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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Year of 5 Emperors| ▸ |Clodius Albinus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Clodius Albinus, Late 195 or Early 196 - 19 February 197 A.D.

African by birth, Clodius Albinus had a distinguished military career and was made governor of Britain. After the praetorian prefect "sold" the imperial throne to Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Syria; Septimius Severus by the troops in Illyricum and Pannonia; and Albinus by the armies in Britain and Gaul. In the civil war that followed, Albinus allied with Septimius Severus, who had captured Rome. Albinus added "Septimius" to his name and accepted the title of Caesar. Albinus remained the effective ruler of much of the west, with three British legions and one Spanish. After the death of Niger in 194, Severus resolved to make himself the absolute master of the Empire. After he narrowly escaped assassination by Severus' messenger, Albinus proclaimed himself emperor and crossed into Gaul, bringing a large part of the British garrison with him. He defeated Severus' legate Virius Lupus and made Lugdunum his headquarters. He was, however, unable to win the allegiance of the Rhine legions. On 19 February 197, Albinus met Severus' army at the Battle of Lugdunum. After a hard-fought battle, with 150,000 troops on each side, Albinus was defeated and killed himself, or was captured and executed. Severus had his naked body laid out on the ground and, in an act of humiliation, rode his horse over it. Albinus' headless body was thrown into the Rhône, together with the corpses of his murdered family. Severus sent his head to Rome as a warning to his supporters. The town of Lugdunum was plundered, and the adherents of Albinus were cruelly persecuted.


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
SH21201. Silver denarius, Hunter III 4 (same dies), RIC IV 4 var., RSC III 15 var., BMCRE V 91 var., SRCV II 6141 var. (all var. Rome mint, SEPT vice SEP), aVF, exceptionally large flan for the type with full legend on both obverse and reverse, frosty surfaces, weight 2.684 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, as caesar, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse D CLOD SEP (sic) AL-BIN CAES, bare head right; reverse FELICITAS COS II, Felicitas standing half left, caduceus in right hand, scepter in left hand; very rare; SOLD


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Unusual reverse legend: IOVIS VICTORIAE which means "Jupiter's Victory". The usual form on Roman coinage is IOVI VICTORI, "to Jupiter the Victorious".
SH15158. Silver denarius, RIC IV 26, BMCRE V 272, RSC III 43a, Hunter III -, SRCV II 6170, VF, weight 3.249 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAE D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVIS VICTORIAE COS II, Jupiter standing left, Victory in right hand, scepter in left hand, eagle at feet; very rare; SOLD


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According to the Historia Augusta, Commodus sent a letter to Clodius Albinus offering him the title caesar but Albinus refused:
"The Emperor Commodus to Clodius Albinus greeting. I wrote you once officially about the succession to the throne and your own elevation to honour, but I am now sending you this private and confidential message, all written with my own hand, as you will see, in which I empower you, should emergency arise, to present yourself to the soldiers and assume the name of Caesar. For I hear that both Septimius Severus and Nonius Murcus are speaking ill of me to their troops, hoping thereby to get the appointment to the post of Augustus. You shall have full power besides, when you thus present yourself, to give the soldiers a largess of three aurei apiece. You will get a letter which I am sending to my procurators to this effect, sealed with my signet of an Amazon, which you will deliver to my stewards when the need arises, that they may not refuse your demands on the treasury. And that you may received some definite symbol of an emperor's majesty, I authorize you to wear both at the present time and at my court the scarlet cloak. Later, when you are with me, you shall have the imperial purple, though without the embroidery in gold. For my great-grandfather Verus, who died in boyhood, received this from Hadrian, who adopted him." Albinus received this letter, but he utterly refused to do what the Emperor bade. For he saw that Commodus was hated because of his evil ways, which were bringing destruction upon the state and dishonor upon himself, and that he would sometime or other be slain, and he feared that he might perish with him.
SH32695. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23d, RSC III 40c, BMCRE V 285, Hunter III 28, SRCV II 6169, VF, light toning, nice style, reverse a bit flat, weight 2.919 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAE D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GEN LVG COS II, Genius of Lugdunum, standing slightly left, wearing turreted crown, long scepter vertical in right hand, scepter in left hand, on left eagle at feet; rare (R2); SOLD


