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

Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.

Macrinus was the Praetorian prefect during the reign of the murderous Caracalla. Macrinus arranged Caracalla's assassination and he and his son Diadumenian seized power and were accepted by the senate. Macrinus concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. This disgrace, magnified by propaganda of Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, inspired the Syrian legions to revolt. In the ensuing conflict Macrinus was defeated. He fled, only to be betrayed and executed.


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Securitas stands perfectly at her ease, with legs crossed and leaning on a column, clearly relaxed, having nothing to fear. Macrinus was praised for restoring security by eliminating the fratricidal son of Severus, long feared as the most cruel tyrant of Rome, beloved only by a venal soldiery, whom his largesses had enriched.
SH77277. Silver denarius, RIC IV 92b, BMCRE V 80, RSC III 122c corr. (Antioch), Hunter III 32 var. (draped, no cuirass), SRCV II 7365, Choice EF, nearly as struck, light tone on luster, superb portrait, well centered, small edge cracks, weight 3.140 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS TEMPORVM (time of security), Securitas standing facing, head left, scepter in right hand, left leg crossed in front of right, leaning with left forearm on column; $500.00 (445.00)


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
SH77610. Silver denarius, RIC IV 22A (R), RSC III 60, BMCRE V 38, SRCV II 7345, Hunter III -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, well centered on a full flan, weight 3.676 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people, consul, father of the country), Fides Militum standing slightly left, head right, right foot on helmet, holding two flanking standards, one in each hand; rare; $350.00 (311.50)


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The curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of a throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as a friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. It had no back, low arms, curved legs forming an X, and was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory.
SH84922. Silver denarius, RIC IV 27 (S); Hunter III 21 (Antioch); RSC III 51a (Antioch); BMCRE V p. 502, 47; SRCV II 7341, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, excellent style, light toning, small edge crack, weight 3.327 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people for two years, consul, father of the country), Macrinus seated left on curule chair, togate, globe in right hand, short scepter transverse in left hand; scarce; $260.00 (231.40)


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The same types with the same legends may have been minted for Macrinus at both Rome and Antioch. Some examples with a short beard and younger face are clearly of the style of Rome (and probably look little like Macrinus who was in the east). Some, but probably not all, examples with a longer beard and older features were probably minted at Antioch. RIC does not attempt to distinguish between the products of the two mints.
RS73902. Silver denarius, RIC IV 24b; RSC III 62; BMCRE V p. 501, 40; Hunter III 19; SRCV II 7347, VF, well centered, very dark thick toning, perhaps debased silver, weight 2.495 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (or Rome?) mint, Jan 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people, consul, father of the country), Securitas standing facing, head left, legs crossed, long scepter vertical in right, resting left arm on column; $140.00 (124.60)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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Aleppo is called Halab in Hittite documents of the second millennium B.C. The city opened its gates to Alexander after the Battle of Issus. Seleucus built a new city nearby and named it Beroea. Saint Paul records that his preaching at Beroea was a great success. The city was sacked by the Persians in 540, and captured by the Muslims without a fight in 637.
RY75674. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 892; Bellinger 85; cf. BMC Galatia p. 132, 19 - 20 (bust from front); SNG Righetti 1861 (same); SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Hunterian -, aVF, weight 12.848 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Allepo, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K MA OΠ CE MAKPINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC ∆ (tribune of the people, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing front, wings spread, head and tail left, wreath in beak, B - E divided by winged and horned lion-like animal standing facing below; ex Alex G. Malloy; $110.00 (97.90)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Istros was the ancient Thracian name for the Danube, Europe's second-longest river.
RP77985. Bronze AE 26, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.23.32.7 (R4, same dies), Varbanov I 3467 (R4), BMC Thrace p. 48, 48, AMNG I/I 1761, SNG Cop -, F, well centered, light encrustations, light corrosion, weight 10.298 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218; obverse AVTK M OΠEΛΛ CEV MAKPINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VΠ CTA ΛONΓINOV NIKOΠOΛITΩN, ΠPOC IC (ending in exergue), youthful river-god Istros reclining left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right elbow rests on right leg, right hand rest on prow on his far side, left hand rests on toppled vase behind, from which water flows; struck under the consular legate Statius Longinus; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $30.00 (26.70)







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCMOPELANTDIADVMENAVG
IMPCMOPELSEVMACRINVSAVG
IMPCAESMOPELSEVMACRINVSAVG
MACRIANVSNOBILCAES
MOPELANTDIADVMENIANCAES
MOPELANTONINVSDIADVMNIANVSCAES
MOPELDIADVMENIANVSCAES


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Clay, C. "The Roman Coinage of Macrinus and Diadumenian" in NZ 1979.
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).
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, June 27, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Macrinus