Cherson AE2 of Leo the Thracian

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Magnentius, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Magnentius

    Magnentius Member

    I'll preface this by apologizing for my picture quality as these were taken with my plucky iPhone 8. I have a USB microscope on the way, but it's sadly on back order. Hopefully the iPhone will suffice for now!

    image0(1).jpeg image1.jpeg

    Leo I Æ2
    20mm (3.9g)
    DN LEO PE-RPET AG, diademed and draped bust right
    D (-ominus) N (-oster) Leo Perpet (-uus) AG (-ustus)
    "Our Lord Leo, Perpetual August"
    SALVS R-PVBLICA, Leo standing right, holding standard and globe, foot on captive
    Salus Rei Publicæ
    "Salvation of the State"
    Mintmark CON
    RIC X 660v? (the seller listed it as RIC X 659)
    I could use some help with identification, as locating the correct RIC number has proved elusive thus far.

    The opportunity to acquire a Cherson AE2 of Leo I, despite the overall poor condition was too much for me to pass up on. It looks a lot better in hand, but isn't as nice as other examples I've seen for sale and on display. Overall, a fairly nice large coin of an Eastern Roman Emperor from the 5th century who died just 2 years before the overthrow of Romulus Augustulus by Odoacer in 476.

    Feel free to share coins of Leo I or his 5 western counterparts, which should be pretty rare!
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    Majorian, Western Roman Empire
    AE nummus
    Obv: D N IVL MAIORIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust right
    Rev: VICTORI-A AVGGG, Victory advancing right, holding palm branch and trophy
    Mint: Milan
    Mintmark: MD
    Date: 457-461 AD
    Ref: RIC X 2642


    Libius Severus, Western Roman Empire
    AE nummus
    Obv: D N LIBIVS SEVERVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust right
    Rev: Monogram of Ricimer within wreath
    Mint: Rome
    Date: 461-467 AD (Libius Severus reigned 461-465 AD)
    Ref: RIC X 2715


    Since Odoacer was name-dropped, figure I might as well post him also.

    Odoacer, Kingdom of Italy
    AE nummus
    Obv: OD[O-VAC], bare-headed, draped bust right
    Rev: Odoacer's monogram (letters ODOVA: “Odovacar”) within wreath
    Mint: Ravenna
    Date: 476-493 AD
    Ref: RIC X 3502

  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Gonna be honest, that’s amazing. I didn’t even know they were making them that large at that point in time. Lovely coin thanks for sharing
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  5. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Nice coin for the type.
    I only have a couple of crude AE4's:
    Identification based on reverse monogram.
    Poorly visible lion on the reverse.
    Need cleaning. Rev: Leo standing facing, head right, holding long cross and grasping captive to right.
    Need cleaning. Leo I on obverse (?), Leo II on reverse (?).
  6. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I think your coin might be RIC 662, with the reverse inscription SALVS R-PVBLCA (no "I" between the L and C). But I don't understand why you say it is from the Cherson mint. CON is the mint mark for Constantinople, and it is listed as such in RIC. Has some new information come to light?
    Magnentius likes this.
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Roman Collector likes this.
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    It's unusual to see an AE 2 of Leo. I have two coins of Leo, both AE 4s, and this one is the most photogenic:

    Leo and Verina 1.jpg
    Leo I, AD 457-474.
    Roman Æ Half Centenionalis, 0.82 gm, 10 mm, 6 h.
    Constantinople, AD 457-474.
    Obv: DN LEO, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: b E, Verina standing, holding transverse scepter and globus cruciger.
    Refs: LRBC II 2272; RIC 714; Sear 21436; Vagi 3739; MIRB 30.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Good coin and large for the age. Very interesting. I have a handful of unidentified coins with monograms that I have yet to attribute.
  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Congrats on your find, @Magnentius ! And welcome to the Ancients Forum of Coin Talk.

