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Leo I (AD 457-474). First to legislate in Greek language.
Solidus c. AD 462-6
Leo I (Flavius Valerius Leo Augustus) was born c 401 and died January 18, 474 (from dysentery) having served as Byzantine Emperor from 457 to 474. He was known as Leo the Thracian (Λέων ο Θράξ) born to a Thraco-Roman family. Leo was proclaimed Emperor on February 7, 457. It was the first time on record that a coronation service was preceded by the Patriarch of Constantinople and he was the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek rather than Latin. After Marcian died there was a power struggle. Aspar was a powerful political figure having the rank of magister militum ("Master of soldiers"). Apsar could not be emperor as he espoused the Arian heresy. He endorsed Leo I over Marcian's son-in-law Anthemius feeling Leo could be an effective puppet ruler. Leo however severed his dependence from Aspar, causing tension that led to Aspar’s assassination. The price of the alliance was the marriage of Leo's daughter to Zeno leader of the Isaurians and future emperor. Leo proved to be a capable ruler, overseeing political and military reforms to strengthen the faltering Western Roman Empire and recover lost territories. Obverse Leo wearing pearl diadem, helmeted and cuirassed, holding spear and shield D N LEO PERPET AVG. Reverse standing Victory holding a long jeweled cross, stars to left and right, VICTORIA AVGGG THSOB in exergue.
Mint: Thessalonica
Provenance: Private acquisition

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