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 196, Septimius Severus captured and sacked Byzantium after a long seige.
RB67889. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 399, Cohen 564, Fair, attractive for grade, weight 16.570 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 196 - 197 A.D.; obverseM AVR ANTONINVS CAES, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed boy's bust right, from behind; reverseSECVRITAS PERPETVA, Minerva standing left, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear behind in left hand, S - C flanking across field; scarce; $80.00 (€60.00)
The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
RS66555. Silver denarius, RIC IV 194, BMCRE V 39, RSC III 195, cf. RSCV 6829 (TR P XVI), aVF, weight 2.759 g, maximum diameter 19.7 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, Serapis standing slightly left, polos on head, draped, raising right hand, scepter near vertical in left; $70.00 (€52.50)
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.
RP67880. Bronze AE 20, cf. BMC Arabia p.85, 16 ff.; SNG Hunterian 2485 ff.; SNG Cop 176 ff., F, nice green patina, flan crack, weak legends, weight 4.254 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae mint, obverseM AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right, with short beard; reverse COL MET ANTONINIANA, turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; $70.00 (€52.50)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. Minted under the consular legate (governor) Aurelius Gallus.
RP68415. Bronze assarion, Varbanov 2986 (R5, same dies), H-H-J Nikopolis 22.214.171.124 corr. (R5), AMNG I/I 1492, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice green patina, weight 2.988 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 195 - 198 A.D.; obverse M AY KA ANTΩNIN−OC, bare head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, radiate head of Sol right, whip over shoulder; scarce; $70.00 (€52.50)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D. Heliopolis, Coele Syria
Baalbek, a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, east of the Litani River, was known as Heliopolis during Roman rule. It was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon. The gods worshiped at the temple, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.
RP69638. Bronze AE 18, Sawaya Heliopolis 387 - 388 (D74/R151), Cohen 872, aVF, reverse off center, weight 3.885 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, 211 - 212; obverseM AVR ANTONI, laureate head right, from behind; reverse COL HEL, Hermes standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, purse in right, caduceus; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $45.00 (€33.75)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia
Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13–52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP69830. Bronze AE 24, Krzyzanowska Group C, XVII/32; BMC Pisidia -; SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG PfPS -, F, weight 4.856 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Pisidia, Antiocheia mint, c. 203 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTONI AVG, laureate head right; reverse ANTIOCHC GEN COL CAES, Genius of the colony standing left, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare variant; $40.00 (€30.00)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D. Berytus, Phoenicia
Berytus became a Roman colony in 14 B.C., named ColoniaJulia Augusta Felix Berytus, for the daughter of Augustus. 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 also gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RB69647. Bronze AE 25, cf. Rouvier 564; BMC Phoenicia p. 74, 148 ff.; Baramki AUB 95; SNG Cop 110, aF, weight 9.971 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 315o, Berytus mint, obverse IMP M AVR SEV ANTON AVG (or similar), laureate head right; reverse FEL / AVG - BER, COL - IVL (or similar), within tetrastyle temple, Astarte standing facing, on right Nike stands on a short column crowning her, ladder below at an angle leading up to temple; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $28.00 (€21.00)