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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Recovery of the Empire| ▸ |Severina||View Options:  |  |  |   

Severina, Augusta spring 274 - November 275 A.D.

Severina was the wife of Aurelian. She was possibly the only Roman empress ever to rule in her own right, which she did during the interregnum after her husband's murder.


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In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
RA85001. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1792 (63 spec.), Hunter IV 4, BnF XII 174 - 176, Venèra 1032 - 1048, Gloucester 164, RIC V-1 3, SRCV III 11704, Cohen VI 3, Choice EF, perfect centering, excellent strike, full silvering, mint luster, edge crack, weight 3.693 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, issue 10, end 274 A.D.; obverse SEVERINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG (harmony between the emperor and empress), Severina and Aurelian (togate, holding scepter) clasping hands, ΓXXIR in exergue; SOLD


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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock.
RB73881. Bronze as, MER-RIC 1879 (94 spec.), RIC V-1 7, BnF XII 310 - 313, Hunter IV 15, Mazzini 9, Cohen VI 9, SRCV III 11711, aVF, well centered, nice portrait, light corrosion and encrustation, weight 8.524 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 11th issue, early - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse IVNO REGINA, Juno standing slightly left, head left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, peacock left at feet on left, ς in exergue; SOLD


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D., Wife of Aurelian

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There is considerable numismatic evidence Severina ruled in her own right between the death of Aurelian and the election of Tacitus. Sources mention an interregnum, and some of Severina's coins, including this type, appear to have been minted after Aurelian's death. She may have been the only woman to rule over the whole Roman Empire in her own power. The reverse advertises her good relations with the army, an unusual reverse for an empress, and perhaps an indication of her role as sole ruler.
RA91442. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3193 (19 spec.), RIC V-1 20, BnF XII 1351 - 1352, Bastien-Huvelin 259, SRCV III -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, much silvering remaining, edge ragged (as struck), weight 4.118 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 6, early 275 - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse CONCORDIAE MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia standing facing, head left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, Q low inner left, XXI in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD


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Denarii of this period are scarce.
BB66899. Billon denarius, MER-RIC 1861 (51 spec.), Hunter IV 3, BnF XII 285, Venèra 1510 - 1511, Gloucester 195, Maravielle 921, Troussey 4114 - 4116, RIC V-1 6, SRCV III 11710, VF, weight 2.352 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Rome mint, issue 11, early - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing left, holding seated cupid in right hand, long scepter in vertical behind in left hand, E in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock.
SH65365. Bronze as, MER-RIC 1884 (35 spec.), BnF XII 319 - 321, Hunter IV 17, RIC V-1 7, SRCV III 11711, Cohen VI 9, VF, weight 8.682 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Rome mint, 11th issue, early - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse IVNO REGINA, Juno standing slightly left, head left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, peacock left at feet on left; SOLD


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Severina probably married Aurelian before he became emperor in 270. They had a daughter. According to her coinage, she gained the title Augusta in the autumn of 274, though she may have had the title earlier. She also received the titles Pia (pious) and mater castrorum et senatus et patriae (mother of the barracks (armies), senate, and country). There is considerable numismatic evidence Severina ruled in her own right between the death of Aurelian and the election of Tacitus. Sources mention an interregnum, and some of Severina's coins appear to have been minted after Aurelian's death. She may have been the only woman to rule over the whole Roman Empire in her own power.
SH04055. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1558 (144 spec.), RIC V-1 9, Venèra 5724 - 5802, BnF XII 649 - 655, Hunter IV 26, Gloucester 298, Maravielle 383, Choice VF+, weight 3.68 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 4, Nov 274 - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse PROVIDEN DEOR (the foresight of the gods) (Foresight of the gods), Fides (or Severina) standing right holding two standards, facing Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left UIXXT in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Ex-Col. J W Curtis collection, with his sturdy hand-made cardboard holder, noting ex-Spink 9-52 211 2713.
RX22035. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4484, BMC Alexandria 2381, Curtis 1822 (this coin), gVF, weight 7.063 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria mint, Aug 274 - Aug 275 A.D.; obverse OVΛΠ CEVHPINA CEB, diademed and draped bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), eagle standing half-left, head right, wreath in beak; scarce; SOLD


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Felix (Lucky) was a traditional epithet for Venus. Venus Felix was her cult title at Hadrian's temple to Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna on the Via Sacra. In dice-games, a popular pastime among Romans of all classes, the luckiest, best possible roll was known as "Venus."
RB48405. Billon denarius, MER-RIC 1803 (18 spec.), BnF XII 187, Venèra 1103 - 1104, Estiot 187, RIC V-1 6, SRCV III11710, Hunter IV - (cxviii), VF, scarce denomination, weight 2.703 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, issue 10, end 274 A.D.; obverse SEVERINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing left, uncertain object (Cupid?) in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Γ right, VSV in exergue; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
There is considerable numismatic evidence Severina ruled in her own right between the death of Aurelian and the election of Tacitus. Sources mention an interregnum, and some of Severina's coins, including this type, appear to have been minted after Aurelian's death. She may have been the only woman to rule over the whole Roman Empire in her own power. The reverse advertises her good relations with the army, an unusual reverse for an empress, and perhaps an indication of her role as sole ruler.
RA87538. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3187 (14 spec.), RIC V-1 20, BnF XII 1350, Hunter IV 28, Bastien-Huvelin 236 - 238, SRCV III -, EF, sharp detail, most silvering remaining, centered on a tight flan, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.997 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 6, early 275 - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulder; reverse CONCORDIAE MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia standing slightly left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, T inner lower left, XXI in exergue; SOLD


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Severina was the wife of Aurelian. She was possibly the only Roman empress ever to rule in her own right, which she did during the interregnum after her husband's murder.

Elpis was the Greek personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Elpis is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. Elpis' Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.
RX28560. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3104; Dattari 5501; Milne 4442; BMC Alexandria p. 308, 2377; Emmett 3967.6 (R2); Curtis -, VF, weight 8.424 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 274 - 28 Aug 275 A.D.; obverse OVΛΠ CEVHPINA CEB, diademed and draped bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), Elpis standing left holding flower and raising skirt; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

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SEVERINAPFAVG
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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Friday, November 15, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Severina