When Leo I sensed the end was near he elevated his grandson, Leo II to the rank of Caesar as his successor. Upon the elder’s passing, Leo II became Augustus as expected. However, he was only seven years old and within a couple of weeks he raised his own father, Zeno, to join him as co-emperor. The two went on to rule jointly only briefly, however, as Leo II would die just a few months later of some unrecorded illness leaving Zeno as sole ruler. The joint issues are therefore very rare due to the brevity of their joint reign. However, those in the name of Leo II alone are far rarer still given the extreme short period of time when the boy was sole ruler.
For his part, Zeno would go on to rule for a few more months until ousted by Basiliscus and remained exiled until recalled by his former supporters who felt compelled to bring him back following the fiasco of Basiliscus’s naval defeat. Upon his return, he then went on to rule for another seventeen years without incident, dying of natural causes in 491. His wife, Ariadne, would then later marry her designated successor, Anastasius in a bid to legitimize the new reign.
RIC 803 Solidus Obv: DNLEOETZENOPPAVG – Diademed, helmeted and cuirassed three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy.
Rev: SALVSREIPVBLICAE Exe: CONOB – Leo II and Zeno enthroned facing, each holding mappa; star and cross above.
RIC 803 anecdotal Solidus Obv: DNLEOZENOPPAVG – Diademed, helmeted and cuirassed three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy.
Rev: SALVSREIPVBLICAE Exe: CONOB – Leo II and Zeno enthroned facing, each holding mappa; star and cross above. $2,500 5/19/04.
RIC 906 Solidus Obv: DNZENOETLEONOVCAES – Helmeted, Diademed (pearls) and cuirassed bust three-quarters facing, holding spear and shield with horseman and enemy motif.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: CONOB – Victory standing left, supporting long jewelled cross. c.476-477 (Constantinopolis). $2,500 5/19/04.
RIC 807, Depeyrot 99/2 Tremissis Obv: DNLEOETZENOPPAVG – Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGVSTORVM Exe: /CONOB – Victory standing facing, head left, holding wreath and globe. 473-474 (Constantinopolis). $1,000 1/13/03.
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