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Augustus (Western Roman Empire)  AD 457 - 474

Procopius Anthemius (AD ? - 472):
Husband of Aelia Euphemia;
Father of Alypia;
Father-in-law of Ricimer;
Son-in-law of Marcian.

Paralel ruler of the Estern Roman Empire:
Leo I (AD 457 - 474)

(Procopius) Anthemuis was perhaps the first native Greek-speaker to be appointed emperor in the West. Married to Emperor Leo I's daughter Euphemia, he claimed distant relationship to one of the fourth-century ephemeral military emperors in East, but had credentials that certainly qualified him for the position. Not only was he well-versed in Greek philosophy and political theory, and was regarded as a potential emperor in the East, but he had also served Leo for long years as Master of the Soldiers (magister militum) and had proved himself as a field commander. When, in 467 the Vandals insisted Libius Severus be succeeded in the West by a certain Olybrius, Leo decided that Anthemius was the right person to occupy the throne and sent him West. With Leo's blessing and the backing of the powerful western Master of Soldiers, Ricimer, Anthemius occupied the throne without troubles. However, things soon soured for the new emperor. Ricimer was soon alienated by Anthemius' appointments of eastern military commanders at key positions. An expedition to Carthage, designed to sap Vandal maritime power, turned disastrous, and in Gaul the Visigothic king Euric was eyeing the annexation of the whole province and defeated a Roman army killing Anthemius' son. Anthemius' own popularity in Italy, where Greeks were not liked, diminished with every month. Seizing the opportunity, in early 472 Ricimer, who had married Anthemius' daughter but was not on speaking terms with his father-in-law, marched on Rome with the intention to remove Anthemius and install Olybrius. Despite heroic resistance of the imperial forces and the people of Rome, a three-month siege, and a last-moment bid for escape during which Anthemius had to disguise himself as a beggar, Rome fell and the emperor was recognized, captured, and beheaded in the early spring of 472.

Mints: Mediolanum, Ravenna, Rome.

List all Anthemius coins in the Catalog.

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