    LEO I

    RI Leo I 457-474 CE AE 4 10mm Salus Emp stdg hldg Globe and Standard

    His Wife, VERINA

    RI Verina wife of Leo I AE2 20mm 457-475 Victory inscribing CHI RHO - RIC X 656 R3
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    My Leo:
    Thessalonica mint?
    Obv: D N LE-ON VG?
    Rev: Monogram #1, within wreath.
    THS in exergue?
    RIC 681?
    11mm, 1.3g

    And my Leo with an Empress Verina reverse:
    Constantinople mint? (Possibly Vandalic imitation)
    Obv: D N L-EO?
    Rev: [B/e] - Empress Verina, standing facing forward, holding globus cruciger (cross on globe) and transverse spear
    RIC (Leo) 714?
    12mm, 1.1g
  12. Magnentius

    Magnentius Member

    From what I've been able to gather, the coins were minted in Constantinople but distributed to Cherson, as many AE2 of Leo are found in the Crimea and Ukraine. I don't think I specifically said that the coin was minted in Cherson, as that wasn't my intention.
  13. Magnentius

    Magnentius Member

    While I didn't purchase this coin from Warren, the basis for my attributing it to Cherson came from his site and the seller.

    Still, a great site and you can even find a Leo similar to mine listed on his store.
  14. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    Great coins and discussions! Here are a few of mine. All coins left to right, and by rows. And too late have I realized that I failed to include diameter measurements, which would have been helpful, for the photographs are not true in size to one another. Mea maxima culpa!

    Top row:
    Libius Severus. AR 1/2 Siliqua. 0.79 gr. Rome. 461-465. RIC X 2712
    Julius Nepos. AR 1/2 Siliqua. 0.81 gr. Ravenna, 474-475. RIC 3216
    Leo I. AR Siliqua. 1.29 gr. Constantinople. AD 457-474. RIC X 647 var.
    LEO I. Æ 5.00 gr. Constantinople. AD 457-474. RIC X 661.

    Middle row:
    Aelia Verina. Æ 3.96 gr. Constantinople. AD 457-474. RIC X 656 variety. “P” for “R” in RE – (PVBLICAE).
    Basiliscus & Marcus.Semissis. 2.22 gr. Constantinople.475-476. RIC 1028; MIRB 9.
    Aelia Zenonis. Æ 1.31 gr. Constantinople mint. 476. RIC X 1017
    Basiliscus. Æ 0.75 gr. Constantinople. 475-476. RIC X 1014

    Bottom row:
    Basiliscus. Æ 0.60 gr. Constantinople. 475-476. RIC X 1016
    Zeno. Æ 4.52 gr. Constantinople. 476-491. RIC X 948
    Zeno. Æ 0.79 gr. Cyzicus, 476-491. RIC X 953 2020.17
    5th c. cointalk.jpg
    seth77, Brian Bucklan, Bing and 4 others like this.
  15. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I love these large Cherson bronzes. I have a few, including a Leo:

    Theo II:
    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 12.54.33 PM.jpg

    Valentinian III:
    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 12.54.44 PM.jpg

    Leo I:
    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 12.54.57 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 12.55.09 PM.jpg

    Sadly they are often tooled - both my Theo and my Leo suffer a bit from this. I don't see any evidence of tooling on yours. :cat:
    Voulgaroktonou, Bing, Edessa and 4 others like this.
  16. Magnentius

    Magnentius Member

    Wow, very nice! That Valentinian III looks great. It's a shame that more coins haven't been found of an emperor that reigned for 30 years.:(
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  17. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Theodosius II


    Valentinian III


    There is absolutely no way that these are the product of the metropolitan mint. They are most likely an imitation coinage after the AE2s of the 380s struck locally at Cherson or thereabouts for the romanized population that preferred these maiorinae. A similar situation was in pre-visigothic Spain, where the AE2s of Magnus Maximus were imitated in the early 400s and became the blueprint for the semi-official coinage of Maximus of Barcino in 410:

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page