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

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

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, better known as Caracalla, was the son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, born in 188 A.D. He was named Caesar in 196 and Augustus in 198. Shortly before his death, Severus advised his sons, "Agree with each other, give money to the soldiers and scorn all other men." But the brothers hated each other and soon Caracalla had Geta murdered and massacred thousands suspected of supporting him. Although a capable military commander, the actual running of the government was left to his mother. He gradually slipped more and more into paranoia and delusions of grandeur before being murdered on his way to an Eastern campaign aimed at fulfilling his belief that he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great.

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign, or on his return from a distance. In 202, Septimius Severus (and Caracalla) returned to Rome after a five year absence. Festivals were held to celebrate his six year reign. This type might have been minted either after their return or in advance to advertise they were travelling by sea and would be in Rome soon.
RS74406. Silver denarius, RIC IV 120 (S); RSC III 3; BMCRE V p. 205, 267; SRCV II 6790; Hunter III -, Choice VF, nice style, cute boy portrait, fantastic galley, excellent centering, toned, tiny flan cracks, weight 3.465 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 201 - 202 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, boy's laureate and draped bust right; reverse ADVENT AVGG, war galley left on waves, ram, acrostolium and vexillum at the bow, five oarsmen and a steersman, three persons seated in the steersman's cabin, two standards and apluster at the stern; scarce; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The term κιψριοσ (masters or lords) rarely appears on coins. The inscription, meaning, "Nikopolis ad Istrum is thankful for our lords," is a message of congratulations from the city to the Septimius Severus and Caracalla on the occasion of Caracalla's promotion to Augustus.
RP72139. Bronze tetrassarion, H-H-J Nikopolis (R5), Varbanov 2912 (R6), Moushmov 1112, AMNG I/I -, VF, green patina, marks, weight 7.794 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 45o, Nikopolis ad Istrum mint, 198 A.D.; obverse AY K M AςP − ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EYTY/XΩC TOIC / KYPIOIC N/IKOΠOΛI / ΠPOC I, inscription in five lines all within laurel wreath; very rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00

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In 213, Caracalla summoned Abgar IX Severus, King of Edessa (Osroene), with his son to Rome and then ordered them murdered. A year later, Caracalla incorporated Edessa as a Roman province. Caracalla would be assassinated by his legionaries near Edessa in 217.
RS76378. Silver denarius, BMCRE V p, 373, 97; RIC IV 225 (S); RSC III 508; Hunter III 18 var. (rev. legend unbroken); SRCV II 6876, Choice EF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, dark toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.185 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PROFECTIO AVG (departure of the Augustus), Caracalla standing facing, bare head right, wearing military garb, spear right in both hands, two standards behind; scarce; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00

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

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Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria today) was founded by Trajan, c. 106 A.D. During 2nd - 3rd century A.D., it was the second largest city in Roman Thrace, after Philippopolis, and was fortified by strong walls. The city struck bronze coins from time of Marcus Aurelius to Gallienus.
SH68297. Bronze AE 28, Varbanov 1095 (R4)=SchŲnert-Geiss Augusta Traiana 300, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Nice F, weight 15.539 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEYH ANTΩONINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from b; reverse AYΓOYCTHC TPAIANHC, city-gate flanked by two crenellated towers, a third crenellated tower in the center behind the gate; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00

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This coin refers to the departure of Caracalla, Septimius, and Geta on their British expedition. This is the first example of the handled by Forum, it is missing from Cohen and Hunter, the British Museum acquired their first example in 1972, there are none on Coin Archives or Wildwinds, and OCRE lists only two examples (both in the British Museum) and incorrectly describes Caracalla as galloping. We did not find another image of the type online. While RIC lists this type only as scarce, we are confident it is quite rare.
RS74409. Silver denarius, RIC IV 102 (S), RSC III 456a, BMCRE V p. 271, 571A, Hunter III -, SRCV II -, VF, well centered, unusual older youths portrait, contact marks, flan cracks, weight 3.278 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P XI COS III, Emperor on horseback pacing right, laureate, wearing military garb, transverse spear pointing up and right in right hand; rare; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00 ON RESERVE

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In 213, Caracalla left Rome, expelled some German marauders from Gaul, defended the northern Rhine frontier against the Alamanni and the Chatti, and was victorious over German tribes on the banks of the River Main. For his success, he gave himself the title "Germanicus." It was probably while campaigning in Germania that he took a liking to the caracalla, a Celtic or German tunic from which he acquired his nickname.
RR75305. Silver denarius, RIC IV 206a; RSC III 220; BMCRE V p 438, 48; Hunter III 7, SRCV II 1357, Choice EF, luster, attractive style, weight 3.567 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right, bearded; reverse P M TR P XVI COS IIII P P, Hercules standing slightly left, head left, nude, branch upright in right hand, club and Nemean lion's skin cradled in left hand and arm; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00

Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Wife of Caracalla

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Concordia, the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony, did not favor Plautilla and Caracalla. Plautilla and Caracalla hated each other, lived separately, and the marriage was likely never consummated. After the fall and execution of her father, Caracalla's Praetorian Prefect, she was exiled to the Lipari islands and executed in 212 A.D.
RS74402. Silver denarius, RIC IV 363, RSC III 1, BMCRE V 411, SRCV II 7065, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, light toning, contact marks, some die wear, weight 2.960 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 202 - 22 Jan 205 A.D.; obverse PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia standing half left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; scarce; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00

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This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.
RS74407. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a; RSC III 97; BMCRE V p. 208, 280; Hunter III 38; SRCV II 6806, Choice gVF, full circle centering, small flan cracks, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis holding thunderbolt and scepter, riding lion right over waters gushing from rock; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00

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The motto ĎSalus Generis Humani,í meaning safety of the human race and the health of humanity, is engraved on a pin presented to graduates at Columbia University who have successfully completed the masterís degree in nursing.
RS73529. Silver denarius, RIC IV 350, SRCV II 6883, BMCRE V 701, RSC III 558a, VF, tight flan cuts off part of the reverse legend, weight 2.914 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 200 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SAL GEN HVM (Salus Generis Humani), Salus standing left, extending right hand to kneeling woman, long vertical snake-wreathed scepter in left; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

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Most references describe the two figures on the right as captives, but on some examples the outer right figure is also clearly a river god and the inner right figure is clearly a female wearing a kalathos. We believe this interesting reverse commemorates the wars in northern Britain. The two outer figures probably being the rivers Tyne and Eden, while the third, central female figure is probably Britannia.
RS74408. Silver denarius, RIC IV 96 (S); RSC III 441; BMCRE V p. 267, 555; SRCV II 6865, VF/F, superb portrait, well centered, interesting reverse type, reverse die wear, weight 3.223 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, older youth's laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P X COS II, Caracalla in military dress, standing half-left, head turned right, spear in right hand, parazonium in left, at feet seated female (Tyche-Britannia?) and two reclining river-gods (Tyne and Eden?) each holding a palm frond or reeds and leaning upon overturned urn from which water flows; very scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00






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Catalog current as of Monday, November 30, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Caracalla