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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 175. Estimate CHF3750. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Honorius. 393-423. Solidus (Gold, 4.48 g 1), Ravenna, 408-423. D N HONORIVS P F AVG Bearded, draped and cuirassed bust of Honorius to right, wearing diademed helmet ornamented with stars Rev. VICTORIA AVGGG / COB / R V Emperor standing facing, crowned by hand of God, holding long, Christogram-tipped scepter with lower point on monster lying at his feet. Depeyrot 3/1. Lacam Byzance pl. XXIII, 1 (this coin). RIC 1310. Very rare. Extremely fine.

From the collections of a Gentleman and of G. Lacam, Dürr/Michel, 8 November 1999, 106.

Honorius was the younger son of the great Theodosius I and was a passive, ineffective ruler who only survived because he still had a few good generals and an able bureaucracy. Out of fear he withdrew his capital from Milan and Rome to the better defended and more inaccessible Ravenna, doing virtually nothing to prevent the Visigothic sack of Rome in 410. His hobby was raising chickens. This helmeted bust gives Honorius a very martial air, which was, of course, undeserved.