were issued under Majorian (and, yes, they were tiny). The Ricimer pieces are probably better thought of as pseudo-imperial and I have doubts on the few Anthemius pieces I've seen. Certainly no Julius Nepos or Romulus Augustus.

Rasiel

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If there are no genuine Avitus AE4, then a lot of people have paid a lot of money for Honorius AE4s. 

Here are my three rarest late Roman AE4s. I call the group the great Germanic generals. From top to bottom:

1. Ricimer, 2. Odovacer and 3. Gundobad.

1 is relatively scarce, depending on the condition. 2. is pretty rare and 3 is very rare.

 

 

9.PNG

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On 6/22/2024 at 2:29 PM, Ryro said:

I picked up an ugly little rarity to add to my rulers of Rome this morning. 

Here's my new Avitus!

1000000867-removebg-preview.png.d986aafd82c25c7598409af3e98fb05d.png

Avitus AD 455-456. Ravenna

Nummus Æ, 11 mm, 1,28 g, Fine

"Who the hell is that?", you may ask.

Well, after the sack of Rome by the Vandals in 455 CE, and murder of Petronius Maximus, Gallic senator, Avitus was tasked with ruling the western Roman empire. This thanks to the backing of Visigoth king Theodoric ll.

81yO68WMEGL.jpg.241958b858a1a45463e2302ff1d5014c.jpg

Too bad for Avitus that Theodoric ll was busy raiding Spain when Majorian, backed by Ricimer, set out to take the purple. Rather than sit around Avitus gathered what troops he could and headed out to meet the threat. He had no chance and was trounced. To add insult to injury, rather than kill his predecessor Majorian let Avitus live but with a stipulation. Like being Christian isn't bad enough, but Majorian made him a bishop of the town their battle was fought near. Either way, and with numerous versions of what happened, Avitus was dead within months of the loss. 

I know the coin kind of looks like something your cat would throw up. 

cat-throw-up-face-funny-k5haox08dx2tje9m.gif.5119f4e5d8f1759e16e1698018691cb5.gif

But it's always fun to add one more to the old collection. 

Thanks for taking a look at this ugly coin and story. Do you have any of his coins, other little known late Roman rulers, Vandals, Visigoths, or anything to add? Let's see em!

That drawing brings the historical horrors the coin may represent to the fore...visually it compels.

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