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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheSeveranPeriod>Elagabalus PAGE 1/4123

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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.


Click for a larger photo 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, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS 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
Click for a larger photo 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 (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) 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., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.6.6 (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, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT M AVPH - ANΩNINO-C, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOCICTPON, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; $220.00 (165.00)

Click for a larger photo Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and Providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. Cicero says providentia 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).
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; $200.00 (150.00)

Click for a larger photo 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 cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P 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)

Click for a larger photo 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)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia
Click for a larger photo 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; $135.00 (101.25)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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.
RP65521. Bronze assarion, AMNG I/I 2039, Varbanov I 3849, aEF, weight 2.273 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AY K M AYΠ ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse NI/KOΠ/OΛITΩN / ΠPOC IC/TPON, inscription in five lines within laurel wreath; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7, lot 464; $135.00 (101.25)

Click for a larger photo 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.
RS68505. Silver denarius, RIC IV 162, RSC III 304, BMCRE V 169, SRCV II 7555, Choice VF, centered, toned, weight 3.245 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse VICTORIA AVG, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $125.00 (93.75)

Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RS68506. Silver denarius, RSC III 38a, RIC IV 73, BMCRE V 38, SRCV II 7512, gVF, centered, toned, weight 3.332 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing facing, head right, vexillum in right, standard in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $125.00 (93.75)



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Obverse legends:

ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSFEL
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG
ANTONINVSVPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY CARACALLA)
IMPANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPCAESANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVG




Average well preserved denarius weight 3.14 grams.
Average well preserved antoninianus weight 5.15 grams.

Catalog current as of Thursday, September 18, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Elagabalus