Queen Amalasuntha, 534-535 A.D.
Queen Amalasuntha, 534-535 A.D.

AR Quarter Siliqua, 0.74g. 11mm. Ravenna mint. In the name of Justinian. Diademed and cuirassed bust to right. Rv. Monogram of Theoderic within wreath. MEC I, 138. Mettlich 64 (Witigis). BMC, Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Lombards 9 (Witigis). Exceptional quality and among the finest known examples; lovely iridescent toning.


Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction, Autumn, 1995, lot 731.

There are some differing opinions with regard to the attribution of this coinage. Upon the death of Theoderic in 526, he was succeeded by his grandson Athalaric. However, since Athalaric was only a child, his mother Amalasuntha acted as regent. She was well educated, a patron of the arts, and continued a pro-Byzantine policy until the death of Athalaric in 534. She then shared power with her cousin Theodahad, but within a few months was deposed, exiled, and murdered.

The reverse monogram on this coin is the usual one for Theoderic, but he died just prior to the ascent of Justinian who is named on the obverse. Grierson in Medieval European Coinage, vol. 1 believes that Amalasuntha issued this type with the revived monogram of her father during her brief joint reign with Theodahad. Metcalf puts the issue to the next ruler, Witigis. However Witigis has silver coinage with his own name on the reverse continuing the concept introduced by Athalaric and would seem less likely to have reverted back to the monogram of Theoderic.

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Extremely Fine $5,000.


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