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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Severan Period ▸ Julia MaesaView Options:  |  |  | 

Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

Julia Maesa was the sister of Julia Domna and grandmother of both Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. After her nephew Caracalla was murdered, Julia Maesa used her ample funds to successfully overthrow the usurper Macrinus and place her grandson Elagabalus on the throne. The teenager was a disaster as emperor, scorning Roman values with religious and sexual scandals. She cleverly convinced Elagabalus to adopt her other grandson Alexander as his heir. Shortly after Elagabalus and his mother were murdered by the Praetorian Guard, dragged through the streets and thrown into the Tiber. Through it all, Maesa held the power behind the throne.


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria

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Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. Nablus is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
JD72682. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer pl. 53,122; Rosenberger 59; BMC Samaria p. 62, 111; Lindgren III 1510, gVF, nice green patina with earthen highlighting, typical tight flan, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis mint, obverse IOYΛIA MAICA CEB, draped bust right wearing stephane; reverse ΦΛ NEAC-ΠOΛE CVP, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; rare; $135.00 (114.75)


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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS87887. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV IV 7756, EF, some luster, well centered, excellent portrait, flow lines from legends, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.232 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right, flat chignon at back of head; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, drapery at neck in right hand, scepter in left hand; ex Beast Coins; ex Harlan Berk, CICF show, Apr 2013; $120.00 (102.00)


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS87889. Silver denarius, RIC IV 263; RSC III 29; BMCRE V p. 541, 73; Hunter III 7, SRCV II 7754, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, weight 3.325 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 222 - c. 223 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, older draped bust right, hair in slight nearly vertical waves, looped plait at back; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing half-left, veiled, dropping incense from right hand over lit and garlanded altar at feet, incense box in left hand; ex Beast Coins; ex Harlan Berk, CICF show, Apr 2013; $95.00 (80.75)


Click for a larger photo
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others. For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RS33821. Silver antoninianus, RSC III 30; RIC IV 264; BMCRE p. 540, 70; Hunter III 6; SRCV II 7747, aEF, attractive style, nice portrait, excellent reverse detail, well centered, slightly frosty surfaces, weight 4.858 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 218 - 219; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair slightly waved, looped plait at back of neck, crescent behind shoulders; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing half-left, veiled, dropping incense from right hand over lit and garlanded altar at feet, incense box in left hand; scarce; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DIVAMAESAAVG
DIVAMAESAAVGVSTA
IVLIAMAESAAVG
IVLIAMAESAAVGVST


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).
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).
Mouchmov, N. Le Tresor Numismatique De Reka-Devnia (Marcianopolis). (Sofia, 1934).
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 Thursday, January 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Julia Maesa