Elagabalus came to power through the scheming of his grandmother Julia Maesa. Elagabalus repeatedly shocked the population with increasingly bizarre behavior including cross dressing and marrying a vestal virgin. Eventually his grandmother replaced him on the throne with Severus Alexander, and Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped into the Tiber.
This galley type may have been issued to announce Elagabalus' travel to Rome from Syria, and the happy times his rule would bring.
RS68920. Silver denarius, BMCRE V 277, RSC III 27a, RIC IV 188, SRCV II 7510, gVF, light toning, weight 2.957 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antiochia (Antakiyah, Syria) mint, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseFELICITAS TEMP, galley right, eight rowers and pilot holding rudder, acrostolium at stern, vexillum at center, sail(?) furled at prow, waves below; $550.00 (€412.50)
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace
Philippopolis today is Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
RP63960. Bronze AE 28, BMC Thrace p. 167, 44; Varbanov III 1712; Moushmov 5404; SNG Cop -, F, nice green patina, weight 13.097 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis mint, obverse AYT K M AYPHΛ MA ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate bust of emperor right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛE/ΩC NEΩKO/POY, two wrestlers grappling; USA import restricted type, ex Mark Staal Collection; scarce; $280.00 (€210.00)
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Charachmoba, Arabia
Charachmoba struck coins only during the reign of Elagabalus and coins of the city are very rare.
RP63100. Bronze AE 17, Meshorer City-Coins 275, Spijkerman 5, SNG ANS -, Rosenberger 2, F/aF, weight 5.235 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Charachmoba mint, obverse A K M AV ANTΩNINO, laureate head right; reverse XAPAXMΩBA, priest (on right) seated left facing a high platform altar with steps, on top of the platform: a column flanked by baetyls all on a low base and a wall or panel behind about half as high as the column; green patina with desert earthen highlighting, interesting type; very rare; $270.00 (€202.50)
Providentia was an important moral and philosophical abstraction in Roman discourse. Cicero says it is one of the three main components of prudentia, "the knowledge of things that are good or bad or neither," along with memoria, "memory," and intellegentia, "understanding." The Latin word is the origin of the Christian concept of divine providence.
RS69076. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23, RSC III 144, BMCRE V 102, SRCV II 7531, gVF, toned, weight 2.804 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Jan - Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PM T R P II COS II P P, Providentia standing facing, head left, legs crossed, leaning with left arm on column, rod in right over globe at feet, cornucopia in left; $225.00 (€168.75)
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS68061. Silver denarius, BMCRE V 313, RIC IV 199, RSC III 273, aEF, weight 3.313 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 225o, Antiochia (Antakiyah, Syria) mint, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseSPEI PERPETVAE, Spes walking left, flower in right, raising fold of skirt with left; ex Pecunem & Gitbud & Naumann auction 6, lot 482; $220.00 (€165.00)
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Ptolemy Soter integrated Egyptian religion with that of the Hellenic rulers by creating Serapis, a deity that would win the reverence of both groups. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RP68722. Bronze assarion, Nikopolis 2012 184.108.40.206 (R2, same dies), Varbanov I 3825 (R3, same dies), AMNG I/I 2018, SNG Cop -, EF, centered, green patina with a few coppery high spots, weight 3.726 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Nikopolis mint, obverse AVT M AVPH - ANΩNINO-C, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOCICTPON, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; $220.00 (€165.00)
The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS68509. Silver denarius, RIC IV 28, RSC III 154, SRCV II 7533, gVF, toned, weight 2.681 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseP M TR P III COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left, star in left field; ex Antioch Associates (San Francisco); $165.00 (€123.75)
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia
The inscription AMKGB is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, First, Greatest, and Most Beautiful of the three (adjoining) provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia).
RP59566. Bronze trihemiassaria, Ziegler 366a (same rev die), SNG Levante 1431 var (legend arrangement), Lindgren III 781 var (same), BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Cop -, gF, weight 6.043 g, maximum diameter 22.80 mm, die axis 180o, Anazarbos mint, obverse AYT K M AY ANTΩNEINOC CEB, radiate head right; reverse ANAZAP MHTPOΠ Γ B AMK, Dionysos standing left, kantharos in right, thyrsos in left, panther at feet left; scarce; $155.00 (€116.25)
This reverse refers to Elagabalus' role as priest of the Syrian god from whom he took his nickname. His religious fanaticism was a primary cause of his downfall.
RS59365. Silver denarius, RIC IV 88, RSC III 61, BMCRE V 212, aEF, nicely toned, bold portrait, flan flaws, weight 2.975 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 220 - 222 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, horned, laureate, draped and bearded bust right; reverse INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG, Elagabalus standing half left, branch in left, offering from patera in right over altar, recumbent bull behind altar, star left; $140.00 (€105.00)
In 219 A.D., Julia Maesa arranged a marriage for Elagabalus, her 15 year old grandson. The wedding was a lavish ceremony and his bride, Julia Paula, was given the honorific title of Augusta. Elagabalus was also consul that year and was initiated into the worship of the Phrygian gods Cybele and Attis.
RS54570. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 149, RSC III 280, BMCRE V 166, gVF, weight 5.162 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverseTEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right, cornucopia in left; $135.00 (€101.25)