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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 215, Caracalla's troops massacred the population of Alexandria, Egypt, beginning with the leading citizens. The emperor was angry about a satire, produced in Alexandria, mocking his claim that he killed his brother Geta in self-defense. RS74128. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268; RSC III 314; BMCRE V p. 457, 147; SRCV II 6841, Hunter III -, VF, monstrous portrait, well centered, light toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.425 g, maximum diameter 19.5180 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverseP M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P, Pax standing left, branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
In 212 A.D. construction began on the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. These were the second largest Roman public baths, or thermae. Completed in 217 A.D. They would have had to install over 2,000 tons of material every day for six years in order to complete it in this time. Records show that the idea for the baths were drawn up by Septimius Severus, and merely completed or opened in the lifetime of Caracalla. This would allow for a longer construction time-frame. They are today a tourist attraction.RS74138. Silver denarius, RIC IV 227, RSC III 529, BMCRE V 99, SRCV II 6879, gVF, superb portrait, full circle centering, reverse center a little weak, weight 3.514 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 - 213; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM (providence of the Gods), Providentia standing half left, wand in right over globe at feet, long scepter vertical in left; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
The Roman Colony of Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria today) was founded during the reign of Vespasian on the westshore of Lake Mandren between Anchialus and Apollonia, and settled with veterans of LegioVIII Augusta. The town followed the usual Roman plan, with a very good water supply, sewers, and impressive baths with floor heating. It became one of the richest towns in the province. During the reign Mark Aurelius, Deultum was protected by large fortified walls and for centuries it served as an important communication point and a bulwark against barbarian raids. In 812 Khan Krum conquered Develt (its medieval name), banished the local residents to the north of Danube River, and resettled the town with Bulgarians.RP68716. Bronze AE 24, Draganov 23 ff. (O8/R7); Varbanov II 2042 (R5); Jurukova Deultum 13; Moushmov 3535; BMC Thrace -; SNG Cop -, Choice F, nice green-turquoise patina, weight 7.929 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, radiatehead right; reverse COL FL PAC• DEVLT, emperor on horseback riding right, brandishing spear in right hand, reins in left; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hierapolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria
Modern Membij, was renamed Hierapolis, (Holy City) by Seleucus Nicator and his wife Stratonice when they built a temple for the goddess of fertility and water, Atargatis (dea Syria). The city retained the name Hierapolis for only a few hundred years. Religious ceremonies before Roman times may have included child sacrifice. -- The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions by Michael and Karin PrieurRY75673. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 926, cf. BMC Galatia p. 143, 42 (uncertain date), SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Righetti -, F, dark toning, porous, weight 13.717 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrrhestica, Hierapolis-Bambyce (Membij, Syria) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse •AVT•K M•A ANTΩNEINOC CEB•, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAP•X•EΞ•V-ΠATO•∆•, eagle standing facing head right, lion walking right below; ex Alex G. Malloy; rare; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Pautalia, Thrace
Strymon, son of Oceanus and Tethys, was a river god and king of Thrace. By the muses Euterpe or Calliope, he became the father of Rhesus, Brangas, and Olynthus, and by Neaera of Evadne.RP63246. Bronze AE 29, Apparently unpublished variety; cf. Ruzicka 632 (obv legend, armed bust left, etc.), Varbanov II 5186 (obv leg, laureate head), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace, F, weight 16.33 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 45o, Pautalia (Kyustendil, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AY − ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse OYΛΠIAC (above), ΠAYTAΛIAC (in exergue), river-god Strymon reclining left, head right, left arm resting on jug on its side from which water flows; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Laodicea ad Libanum, Syria
The Hellenistic city, Laodicea ad Libanum, on the Orontes River in what is now Syria, appears to have been built on Tell Nebi Mend, the ruin-mound of the city of Kadesh. The site is still occupied today and has been the site of fighting and bombing during the current civil war.
The Battle of Kadesh, c. 1274 B.C., between the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II was fought at the site, and is the earliest battle in recorded history for which details of tactics and formations are known. It was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5,000 - 6,000 chariots. The city was near the border of the two empires and changed hands several times. Ancient Kadesh vanishes from history after it was destroyed by the invading Sea Peoples in around 1178 B.C.
