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Coin Detail
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ID:     80000860
Type:     Central Europe and Italy
Region:     Lombardy and Tuscany
City:     Regal Coinage
Issuer:     Aistulf
Date Ruled:     AD 744-749
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     Follis
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 751/2
Weight:     1.43 g
Die Axis:     6 h
Obverse Legend:     [D] N IST VLF[VS REX]
Obverse Description:     Facing crowned and draped bearded bust, holding globus cruciger in right hand; crown topped with cross
Reverse Legend:     M / [A]/N/N/[O] / I / RAV
Reverse Description:     Large M; cross above, [A]/N/N/[O] I across field, RAV below
Mint Mark:     RAV
Mint:     Ravenna
Primary Reference:     Bernareggi -
Reference2:     Ranieri 848 (same obv. die as illustration)
Reference3:     BMC Vandals -
Reference4:     MEC 1, 324
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, red-brown patina
Notes:     Sale: Triton XII, Lot: 860 Very rare. Appointed Duke of the border Duchy of Friuli when his brother Ratchis became king of the Lombards in 744, Aistulf himself became king in 749 when Ratchis was forced to abdicate. During his tenure, Aistulf attempted to expand Lombardic interests in Italy by raiding both the Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna and the territories of the papacy. In 751, the Lombards took Ravenna and began to pressure Rome. In response, Pope Stephen II turned to the de facto Frankish king, Pepin 'le Bref' (the Short) for assistance. In return for a pontifical recognition of his crown, Pepin crossed the Alps, defeated Aistulf, and forced the Lombardic king to relinquish those territories he had extracted from the papacy. Now, much reduced, Aistulf spent the remaining few years of his reign in the pursuit of pleasure. In 756 he was killed in a hunting accident. With his death, the Lombardic kingdom lost even more territory and influence in Italy in the face of an increasing alliance between the papacy and the Carolingians.