Augustus (Western Roman Empire) AD 472
Husband of Placidia the Younger ;
Son-in-law of Licinia Eudoxia.
Paralel ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Leo I (AD 457- 474)
Olybrius’s rule lasted about six months, from March or April to October 472. In the 450s he became a protégé of the powerful Vandal king Gaiseric, and something of an agent of his in Constantinople where he had fled after the invasion in 455 and held a consulship. Geiseric nominated him for the throne in 465, but the Vandal wasn’t popular with the playmakers in Rome and Constantinople, and Olybrius was passed over. In 472, however, Leo I sent him to Italy to supposedly patch the relations between the kingmaker in Rome, the Master of the Soldiers Ricimer, and Leo’s man in the West, the emperor Anthemius, but perhaps with the idea to have him killed. Things did not work that way though, for as soon as Olybrius showed up in Italy, he got invested with the purple. Ricimer, who was on the lookout for a replacement of his Greek-born emperor helped him oust Anthemius, but died soon thereafter. Olybrius survived him by a couple of months, and died of dropsy in October, before it even became clear whether he could get along with Ricimer’s successor, Gundobald.
Mints: Mediolanum, Rome.
List all Olybrius coins in the Catalog.