RP69641. Bronze AE 26, SNG Cop 445, Lindgren III 1288, BMC Galatia -, SNG München -, F, unusual red and black patina, clear inscriptions for the type, weight 10.584 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Libanum mint, obverse [...AVP?] CEOVH - ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAO∆IK ΠPOC ΛIBANW, Mên standing facing before horse standing left, holding bridle of horse in right, scepter in left, horse's head turned back, MHN in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them, in money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. This coin advertises that Caracalla has made his eighth distribution to the people. 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. In the other hand she holds a cornucopiaRS72357. Silver denarius, RIC IV 219; RSC III 134; BMCRE V p. 371, 79; Hunter III -; SRCV II -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, centered, slight porosity, weight 3.439 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, man's bearded and laureate head right; reverseLIBERALITAS AVGVIII, Liberalitas standing left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left; ex a-a-c-ancientcoins (eBay); $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
This coin refers to the departure of Caracalla, Septimius, and Geta on their British expedition. RS74410. Silver denarius, RIC IV 108 (S); RSC III 510; BMCRE p. 272, 574; SRCV II 6874; Hunter p. 56, 51, VF, centered, light corrosion, contact marks, edge cracks, weight 3.189 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reversePONTIF TR P XI COS III, Emperor on horseback pacing right, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, transverse spear in right hand pointed up and right, tiny figure (enemy?) kneeling right and raising hands below horse's raised left foreleg, PROF in exergue; scarce; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Indulgentia is the personification of clemency, leniency, grace, or favor. This coin may refer to some specific permission or clemency given, or some privilege bestowed by the emperor. RS75231. Silver denarius, RIC IV 300 (S); RSC III 103; BMCRE V p. 444, 68; Hunter p. 87, 48; SRCV II 6808, Choice VF, excellent portrait, excellent centering, good strike, flan cracks, light contact marks, areas of very slight corrosion, weight 3.094 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, end 213 - 217 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse INDVLGENTIAE AVG, Indulgentia seated left, patera in extended right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, feet on small stool; scarce; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Virtus to the ancient Romans included valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Curiously, despite the masculine characteristics of virtus, the personification or deity Virtus was usually depicted as a female warrior, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.RS74206. Silver denarius, RIC IV 176 (S); RSC III 672; BMCRE V p. 260, 522; Hunter III p. 58, 63; SRCV II 6905, VF, excellent portrait, porous, a little rough, weight 2.964 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverseVIRTVS AVGVSTOR, Virtus seated left, helmeted, Victory in right, parazonium in left, feet on low stool, shield resting against near side of seat; scarce; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Rabbathmoba, Arabia
Rabbathmoba, probably the Biblical Ir-Moab, was conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan.RP72140. Bronze AE 24, Spijkerman 29b; BMC Arabia, p. 44, 5 var (date P − ∆); Rosenberger 15 var (same); SNG ANS -; Sofaer -, aF, green highlighting patina, porous, weight 8.987 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rabbathmoba mint, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC ANTΩNINOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse PABAΘMOVBHNΩN, Poseidon standing left, nude, foot on prow, dolphin in right, trident vertical behind in left, ∆ − P (year 104) divided across field; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Amasia, Pontos
Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 B.C. from Armenia. Pompey designated it a free city and the administrative center of the new province of Bithynia and Pontus. Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers and poets, and one of them, Strabo, left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 B.C. and 19 A.D.RP57031. Bronze AE 31, cf. BMC Pontus p. 11, 33 (inscriptions obliterated); SNG Cop 113 (date above); SNGvA 32 (tree right); Lindgren 16 (lit altar, no eagle), F, weight 17.323 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 180o, Amasia mint, 206 A.D.; obverse AY KAI MAP AYP − ANTΩONINOC, CEBA below bust, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse A∆PCE AN[T A]MACIAC MHTNΩNΠON (some ligate and retrograde letters), eagle standing right on altar, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, palm tree beside altar left, ETCH (year 208) below; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia
Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.RP57175. Bronze AE 21, BMC Arabia p. 84, 15, SNG Cop -, F, weight 4.991 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae mint, obverse AYTOKP ANTWNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, with short beard; reverse KAP KOΛ MHTPOΠOΛ, eight pointed star in crescent; very rare; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia
A temple of Mên has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon-goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But Mên was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, Mên was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. Mên is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock. RP69829. Bronze AE 17, cf. SNG Cop 43 (slightly different reverselegend), Krzyzanowska -, BMC Pisidia -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG PfPS -, F, weight 6.169 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 225o, Antiocheia mint, as caesar, 196 - 28 Jan 198 A.D.; obverse IMP C MA-R AVR ANT, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse ANTIOC-H - MENTIS COIC, Mên standing facing in long robes and Phrygian cap, head right, crescent moon behind shoulders, left foot on bucranium, spear vertical in right hand, Nike (holding trophy?) in extended left, cock left at feet behind; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia
Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey today) remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.RB72569. Bronze AE 25, Rec Gén II, p. 459, 481; SNG Cop 507; BMC Pontus -; SNGvA -, SNG Tübingen -, VF/F, excellent portrait, pitting on reverse, weight 8.685 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 45o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse ANTΩNINOC AVΓOVCTOC, laureate head of Caracalla right; reverse NIKA-IEΩN, legionary aquila on pole with vexillum, flanked by two signa; very rare; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50
In 196, Septimius Severus captured and sacked Byzantium after a long siege.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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00
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; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
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.RY73101. Bronze AE 18, Sawaya 391 - 393 var. (D78/R153, unlisted die combination), SNG Cop 430, Lindgren-Kovacs A2162A, BMC Galatia -, VF, well centered and struck, nice green patina, weight 3.684 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, 211 - 212 A.D.; 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 in left; the second example from these dies handled by Forum; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
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.RY73044. Bronze AE 18, Sawaya 388 var. (D74/R -, unlisted reverse die), SNG Cop 430, Lindgren-Kovacs A2162A, BMC Galatia -, aVF, centered, green patina, cleaning scratches, weight 3.612 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, 211 - 212 A.D.; 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 hand, caduceus in left hand; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
RS74175. Silver denarius, RIC IV 4, RSC III 587, SRCV II 6679, aVF, light toning, edge cracks, weight 3.236 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 196 A.D.; obverseM AVR ANTONINVS CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse SEVERI AVG PII FIL, priestly implements; lituus, ax, jug, simpulum, and sprinkler; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
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