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Providence is most often depicted clothed in a matron’s gown, holding a cornucopia in her left hand and in her right a short wand, which she points to a globe. She holds this globe in her right hand or it lies at her feet. The type is intended to mark the power and wisdom of the emperor, who ruled the Roman world.
SH34246. Silver denarius, RIC IV 1(c), BMCRE V 42, Cohen III 55, SRCV II -, gVF, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, early Jun to end 193 A.D.; obverse D CL SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse PROVID AVG COS (the foresight of the Emperor and Consul), Providentia standing half left, wand over globe in right hand, long scepter vertical in left; rare; SOLD


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The Historia Augusta says of Clodius Albinus, "He was tall of stature, with unkempt curly hair and a broad expanse of brow. His skin was wonderfully white; many indeed think it was from this that he got his name. He had a womanish voice, almost as shrill as a eunuch's. He was easily roused, his anger was terrible, his rage relentless. In his pleasures he was changeable, for he sometimes craved wine and sometimes abstained. He had a thorough knowledge of arms and was not ineptly called the Catiline of his age."
RS87921. Silver denarius, RIC III 20b (R) var.; Hunter III 26 var.; BMCRE IV 284 var., RSC III 24 var., SRCV II 6166 var. (all var. none with slight drapery), gVF, iridescent toning, off center, scratches and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.701 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAES D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse FIDES LEGION COS II, clasped hands, holding aquila (legionary standard topped with an eagle standing on thunderbolt above wreath); rare; SOLD


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Minerva, equated with the Greek Athena, was the Roman virgin warrior goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She was worshiped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno.
RS87640. Silver denarius, RIC IV 7 (R1), BMCRE V 98, Hunter III 6, RSC III 48, SRCV II 6144, gVF, nice portrait, well centered on a tight flan, light toning, flow lines, small edge crack, weight 3.497 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, as caesar, 194 A.D.; obverse D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse MINER PACIF COS II, Minerva standing left, helmeted, olive branch in right hand, resting left on grounded shield, spear leans against arm; scarce (R1); SOLD


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Minerva, equated with the Greek Athena, was the Roman virgin warrior goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She was worshiped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno.
SH27769. Silver denarius, RIC IV 7 (R1), BMCRE V 98, Hunter III 6, RSC III 48, SRCV II 6144, VF, weight 3.236 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 194 A.D.; obverse D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse MINER PACIF COS II, Minerva standing left, helmeted, olive branch in right hand, resting left on grounded shield, spear leans against arm; nice portrait; scarce (RIC R1); SOLD


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Asklepios was the son of Apollo and a mortal woman named Coronis. Apollo killed Coronis for being unfaithful but rescued the unborn Asklepios from her womb. Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine. In return for some kindness, a snake taught him secret knowledge of healing. Asclepius became so proficient as a healer that he surpassed both Chiron and his father, Apollo. Asclepius was even able to evade death and to bring the dead back to life. Zeus killed him to restore balance to the human population but later resurrected Asclepios as a god to prevent a feud with Apollo. Zeus instructed Asclepios to never revive the dead without his approval.
SH33951. Silver denarius, RIC IV 2, RSC III 9, BMCRE V 88, SRCV II 6140, EF, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 193 - 195 A.D.; obverse D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse COS II, Asclepius standing left, snake-entwined staff in right hand; SOLD


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The coinage of Albinus in Lugdunum began after he declared against Septimius Severus and continued until his defeat and death near Lugdunum in February A.D. 197.
SH27738. Silver denarius, RIC IV 42a (R), RSC III 76b, BMCRE p. 64, 266 var. (noted), Hunter III -, SRCV II -, VF, toned, weight 2.925 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAES D CLO ALBIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVG COS II, Spes standing left, flower in right, raising fold of dress with left; rare; SOLD


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SH34155. Silver denarius, RIC IV 4, RSC III 15, BMCRE V 91, SRCV II 6141, aEF, weight 3.0876 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 194 A.D.; obverse D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse FELICITAS COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right, long scepter in left; rare; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DCLODIVSALBINCAES
DCLODIVSALBINVSCAES
DCLODSEPTALBINCAES
DCLOSEPALBINCAES
DCLSEPTALBINOCAE
DCLSEPTALBINCAES
IMPCAEDCLOSEPALBAVG
IMPCAEDCLOSEPALBINV
IMPCAESDCLALBINAVG
IMPCAESDCLOALBINAVG
IMPCAESDCLODSEPALBAVG
IMPCAESDCLODSEPTALBINAVG
IMPCAESDCLOSEPALBAVG
IMPCAESDCLOSEPAVG
IMPCDCLOSEPALBINAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Clodius Albinus