Longtime regulars here might remember the ruler/coin I've been wanting the most, practically since I've started collecting ancient coins. Proud to say that I finally managed to acquire him for my collection after all these years, and after much saliva lost drooling over the examples that a couple of members here (@Brian Bucklan , @Valentinianvs ) have and other examples elsewhere on the internet. First king of Italy Odoacer is now a part of my collection. Odoacer, Kingdom of Italy AE nummus Obv: OD[O-VAC], bare-headed, draped, cuirassed bust right Rev: Odoacer's monogram (letters ODOVA) within wreath Mint: Ravenna Date: 476-493 AD Ref: RIC X 3502 Provenance: Ex Classical Numismatics Group (CNG) 81, 20 May 2009, lot 1157; Ex Gemini, XIII, 6 April 2017, lot 265; Ex Harlan J. Berk (HJB), 2018 September As a late Roman/early medieval enthusiast, it was a must to have a coin of the Germanic ruler that finally ended the Western Roman Empire, and by extension also "ended" (interpretations vary) the era of antiquity and ushered in the Middle Ages in Europe (although daily life didn't really change at the time). The birthplace of Roman civilization passed into the hands of the Germanic world as Odoacer took the throne as the first king of post-Roman Italy. And by a strange twist of fate, I sort of (unknowingly) predicted owning this very example, way back in April of 2017 in another thread: Funny how things worked out History: Odoacer (also known as Odovacar) was born around the year 433 AD in Pannonia, the son of Edeko, who possibly was an ambassador of Attila to the Eastern Roman court. Very little is known of Odoacer's background and early history; his tribal affiliation is not known for certain, although the common conjectures are that he is either from the Heruli tribe, or a member of the Scirii. Other guesses include the Goths, the Huns, the Thuringii, and the Rugii. Also, a reference in the Decem Libri Historiarum (by Gregory of Tours) to an "Adovacrius" or "Odovacrius" could possibly have Odoacer as having been fighting in the early 460s. Attributed to him is an event that occurred just before he entered Italy as part of a contingent of barbarians. According to Eugippius, Odoacer and the other barbarians paid their respects to Saint Severinus of Noricum. Severinus then told Odoacer that he was going to become famous, and that he would "soon... make rich gifts to many." By the time of Odoacer's appointment as leader of the foederati within the Western Roman Army in 475, the Western Empire was greatly diminished, merely one state co-existing with the new barbarian kingdoms that had sprung up in former Roman territories such as Hispania, North Africa, and most of Gaul. The western throne had been populated for the most part in the previous two decades by ineffective puppet emperors who were chosen (and sometimes killed by) their magisters militum, the military strongmen who were the real power behind the throne. In 475, the Western emperor Julius Nepos appointed the Roman general Orestes as his magister militum. But ambition for the throne drove Orestes to rise up and depose Nepos, who subsequently fled Italy and re-established his government in Dalmatia. Orestes then proclaimed his 15-year old son Romulus Augustus (he was also referred to as Augustulus, "little Augustus"). Nepos had the recognition and backing of the few remaining Western Roman territories outside of Italy, and of the Eastern Empire itself, while Orestes was widely viewed as a usurper. Odoacer and his foederati, who had assisted Orestes with his usurpation, desired to improve their living conditions in Italy. They asked Orestes for land of their own, by fulfilling the promise he had made that he would grant a third of the lands in Italy to them. Orestes denied them this, and Odoacer and the rest of the mercenaries revolted in 476. During this time, the barbarians proclaimed Odoacer as rex Italiae. The mostly-barbarian Roman army managed to kill Orestes at Placentia, and then laid siege to the Western capital Ravenna, where the young Romulus Augustus was holed up. They managed to capture the city, and on September 4, 476, forced Romulus to abdicate the imperial throne. As an gesture of kindness, Odoacer exiled the former emperor to live with relatives in Campania, along with granting him a yearly pension of 6,000 solidii. Odoacer then had the Senate of Rome send the Western imperial regalia to Emperor Zeno, to communicate that the West did not require an emperor of its own, that "one monarch sufficed [to rule] the world". This meant that the two halves of the Roman Empire were to be reunited under Zeno, but Zeno was hesitant to accept this while the legitimate Western emperor Nepos was still in Dalmatia, and informed the Senate that they should accept Nepos back instead. Nonetheless, Zeno made Odoacer patrician, and granted him the authority to rule Italy in his name. Odoacer paid respect and homage to the Eastern emperor, including through the minting of coins in Zeno's name, but ruled autonomously, and did not hesitate in referring to himself as king. The new king of Italy wasted no time in expanding and consolidating his rule. He persuaded King Gaiseric of the Vandals in late 476 or 477 to cede to him most of Sicily, and when Nepos was assassinated in 480, Odoacer had his army invade Dalmatia supposedly to avenge the deposed emperor; in actuality conquering the region for his kingdom. And in 487, Odoacer and his army fought and won against the Rugians in Noricum, capturing their king in the process, but afterwards decided to move the Roman inhabitants of the region to Italy. He established and maintained good relations with the Roman Senate, and kept the Roman administration of Italy intact and run by Roman officials. After a hiatus of two centuries, large bronze coins featuring the initials SC (senatus consultum) were struck again, demonstrating the increase of power the Senate had under Odoacer. With Odoacer's rise, Zeno came to view him as a threat. After making peace with his rebellious magister militum praesentalis King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths, Zeno instructed him to invade Italy, promising him the authority to rule there. Theodoric's invasion began in 489, and in August of that year, Odoacer and Theodoric engaged in battle by the Isontius River, near Aquileia. Odoacer and his forces suffered defeat there. Afterwards, he would again meet defeat at Verona, and subsequently retreated to Ravenna. Most of his army was, however, stationed at Mediolanum, and when the Ostrogoths captured the city, they surrendered and a number of them switched over, including Odoacer's general Tufa. Tufa later betrayed Theodoric, and inflicted a defeat on Theodoric that compelled him to fortify himself at Ticinum. Odoacer then advanced and besieged Theodoric, in 490. The Ostrogothic invasion of Italy seemed stopped in its tracks, but King Alaric II of the Visigoths then decided to come to the assistance of the Ostrogothic king by sending his army to break the siege. Odoacer was again forced to retreat back to Ravenna, where Theodoric laid siege to the city for three years. Through mediation by Bishop John of Ravenna, Theodoric and Odoacer agreed to end the war and to jointly rule Italy. But Theodoric had other plans. In 493, while they and their warriors dined together in the former imperial palace, Theodoric killed Odoacer, striking him on the collarbone with his sword after some of his warriors failed to assassinate him themselves. Later, Odoacer's wife and brother were put to death, and his son exiled (but who would also later be killed for attempting to return to Italy). (I'm not sure if this image is supposed to be an artist's depiction of Odoacer, but this showed up when I Google Image searched his name, so for the purpose of this thread, lets assume its him ) *Information from Wikipedia; images (except for my coin photo) from Wikpedia, Catbikes, WorldHistoryMaps, and Pinterest* Please post anything relevant, and thanks for reading!