Priscus Attalus

Reece Period attributed: Period 22

Obverse image of a coin of Priscus Attalus

Member of the Fifth Century dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 409 until 410.

Attalus was Prefect of Rome when Alaric besieged the city a second time (409). Alaric forced the Senate to make Attalus emperor by threatening to destroy the grain supplies at Ostia; Attalus became a puppet for the barbarian ruler.

Attalus was deposed in 410 for incompetence, but was proclaimed emperor again in 414 by Alaric’s successor Ataulf. In 415 he was deposed again and given to Honorius, who banished him.

Other resources about Priscus Attalus

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Priscus Attalus.

Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Priscus Attalus
  • Full names:
    • Priscus Attalus
  • Title:
  • Predecessor: Honorius (emperor)
  • Successor: Honorius (emperor)
  • Definition: Priscus Attalus (died after 416) was twice Roman usurper (in 409-10 and in 414-15), against Emperor Honorius, with Visigothic support. He was the last non-Christian pretender to the Roman imperial office. Priscus Attalus was a Greek from Asia whose father had moved to Italy under Valentinian I. Attalus was an important senator in Rome, who served as praefectus urbi in 409. He was twice proclaimed emperor by the Visigoths, in an effort to impose their terms on the ineffectual Emperor Honorius, in Ravenna. He held the title of Emperor in Rome for a few months 409-410, and later in Burdigala again for a few months in 414-415. The first reign ended when Alaric believed it was hampering his negotiations with Honorius, and the second ended after he was abandoned by the Visigoths and eventually captured by Honorius's men. Attalus was obliged to participate in the triumph Honorius celebrated in the streets of Rome in 416, before finishing his days exiled in the Aeolian Islands.
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  • Birth place:
  • Death place: Aeolian Islands
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    • Other title(s):
      • List of urban prefects of Rome
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