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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.


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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"The two stars are probably the morning and evening stars, which are related to the Dioscuri, who, along with the great god and Allath, the great military goddess, were the chief deities of the Arabic cults. The twin gods were known as Aziz and Monim in Emesa, Abgal and Maan or Maanu and Shaaru in Palmyra, or Arsu (the cameleer god) and Azizu (the god riding a horse)." -- Michel Prier in The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions from 57 BC to AD 253
RY87469. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 673, Prier 212, Bellinger Syrian 12, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, gVF, well centered and struck, nice portrait, toned, light corrosion/porosity, weight 11.741 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 208 - 212, probably 211 - 212 A.D.; obverse •AYT•KAI• - •ANTONEINOC•CE-B•, laureate bust right, bare shoulder from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•Γ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing facing, head right, tail right, wings open, wreath in beak, six-pointed stars at sides; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RS87269. Silver denarius, RIC IV 189; RSC III 84; BMCRE V 1 p. 419, G1; SRCV II 6802; Hunter III -, Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, toned, slightly frosty, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.698 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, Rome mint, 211 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse FORT RED P M TR P XIIII COS III P P, Fortuna Redux standing facing, head left, cornucopia in right hand tip outward and top inward, drapery over left arm which is resting on a grounded rudder, wheel at feet on left; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP85229. Bronze AE 23, SNG Çanakkale 220 corr. (obv. legend), SNG BnF 1494 var. (same), SNG Cop 296 var. (same), BMC Mysia -, SNGvA -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Hunt -, Lindgren -, VF, well centered and struck, bumps and scratches, centration dimples, weight 5.450 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL A, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, beardless, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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

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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RP83478. Bronze AE 24, Touratsoglou 158 (V25/R55), McClean 3793, Varbanov 4416 (R6), Moushmov 6753, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, F, green patina, a few minor scratches, edge bump, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 90o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AV K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΘECCAΛONKEΩN, Nike standing right, left foot on helmet, shield held with both hands and resting on left knee; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


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

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The site of ancient Dium (Dion, Decapolis) has not been conclusively identified. The four leading candidates for Dium are Tell al-Husn and Edun, both near Irbid, in north Jordan, Kufr Abil, near Pella, and Tell al-Ash'ari, near the Syrian border town of Der'a.
RY77844. Bronze AE 24, Sofaer 3, Spijkerman 3, Rosenberger IV 3, SNG ANS 1280, Meshorer City-Coins 245 (year 268), aF, highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, some corrosion and encrustation, weight 10.924 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Dium mint, 208 - 209 A.D.; obverse AV K M AV ANTWNEI, laureate, draped, and cuirassed youthful bust right, from behind; reverse hexastyle temple, flaming altar within under central arch, eagle in pediment, AOC (year 271) downward on left, KOI - CVP (Coele Syria) above roof, ∆EIHN-WN starting in exergue and last two letters upward on right; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RS86816. Silver denarius, RIC IV 238a (S); RSC III 242; BMCRE V p. 448, 91; Hunter III p. 84, 23; SRCV II 6831, Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, light toning, small coppery deposits, weight 3.233 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 214 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVII COS IIII P P, Apollo seated left, laurel branch in right hand, resting left elbow on lyre set on tripod; ex Beast Coins; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP83502. Bronze AE 23, Varbanov III 3277 (R4); BMC Macedonia p. 59, 128; SNG Hunterian 778; SNG Cop 112 var. (obv. leg.); SNG ANS -, VF, green patina, weight 6.845 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K - ANTΩNOINOC, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, city goddess enthroned left, wearing turreted crown, patera in extended right hand, left hand at her side; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


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

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP85224. Bronze AE 24, SNG Çanakkale 218, SNG Cop 295 var. (obv. leg. no AV); BMC Mysia p. 106, 107 var. (obv. leg. ends A); SNG BnF -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; et al. -, VF, full circles strike, scratches, weight 8.503 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AV, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, beardless, from behind; reverse she-wolf standing right, head left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, C G I H PAR (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) curving above, final R in exergue; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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In 195, Lucius Septimius Bassianus (Caracalla), age 7, changed his name to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus to reinforce his connection with the family of Marcus Aurelius and was given the title Caesar. This scarce type is from his first issue as Caesar.
RS87522. Silver denarius, RSC III 562; BMCRE V p. 50, 182; RIC IV 2; SRCV III 6678; Hunter III -, VF, toned, nice boy portrait, radiating flow lines, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.891 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 196 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONINVS CAES, boy's bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SECVRITAS PERPETVA (everlasting security), Minerva standing slightly left, helmeted head left, aegis on breast, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical in left; from an American collection; scarce; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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

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Heliopolis in Coele-Syria was made a colonia with the rights of the ius Italicum by Septimius Severus in 193. Work on the religious complex at Heliopolis lasted over a century and a half and was never completed. The Temple of Jupiter, the largest religious building in the entire Roman Empire, was dedicated during the reign of Septimius Severus. Today, only six Corinthian columns remain standing. Eight more were shipped to Constantinople under Justinian's orders c. 532 - 537, for his basilica of Hagia Sophia.
RY84823. Bronze AE 19, Sawaya 217 ff. (D43/R?), Lindgren III 1279, SNG Cop -, SNG Righetti -, BMC Galatia -, F, highlighting chalky deposits, centered on a tight flan, light corrosion, weight 5.631 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, c. 198 A.D.; obverse ANT - AVC (starting upper right), bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL / HEL in two lines between two legionary eagles, all within laurel wreath; rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

ANTONINVSAVGVSTV
ANTONINVSAVGVSTVS
ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY ELAGABALUS)
DIVOANTONINOMAGNO
IMPCAEMAVRANTAVGPTRP
IMPCAESMAVRELANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINETGETACAESAVGFIL
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSPONTAVG
IMPMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXIII
MAVRANTCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONINVSCAES
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVG
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM


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).
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).

Catalog current as of Monday, December 10, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Caracalla