Coin Catalogue

Basiliscus 475 – 476 A.D.

History remembers Basiliscus in an unfavorable light for his biggest accomplishment seems to have been the annihilation of a large fleet sent to deal with the Vandals of Northern Africa. The circumstances for this disaster remain clouded under some controversy but it seems certain that as he approached the Vandal capital their leader sent a boat full of gold to halt the invasion. Basiliscus may well have sold out his countrymen and the cause for the loot. With the bought time, and probably more than a little proactive help on his part, the Vandals were able to mount a quick counteroffensive and rout the would-be conquerors. Following an investigation, Basiliscus managed to avoid being executed for the military blunder with the help of well-placed connections. Instead, through luck and lack of more able leaders, the Senate ratified him as the Eastern emperor in 475. Here his lackluster performance carried over in the form of passing law after unpopular law which seemed to alienate everyone who could’ve been in a position to help him. Years before, a series of plots engineered by the ranking elite in Constantinople forced the then-emperor Zeno to flee. Now the very same people who did this were recalling the former emperor back in light of the gross mismanagement of Basiliscus. One by one his supporters switched sides to Zeno. Basiliscus did what he could to appease his dwindling support net but it was a day late and a dollar short. In 476 Zeno returned to Constantinople, captured Basiliscus and sent him and his whole family off to an island where they were executed by starvation.

Coins of Basiliscus are found bearing his name alone as well as with his brother Marcus whom he briefly recognized as co-emperor. No coins in the name of Marcus alone are known.



AU Solidus


RIC 1003, Depeyrot 101/1 Solidus Obv: DNbASILISCVSPPAVG – Diademed, helmeted three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over right shoulder and shield with horseman motif on left arm.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: /CONOB – Victory standing left, holding jeweled cross. 475-476 (Constantinopolis). $900 5/21/03.



RIC 1005 Solidus Obv: DNBASILISCVSPPAVG – Diademed, helmeted three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over right shoulder and shield with horseman motif on left arm.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: /CONOB – Victory standing left, holding jeweled cross. 475-476 (Constantinopolis).



RIC 1024 Solidus Obv: DNbASILISCIETMARCPAVG – Diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: /CONOB – Victory standing left, holding long jeweled cross. 475-476 (Constantinopolis). $1,100 9/24/03.



RIC 1025, Depeyrot 105/2 Solidus Obv: DNbASILISCIETMARCPAVG – Diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: /CONOB – Victory standing left, holding long jeweled cross. [The only difference between RIC 1024 and 1025 is the serifed T in obverse legend (vs. a straight T)]. 475-476 (Constantinopolis). $5,000 1/13/03.




AU Tremissis


RIC 1008, Depeyrot 101/2 Tremissis Obv: DNbASILISCVSPPAVG – Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGVSTORVM Exe: /CONOB – Victory advancing right, head left, holding wreath and cross on globe. 475-476 (Constantinopolis). $850 1/13/03.



RIC 1030, Depeyrot 105/5 Tremissis Obv: DNbASILISCIETMARCPAVG – Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VICTORIAAVOVSTORVM Exe: /CONOB – Victory advancing right, head left, holding wreath and cross on globe. 475-476 (Constantinopolis). $1,500 1/13/03.




AE4


RIC 1034 AE4 Obv: DNbASILETMARPAVG – Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: No legend Exe: CVZ – Monogram of Basiliscus and Marcus. $525 9/19/01.


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