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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Severan Period ▸ CaracallaView Options:  |  |  |   

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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.

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Rabbathmoba, Arabia

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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 (near Kerak, Jordan) mint, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC ANTΩNINOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust 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; $70.00 (62.30)

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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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 Gn II, p. 459, 481; SNG Cop 507; BMC Pontus -; SNGvA -, SNG Tbingen -, 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; $60.00 (53.40)

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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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 (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right, with short beard; reverse COL MET ANTONINIANA, turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; $50.00 (44.50)

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D. Heliopolis, Coele Syria

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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.; obverse M 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; $40.00 (35.60)

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In 195, Lucius Septimius Bassianus (Caracalla), age 7, changed his name to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus to reinforce his connection with the family of Marcus Aurelius and was given the title Caesar. This scarce type is from his first issue as Caesar.
RS74258. Silver denarius, RSC III 562; BMCRE V p. 50, 182; RIC IV 2; SRCV III 6678; Hunter III -, Fair, tight flan, rough, weight 3.625 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 196 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONINVS CAES, boy's bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SECVRITAS PERPETVA (Security Everlasting), Minerva standing slightly left, helmeted head left, aegis on breast, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical in left; scarce; $7.49 (6.67)






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Catalog current as of Friday, January 20, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Caracalla