Zeno was an Eastern emperor during the waning days of the empire. His career was recorded through a series of endless plots against him which failed to oust him from power entirely. Indeed, he even served as emperor-in-exile during a revolt that briefly saw Basiliscus rise to the throne in 475. He eventually recaptured the throne himself to resume a rocky relationship with the Western half of the empire as well as frequent domestic problems of every sort. Following the favorable resolution of the Basiliscus affair he had ample time as well to watch the final collapse of the Western half of the empire. As he had no resources to contend with the germanic tribesmen who were exerting ever more control over the former empire, he could do little more than accept the inevitable outcome. Although this made him nominally ruler of the entire Roman empire after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, in practice he held no sway at all in any of the former Roman provinces. In the end, one of his most remarkable feats was the very fact that he was able to survive for so long in this strife-ridden age.
RIC 910 Solidus Obv: DNZENOPERPAVG, diademed and helmeted three-quarter facing bust, holding spear over right shoulder and shield with horseman motif on left arm.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGGG Exe: I/CONOB, Victory standing left, holding long voided cross; star in right field. Lot sold for $413 2/3/02.
RIC 914, S 4287 Tremissis Obv: DNZENOPERPAVG, Diademed, draped bust right.
Rev: VICTORIAAVGVSTOR Exe: CONOB, Victory standing, holding globe with star in right field.