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Artemide Aste s.r.l.
Auction LVI  23-24 Oct 2021
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Lot 475

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Starting price: 750 EUR
Price realized: 950 EUR

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The Lombards at Pavia. Uncertain king (Ratchis, 744-749 ?). Pale AV Brockage Tremissis. Obv. Incuse of reverse. Rev. SCS IIIII. St. Michael, winged, standing left, holding staff ending in trefoil and round shield. MEC 322 var. . Pale AV. 1.05 g. 22.00 mm. RRR. Extremely rare, as brockage, and apparently unpublished. Good VF.

About a possible attribution to Ratchis, see Triton XIX,2016,lot 2200 (reverse die).
Ratchis was duke of Friuli in the 8th century. Former collaborator of king Liutprand, he succeeded Liutprand's nephew Hildeprand to the Lombard throne in 744. Both he and his wife, Tassia, were advocates of a peaceful policy towards the Byzantines, however he encountered opposition from the military competent of the Lombards led by his brother of Aistulf, who eventually pushed him to resume the war. In 748-749, he invaded Pentapolis and besieged Perugia, but the intervention of pope Zacharias made him stop. Essentially forced to step down from the throne due to pressures from the military faction, he decided, heeding the pope's exhortations, to become a monk and retire to Montecassino in 749. When his successor Aistulf died in 756, Ratchis returned to Pavia, where he was reinstated as king. However, he was challenged by duke Desiderius who, making use of the spiritual influence of pope Stefano II and the political support of the Franks, forced Ratchis to renounce the throne and return to Montecassino in 757 as a monk.
(NAC 93,2016,1314).
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