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; 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)
In July 221, Elagabalus was forced to divorce his new bride, the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa. He then married Annia Faustina, his third wife. After five months he returned to Severa claiming the divorce was invalid. Meanwhile, according to the historian Cassius Dio, Elagabalus had a stable homosexual relationship with his chariot driver, the slave Hierocles.
RS69191. Silver denarius, RIC IV 78, BMCRE V 201, RSC III 44, SRCV III 7514, EF, weight 3.075 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 - 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverseFIDES MILITVM, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, shields at base of each standard; $190.00 (€142.50)
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)
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; $155.00 (€116.25)
On 8 June 218, Elagabalus' Syrian legions defeated the forces of Macrinus. Macrinus fled, but was captured near Chalcedon and later executed in Cappadocia. His son Diadumenian attempted escape to the Parthian court but was captured at Zeugma and also put to death.
RS56174. Silver denarius, RSC III 222a; RIC IV 8, BMCRE 1, gVF, weight 3.157 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 A.D.; obverseIMP CAESM AVR ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reversePONTIF MAX TR P, Roma seated left, wearing crested helmet, Victory presenting wreath in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, shield at her side; $155.00 (€116.25)
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)