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

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome's most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus policies, played a significant role in Rome's long-term decline. In 208 A.D., he traveled to Britain to defeat a disastrous barbarian invasion. He died in York in 211 A.D and was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The title of Dii Auspices (the gods-protectors) was given to the deities in general, and to each of them in particular, acknowledging their special protection, and sacrifices were offered to them accordingly. This legend and type help confirm what Dion states, that Severus built a grand temple to honor Hercules and Bacchus. When Septimius Severus advanced into the East against Pescennius Niger, he chose Hercules and Bacchus as his patrons, probably because ancient traditions designated the two as the first conquerors of that region.
RB95802. Copper as, RIC IV 666, BMCRE V 501, Cohen IV 117, Hunter III -, VF, nice coin, attractive brown-green patina, excellent portrait and reverse style, tight flan, areas of porosity, weight 11.884 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse DIS AVSPICIB TR P II COS II P P, Hercules and Bacchus (Liber) standing slightly left, side by side, nude, heads left, Hercules with the Nemean Lion's skin on his left arm and resting his right hand on his grounded club, Bacchus holds a cantharus in his right hand and rests his left on a thyrsus, a panther sits left at his feet, S C in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 8 (29-30 Jun 2019), lot 1180; ex Kress sale 116 (28 Oct 1960), lot 959; rare; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The as is a rare denomination for Septimius Severus.
RB95801. Copper as, RIC IV 805, BMCRE V 200, Cohen IV 545, Hunter III -, VF, nice green patina, nice style, tight flan, light encrustations, part of legends weak, small edge split, weight 11.403 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Victory standing right, holding vexillum transversely in both hand, flanked by seated at feet on each side, S - C across field below center; Roma Numismatics sale 68 (27 Feb 2020) lot 1091; ex European Collection; scarce; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Pellene, Peloponnesos, Greece

|Peloponnesos|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Pellene,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece|, |diassarion|
Pellene sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, then joined the Achaean League until that League was dissolved by Alexander the Great. In the fourth century it was ruled for some time by a tyrant. In the third century, Pellene was garrisoned by the Aetolian League until the garrison was expelled by Aratus of Sicyon and the Achaeans in the 240s B.C. Pellene then joined the revived Achaean League until the League was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 146 B.C.
SH95334. Bronze diassarion, BCD Peloponnesos 607; BMC Peloponnesus p. 32, 15; Imhoof-Blumer NCP p. 92 (pl. S, XI); SNG Cop -, Dura -, aF, brown patina, legends obscure, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pellene mint, c. 198 - 205 A.D.; obverse L CEΠ CEV EPROC ΠE, laureate head right; reverse ΠEΛΛHNEΩN, Dionysus Lampter standing left, nude, pouring from kantharos in right hand, filleted thyrsus in left hand; ex J. S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 198 A.D. Septimius Severus' oldest son Caracalla was made Augustus and his youngest son Geta received the title of Caesar.
RS93235. Silver denarius, RIC IV 120c; RSC III 694; BMCRE V p. 62, 259; Hunter III 27; cf. SRCV 6370 (obv. leg., Laodicea), aEF, superb portrait portrait, light tone, coppery areas, edge splits, weight 2.236 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 197 - 198 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP X, laureate head right; reverse VICT AVGG COS II P P, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |denarius|
The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by his cousin King Eurystheus, was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight, the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
RS92999. Silver denarius, RIC IV 97; RSC III 212; BMCRE V p. 55, 218; Hunter III 24; SRCV II 6284, VF, nice portrait, toned, well centered on a tight flan, flow lines, reverse die wear, edge cracks, weight 2.805 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 197 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIIII, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI DEFENS, Hercules standing right, naked except for lion skin draped on left shoulder and arm, resting right hand on grounded club, bow in left hand; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Petra, Arabia

