Septimius Severus


'Emesa' Mint Denarii

This page is in process of constant revision. Material will be added as it becomes available. Photos were made over a period of years and are unfortunately of varied quality.

The actual location of the mint attributed to Emesa in Syria has never been established certainly. The variety of styles within the issue suggests that there may have been more than one mint or, possibly, a traveling mint moving with the army and employing local diecutters on a temporary basis. Before his death in January, 1997, Roger A. Bickford-Smith pointed out stylistic similarities between the last COSII coins and the early (old style) IMPII coins traditionally attributed to Laodicea. For now we will refer to the COSII dated issues and the rare varieties of the same style associated with them as mint of 'Emesa'. More research in this area is needed. Coins marked as 'unlisted' are not in RIC or Cohen but may be in other references. Coins not in Cohen but added to the Cohen based series by Seaby's Roman Silver Coins are listed as RSC. This group is far from complete and will be expanded as images become available.

Coins are displayed here divided into six categories, each with a separate page to speed load times. Still, the number of coins shown may make load times longer than desirable. These separations break the issues down further than the standard references but will still require change as information is gained about the workings of these mints. Many reverse types were used in more than one of these categories. This collection of photos is far from complete but includes several items not listed in the standard references.

Click on the photos to see other examples of each category.
Late
193
AD

5
coins

First Obverse Legend
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERT AVG
Used for only a few weeks at the end of 193, the first legend coins are all rare. There were only half a dozen obverse dies and most coins seen were from two dies. Most types copy Pescennius Niger.
Early
194
AD

10
coins

Rare Obverse Legends Varients:
IICO, IIC, COS, COSI
Before settling on COSII, the mint tried a number of other legends. All are rare with only a few dies known for each. All date to the first part of 194 AD.
194-
195
AD

4
coins

COS I-I Split Legends
The exact meaning of the unnatural split of the COS II numeral is not certain. Many coins appear to be of different styles and may be the product of branch mints. Styles seem to cover both the early and late periods of the mint.
Early
194
AD

12
coins

IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSII
Longhead Portrait
Early COSII coins show a long portrait similar to those on the COSI and IIC coins. These were produced in the first few months of 194 AD. As a group, they are more scarce than the later issues.
194-
195
AD

27
coins

IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSII
Roundhead Portrait (The Common Ones)
Later production moved to a more rounded portrait. This style continued through the closing of the mint in 195 AD. Coins of this style greatly outnumber the other five groups combined.
195
AD

3
coins

TRP Dated Issues
A few reverses bear dating devices that indicate issue in 195 AD. These were probably produced alongside some of the undated issues and are not necessarily the last types used.


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1997 Doug Smith