Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, better known as Caracalla, was the son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, born in 188 A.D. He was named Caesar in 196 and Augustus in 198. Shortly before his death, Severus advised his sons, "Agree with each other, give money to the soldiers and scorn all other men." But the brothers hated each other and soon Caracalla had Geta murdered and massacred thousands suspected of supporting him. Although a capable military commander, the actual running of the government was left to his mother. He gradually slipped more and more into paranoia and delusions of grandeur before being murdered on his way to an Eastern campaign aimed at fulfilling his belief that he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great.
In 212, Caracalla had the Roman jurist Aemilius Papinianus beheaded in his presence for refusing to write a legal defense for Geta's murder. Caracalla quelled army objections to Geta's murder with huge donations.
RS57067. Silver denarius, RIC IV 192, RSC III 196, gVF, flan crack, weight 3.153 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 212 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverseP M TR P XV COS III P P, Hercules standing half left, nude, branch in right, club and lion-skin in left; $100.00 (77.00)
In 213, Caracalla left Rome, expelled some German marauders from Gaul, defended the northern Rhine frontier against the Alamanni and the Chatti, and was victorious over German tribes on the banks of the River Main. For his success, he gave himself the title "Germanicus." It was probably while campaigning in Germania that he took a liking to the caracalla, a Celtic or German tunic from which he acquired his nickname.
RS57667. Silver denarius, RIC IV 206a, RSC III 220, VF, weight 3.054 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverseP M TR P XVI COS IIII P P, Hercules standing left, nude but for lion-skin draped over left arm, branch in right, club in left; nice style; $95.00 (73.15)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Berytos, Phoenicia
Named for the daughter of Augustus, Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus was founded in 14 B.C. with veterans of the 5th and 8th legions. Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II built sumptuous monuments and sponsored gladiatorial combats at Berytos. After the siege of Jerusalem, Titus gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RP36436. Bronze AE 25, BMC Phoenicia p. 74, 148 ff., VF/F, weight 12.636 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Berytos mint, obverse IMP M AVREL ANTON AVG, laureate head right; reverse COL IVL ANT AVG FEL BER, Astarte standing right within tetrastyle temple temple, crowned by Nike standing on column, pellet on pediment; $90.00 (69.30)
Fides is the Roman goddess or deification of good faith, fidelity, loyalty and honesty.
RS56190. Silver denarius, RIC IV 24, Cohen 82, gVF, weight 3.345 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 198 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE M AVR ANT AVG P TR P, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseFIDESPVBLICA, Fides standing facing, stalks of grain in right, basket of fruit in left; nice portrait; $90.00 (69.30)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Stobi, Macedonia
RP53788. Bronze AE 26, Josifovski 421, Varbanov III 3943 var (legends), VF, nice green patina, weight 5.791 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Stobi mint, obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AV, laureate head right; reverse MVNI STOB, Victory standing left, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left; $85.00 (65.45)
In 212, Caracalla issued his Constitutio Antoniniana, which extended Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire (with some exceptions).
RS57053. Silver denarius, RIC IV 224, RSC III 165, aVF, weak reverse, weight 3.521 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverseMONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right, cornucopia in left; $85.00 (65.45)
'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS57669. Silver denarius, RIC IV 95, RSC III 440, aVF, toned, weight 3.785 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P X COS II, Virtus standing right in military garb, left foot on helmet, reversed spear behind in right, parazonium in left; $85.00 (65.45)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Roman Provincial Brockage
ER62239. Bronze AE 26, Brockage, VF, weight 10.263 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, Provincial mint, obverseANTWNINOC - AUGOUCT-O-C (or similar), laureate and bearded bust right; reverseincuse of the obverse; $85.00 (65.45)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia
In 1423, Despot Andronicus, who was in charge of the Thessaloniki, ceded it to the Republic of Venice in the hope that it could be protected from the Ottomans who were besieging the city (there is no evidence to support the oft-repeated story that he sold the city to them). The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on the 29th of March, 1430. Murad II took Thessaloniki with a brutal massacre and enslaved roughly one-fifth of the city's native population. During the First Balkan War, on 26 October 1912, the feast day of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessalonika; after the Second Balkan War, in 1913 Thessaloniki was annexed to Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest.
RP51923. Bronze triassarion, Varbanov III 4383, AMNG -, BMC -, VF, green patina, weight 5.920 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica mint, obverse AV K M AVP ANTWNINOC, laureate and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseQEC / CALO / NEIKE / WN, legend in four lines within wreath; rare; $80.00 (61.60)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia
RP54676. Bronze AE 28, CNG E 160, lot 162; Rec Gιn 245 var (rad) & 246 var (legends); SNGvA 774 var (same); BMC 51 var (same); SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -; SNG Tόb -; et al., F, weight 11.514 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia mint, obverseANTWNEINOC AUGOUCTOC, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right. from behind; reverseNI-KO/MH-DE/W-N DIC NEWKO-RWN, octastyle temple, pellet on pediment; rare; $80.00 (61.60)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Petra, Arabia
UNESCO describes Petra as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." The BBC selected Petra as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die."