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Petra,| |Arabia|, |AE| |25|
UNESCO describes Petra as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." The BBC selected Petra as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die."
RP84854. Bronze AE 25, Spijkerman 32, Rosenberger 19, SGICV 2281, SNG ANS -, VF, attractive earthen fill, weight 10.019 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠT CEOYHPOC IN ΠEP CEB (or similar), laureate bust right; reverse METPOΠOΛIC A∆PIAN ΠETRA, Tyche seated left on rock, turreted and veiled, right hand extended and open, trophy over shoulder in left; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |denarius|
The reverse announces that Septimius has completed vows (prayers and sacrifices) to ask the gods for 20 years of rule. In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action, a vow, or promise. The votum is an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion and sacrifice, a bargaining expressed by "do ut des" (I give that you might give).
RS87222. Silver denarius, RIC IV 308, RSC III 791, BMCRE V 375, Hunter III 103, SRCV II 6393, VF, well centered, toned, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.624 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SVSCEPTA XX, Severus (his pointy beard well visible) sacrificing left over a lit tripod altar; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum|, |assarion|
There are peculiarities about these Roman crescent and star reverse types that are difficult to understand. First, the crescents are almost always depicted with the horns up. The moon is never seen this way in the sky. Also, in the sky stars are never visible within the horns of the crescent moon because there they would be behind the shadowed yet solid and opaque orb. The crescent with horns up may represent a solar eclipse.
RP92881. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.48.37 (R2), Varbanov I 2474 var. (obv. leg.), AMNG I/I 1432, Moushmov 986, gVF, green patina, slightly off center, scratches, spot of corrosion on reverse, weight 2.928 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC IC, five stars above and within crescent with horns upward; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

|Amphipolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Amphipolis,| |Macedonia|, |AE| |23|
Excavations of Roman Amphipolis have revealed traces of all the impressive architecture one would expect from a thriving Roman city. A bridge, gymnasium, public and private monuments, sanctuaries, and cemeteries all attest to the city's prosperity. From the early Christian period (after 500 CE) there are traces of four basilicas, a large rectangular building which may have been a bishop's residence, and a church. -- Ancient History Encyclopedia
RP84023. Bronze AE 23, BMC Macedonia p. 58, 126 (same obverse die); Varbanov 3268 (R4) var. (obv. legend); Moushmov 6106; SNG Cop -, aVF, attractive portrait, dark patina, porous, central cavities, weight 8.283 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Amphipolis mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse Λ CEΠT CE-OYHPOC ΠEP A-YΓ (YHP ligate), laureate and draped bust right; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Tyche of Amphipolis seated left on a throne, wearing kalathos, veil, long chiton and mantle, phiale in extended right hand, star below seat; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Neocaesarea, Pontus

|Pontos|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Neocaesarea,| |Pontus|, |tetrassarion|
Niksar has been ruled by the Hittite, Persian, Greek, Pontic, Roman, Byzantine, Danishmend, Seljuk and Ottoman Empires. It was known as Cabira in the Hellenistic era. In 72/71 B.C., during the Third Mithridatic War, the Romans took the city in the Battle of Cabira. Pompey made it the metropolis Diopolis. Pythodoris, widow of Polemon, made it her capital and called it Sebaste. It is uncertain when it took the name of Neokaisareia, first mentioned in Pliny, "Hist. Nat.", VI, III, 1. Judging from its coins, it was probably during the reign of Tiberius. In 344 the city was completely destroyed by an earthquake but recovered. Neokaisareia became part of the Eastern Roman Empire when the Roman Empire divided in 395. Another earthquake occurred in 499.
RP91968. Bronze tetrassarion, SNGvA 99 corr. (date PMB), SNG Hunterian 1154, Rec Gn 13, BMC Pontus - (same rev. type as p. 33, 7 for Caracalla), SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, gF, brown patina, some light deposits, weight 11.362 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 45o, Pontus, Neocaesarea (Niksar, Turkey) mint, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEΠ CEOYEIPOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse KOIN ΠON NEO-KAI MHTPO, Tetrastyle temple, statue of nude male figure on pediment in center, ET PMς (year 146, Mς appears as ligate MR); $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVOSEPTIMIOSEVEROPIO
DIVOSEVERO
DIVOSEVEROPIO
FELICITASPVBLICA
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSAVG
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAV
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAVG
IMPCLSEPTISEVERVSPPAVG
IMPCALSESEVERAGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERTAVGOCS
IMPCAELSEPPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOIII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSI
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIICO
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTIAVGIIII
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVGNC
IMPCAESLSEPSEVERVSPERTAVG
IMPCAESLSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAESSEVEPERTINAXAVG
IMPLCAESSEPTSEVPERTAVGTRPVI
IMPPINVICTPIIAVGG
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPVIMPXIPARPM
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXIPARDN
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXI
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPV
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPX
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPRTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVERPERETIMPI
LSEPTSEVERPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPIVIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVG
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPERTINAXAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXCOSIII
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXICOSIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAX
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPX
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXI
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGVSTVS


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bickford-Smith, R. "The imperial mints in the east for Septimius Severus: it is time to begin a thorough reconsideration" in RIN XCVI (1994/1995), pp. 53-71.
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, 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 frappes 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).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
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).

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