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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Severan Period||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Coins of Severan Period

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

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See this type online:
RPC Online VI
Asia Minor Coins
ANS Mantis (No photo on ANS, but photo of this specimen is available on RPC Online.)
SH87621. Bronze AE 36, Karwiese MvE 5.2 p. 164, 750b (O3/R3, only 1 spec. of this variety); RPC Online VI T4956 (5 spec.); ANS Mantis 1972.185.5, Choice EF, excellent centering, olive green patina, some legend weak, small flaw/punch on reverse, porous, weight 25.344 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEB AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse M-ONΩN - ΠPΩTΩN - ACIAC, on left: cult statue of Artemis standing facing, wearing ornate kalathos, flanked on each side by a stag, arms with supports; on right: Demeter enthroned left, wreathed in grain, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand; EΦECIΩN in exergue; only the second known of this variety with stags flanking Artemis, fantastic HUGE 36mm provincial bronze!; $2950.00 (2596.00)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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Minted after his invasion of Italy and crossing of the Rubicon on 10 January 49 B.C. until his defeat of Pompey at Pharsalus, this was the first coin type issued in Caesar's name. The elephant was the symbol of the Caesar family. According to legend, an ancestor received the name Caesar after single-handedly killing an elephant, probably in North Africa during the first Punic War, and "Caesai" was the name for elephant in the local Punic language. The obverse was long described as an elephant trampling a snake, symbolizing good triumphing over evil. For the Romans, however, the snake was a symbol of healing, not evil. The image to the right (click it to see a larger photo) is ornamentation on the side of the Gundestrup cauldron (c. 150 - 1 B.C.) depicting three Celtic warriors sounding their carnyx war trumpets. Clearly, Caesar's elephant is trampling a carnyx and the obverse symbolizes Caesar's victory over the Celtic tribes of Gaul. The reverse refers to Caesar's office of Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, a title now held by the Pope.Persian Empire

SH91682. Silver denarius, Crawford 443/1, Sydenham 1006, RSC I 49, Sear CRI 9, BMCRR Gaul 27, Russo RBW 1557, SRCV I 1399, Choice VF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, attractive old cabinet toning, weight 3.732 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 45o, military mint, traveling with Caesar, 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right trampling on a carnyx (a Celtic war trumpet) ornamented to look like a dragon, CAESAR below; reverse implements of the pontificate: culullus (cup) or simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), securis (sacrificial ax), and apex (priest's hat); from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, Hesperia Art; $900.00 (792.00)


Aquilia Severa, Augusta 220 and 221 - 222 A.D.

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Aquilia Severa was the second and fourth wife of Elagabalus. She was a Vestal Virgin and Elagabalus was the high priest of the sun-god Heliogabal. Elagabalus held parallel marriage ceremonies; Elagabalus married Aquilia and Heliogabal married Vesta. This was extremely offensive to the Romans since Vestal Virgins were prohibited from marriage during their 30-year vow of chastity. Elagabalus and Aquilia, as well as Heliogabal and Vesta, were divorced in order to restore public confidence and Elagabalus was quickly remarried. However, Elagabalus divorced his third wife within a few months and remarried Aquilia Severa. Returning to Aquilia Severa sealed his fate. Elagabalus and his mother were murdered; their bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber.
SH91784. Silver denarius, RIC IV E225 (S), RSC III 2a, BMCRE V E185, SRCV II 7679 var. (star right), Choice gVF, well centered, frosty surfaces, small edge crack, weight 2.708 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG, draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia standing half left, sacrificing from patera in right over lit altar, double cornucopia in left hand, star upper left; scarce; $380.00 (334.40)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

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Between 209 and their father's death in February 211, both brothers were shown as equally mature young men with a short full beard. Both sons were presented as equally suitable heirs to the throne, showing thus more "depth" to the dynasty. Between the death of Septimius Severus and the assassination of Geta, Caracalla's portraits did not change, while Geta was depicted with a long beard with hanging hairs much like his father, a strong indication of Geta's efforts to be seen as the "true" successor of his father.
RS86671. Silver denarius, RIC IV 88, RSC III 68, BMCRE V 65, SRCV II -, Choice EF, nearly as struck except for light toning, fantastic portrait, luster in recesses, perfect centering on a broad flan, some legend just a little weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.250 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 212 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG V (the 5th liberality [distribution of gifts to the people] by the Emperor), Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $270.00 (237.60)


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

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This reverse refers to Elagabalus' role as priest of the Syrian god from whom he took his nickname. 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
SL89815. Silver denarius, RSC III 61, BMCRE V 212, Eauze 348 (31 spec.), Hunter III 69, RIC IV 88, SRCV II 7518, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (4282339-003), weight 2.80 g, maximum diameter 17.8 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 (invincible priest emperor), Elagabalus standing slightly left, branch in left, offering from patera in right hand over flaming altar, slain bull recumbent on far side of the altar, star upper left; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $220.00 (193.60)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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In 227, Ardashir invaded Parthia and established the Sassanid Dynasty, which claimed direct descent from Xerxes and Darius. The Eastern power grew stronger and the threat to the Romans immense.
SL89802. Silver denarius, RIC IV 70 (S), RSC III 325, BMCRE VI 433, Hunter III 41, SRCV II -, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (4094546-001), weight 3.34 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 227 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over a flaming tripod altar, scroll in left; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; scarce; $200.00 (176.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
SL89804. Silver denarius, RIC IV 194, RSC III 195, BMCRE V 39, Hunter III 6, cf. SRCV II 6829 (TR P XVI COS IIII), NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4163650-006), weight 3.93 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 212 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate bearded head right; reverse P M TR P XV COS III P P, Serapis standing half left, draped, head left, kalathos on head, raising right hand, scepter in left hand; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $185.00 (162.80)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $180.00 (158.40)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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In 231, Severus Alexander accompanied his mother Julia Mamaea to Syria and campaigned against the Persians. Military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. The Romans were defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed accepting the status quo. In 233, Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to commemorate his "victory."
RB89054. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 635, BMCRE VI 843, Cohen IV 163, Hunter III 163, SRCV II 7979, VF, dark patina, centered on an oval flan, small edge cracks, slight double strike, weight 20.911 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate,draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARS VLTOR (Mars the avenger), Mars advancing right in military garb, spear transverse in right hand, shield in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex John Jencek; $180.00 (158.40)




  







Catalog current as of Monday, July 22, 2019.
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Severan Period