RP47502. Bronze AE 22, Spijkerman 42 - 43 var (obv and rev legends), BMC -, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG UK -, Nice gVF, weight 9.177 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 45o, Petra mint, obverseAU...ANTWNEINON, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseMHTROPOLIC AD PET, Tyche seated left on pile of rocks, extending right hand, trophy over shoulder in left; attractive desert patina; extremely rare; $75.00 (57.75)
Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS56151. Silver denarius, RIC IV 136b, RSC 124, VF, weight 3.388 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverseLIBERALITASAVGG V, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; $75.00 (57.75)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Rhesaena, Mesopotamia
This type with an eagle at the base of the vexillum on the reverse is unpublished in the many references examined by Forum. There are similar types and a few examples in the references that could have the eagle on the reverse (but not the same dies) but are off center or worn.
Rhesaena became a colony during the reign of Septimius Severus, when the Legio III Parthica was settled there.
RP59266. Bronze AE 18, apparently unpublished; Castelin -, BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNG UK -, SNG Leipzig, SNG Righetti -, Lindgren -, aF, weight 4.571 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Rhesaena mint, obverse [...] ANT[...], laureate head right, eagle right below; reversevexillum, eagle below, III - C (reversed) / P (reversed) - S across field; extremely rare; $70.00 (53.90)
In 208, Septimius Severus invaded Scotland. In 209, clearing forests and building roads, the Roman army reached Aberdeen. In 210, after guerrilla warfare by Scottish tribes resulted in heavy Roman losses, Severus made peace with the Scots. On 4 February 211, Severus fell ill and died in York at the age of 65.
RS56201. Silver denarius, RIC IV 112, RSC III 464, VF, flan crack, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 209 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P XII COS III, Virtus standing right, grounded spear vertical behind in right, parazonium in left, left foot on helmet; $65.00 (50.05)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Cremna, Pisidia
Cremna was taken for Rome by Amyntas, commander of the Galatian auxiliary of Brutus and Cassius. For going over to Mark Antony, Amyntas was made king of Galatia and Pisidia. Upon his death, Cremna became a Roman colony. Later, it was the capital of Pamphylia. Cremna was abandoned in the Middle Ages and today it is mostly heaps of stone.
RP82889. Bronze AE 25, SNGvA 5093, F, weight 7.908 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Cremna mint, obverse IMP M AVRANT P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse GEN COL CREM, Genius of Cremna, wearing polos, sacrificing from patera over altar, cornucopia in left; nice green patina; scarce; $60.00 (46.20)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia
Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RP60410. Bronze AE 18, cf. BMC Arabia 16 ff.; SNG Hunterian 2485 ff.; SNG Cop 176 ff., VF, flaw on face of Tyche, weight 3.113 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae mint, obverse [M] AVR ANT-[ONIN]-VS P [F AVG] (or similar, from upper right), laureate head right; reverse [COL MET A]NT-ONINIAN[A] (or similar, from upper right), turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; nice green patina with earthen desert highlighting; $60.00 (46.20)
This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.
RS60274. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a, RSC III 97, F, rough, flan crack, weight 1.906 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis holding thunderbolt and scepter, riding lion right over waters gushing from rock; $55.00 (42.35)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Odessos, Moesia Inferior
The supreme god of Odessos was the Thracian god Darzalas.
RP39903. Bronze AE 27, Varbanov I 4373, nice gF, weight 9.353 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Odessos mint, obverse AVT K M AVP CEVHPOC ANTWNEINOC, laureate head right; reverseODHCCEITWN, Great god of Odessos standing left, wearing kalathos, holding patera over flaming altar and cornucopia; $50.00 (38.50)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Serdica, Thrace
Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP62288. Bronze AE 19, Varbanov III 2108 var (obv legend), VF, weight 4.401 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sophia) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverseAU K M ANTWN or similar, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse CERDWN, Lion walking right; rare; $45.00 (34.65)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace
A larger denomination (AE 26) for Caracalla from Hadrianopolis with this reverse is common. This smaller denomination is very rare.
RP60556. Bronze AE 17, Varbanov III 3557 var (obv legend), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Tόbingen -, Lindgren -, aVF, weight 3.562 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Hadrianopolis mint, obverseAUT K M AUR CEV ANTWNEINOC, laureate head right; reverseADRIANOPOLEITWN, Hygieia standing right, patera in right, feeding serpent; very rare; $45.00 (34.65)