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.
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 (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; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria
Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
SH72144. Bronze AE 23, BMC Galatia p. 267, 3; SNG München 959 ff.; Lindgren I 2116; SNG Cop 385 var (radiate), gVF, the nicest of the type known to Forum, weight 7.038 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea mint, obverse AVT K ANTΩNINOC, radiate head right; reverse PEΦ−A−NE−ΩT, turreted Genius standing half left, wears himation, patera in right, cornucopia in left, bull at feet left, two eagles flanking in upper field; rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00
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, H-H-J Nikopolis 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, 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 SALE PRICE $198.00
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 said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
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 SALE PRICE $180.00
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RS73522. Silver denarius, RIC IV 190, RSC III 54, BMCRE V 281, Hunter III 116, SRCV II 7517, VF, exotic eastern style, weight 2.751 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseHILARITAS AVG, Hilaritas standing front, looking left, patera in right, long grounded palm frond in left, flanked by two nude children standing at her feet reaching up to her, the child on the right touching the palm frond; $150.00 (€130.50)
The silver content of the Roman denarius fell to 43 percent under emperor Elagabalus, down from 50 percent under Septimius Severus. He emptied the treasury with his excesses while his grandmother, Julia Maesa, ruled the Empire.
RS73531. Silver antoninianus, RSC III 289a, BMCRE V 36, RIC IV 156, Choice gVF, porous, weight 5.337 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 218 A.D.; obverseIMP CAESM AVR ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverseVICTOR ANTONINI AVG, Victory walking right, wreath raised in right hand, palm over shoulder in left; $150.00 (€130.50)
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 SALE PRICE $149.00
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria
Butcher notes coins of Elagabalus from Zeugma share obverse dies with his coins from Antioch and were probably struck at the Antioch mint.
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
RY90698. Bronze AE 32, BMC Galatia p. 127, 28; Butcher 29; SNG Cop 31 var (AVT K M AV -..., and slight drapery), F, weight 18.971 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 315o, Antioch(?) mint, obverse AVT KAI MAP AVP - ANTΩNEINOC CE, laureate head right; reverse ZEYΓM−ATEΩN (Z reversed), tetrastyle temple of Zeus(?) with peribolos containing grove of trees, capricorn right in exergue; big 32 mm bronze!; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
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, SRCV II 7518, 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 SALE PRICE $126.00
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; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00