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Search results - "Empress"
faustina-sr_AE-As_11_0gr_obv_02.jpg
33 viewsAntoninus Pius
Empress Faustina Sr.(138-141 AD)
Wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD)

Bronze Dupondius or As, Most Likely an As.
Rome Mint

obv: DIVA FAVSTINA - Draped bust right
rev: AETERNITAS - Aeternitas seated left on starry globe, right hand outstretched, left hand holding sceptre. SC in exergue.

11.0 Grams
rexesq
faustina-sr_AE-As_11_0gr_obv_08_rev_09_93%.JPG
32 viewsEmpress Faustina Sr.(138-141 AD)
Wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD)

Bronze Dupondius or As, Most Likely an As.
Rome Mint

obv: DIVA FAVSTINA - Draped bust right
rev: AETERNITAS - Aeternitas seated left on starry globe, right hand outstretched, left hand holding sceptre. SC in exergue.

11.0 Grams
1 commentsrexesq
image00327.jpg
19 viewsHeraclius & Heraclius Constantine overstruck on Phocas & Leontia . 610-641 / 602-610. Æ follis (26.89 mm, 8.78 g, 6 h). Host coin, Theopolis (Antioch) mint, 602-610 / after 610. overstrike, Thessalonica mint. Overstrike: fragmentary, d N hЄRA[CLIЧS PP AVG] Host coin, also fragmentary, [O N FOCA] NЄ PЄ [AV] , Overstrike: Heraclius (on left, and Heraclius constantine, barely visible on right) standing facing, each holding globus cruciger, cross between their heads Host coin: Phocas on left and Leontia standing facing; Emperor holds globus cruciger, Empress holds cruciform scepter; cross between their heads / Overstrike, large M between A / N / N / O and date (not struck-up), cross above, B below, ΘЄC in exergue Host coin, large m between [A / N /] N / O and date (unclear) cross above, ThЄЧP' in exergue. Host coin, Cf. SBCV 671; Overstrike, Cf. SBCV 824. VF for type, dark green patina on devices, lighter encrustation on fields - overstrike at ~ 90º ccw.

multiply struck: host coin is Phocas & Leontia from Antioch, SBCV 671 or similar overstrike, at ~ 90º ccw, is Heraclius from Thessalonica
Quant.Geek
55535q00.jpg
AHG 272 . The Antioch Hoard of Gallienus . Salonina, August 254 - c. September 268 A.D.22 viewsSalonina, August 254 - c. September 268 A.D.
Billon antoninianus . 2.763g, 20.1mm, 0o, Syrian mint, 258 - 260 A.D.
Obverse : CORN SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind
Reverse : CONCORDIA AVGG, emperor and empress standing confronted, clasping hands
Göbl MIR 1691p (Samosata), SRCV III 10630 (uncertain Syrian mint), RIC V 63 (Antioch), Cohen 31, AHG 272 (this coin)
From the Antioch Hoard of Gallienus . Ex Forum
Vladislav D
otse.jpg
Marcia Otacilla Severa, Empress of Rome 244-249 CE35 viewsMarcia Otacilla Severa, wife of Philip the Arab
Otacilia Severa AE30 of Antioch, Syria.
Obverse: MAP WTAKIL CEOVHPAN CEB, diademed & draped bust right on crescent.
Reverse: ANTIOCEWN MHTRO KOLWN D-e S-C, turreted & draped bust of Tyche right, ram leaping right above. BMC 543. 28 mm, 12.77 g
1 commentsNORMAN K
justin_ii_sophia_follis.jpg
(0565) JUSTIN II45 views565 - 578 AD
AE FOLLIS 31.5 mm 14.06 g
O: JUSTIN II & Empress Sophia seated facing on double throne Year 8, Off. B - SEAR 369
Rev. Large M between ANNO and regnal year 8 ( G / II ) ; above, cross; B Below ; NIKO in exe.
NIKOMEDIA
Ref.: Sear 369
laney
4140400.jpg
006a. Claudia17 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Nero, with Claudia. AD 54-68. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 10.74 g, 12h). Dated RY 3 (AD 56/57). Laureate head of Nero right / Draped bust of Claudia Octavia right; L Γ (date) below chin. Köln 122-4; Dattari (Savio) 190; K&G 14.7; RPC I 5202; Emmett 127.3. Near VF. Ex - CNG

Furthermore, the carefully contrived marriage between Octavia and Nero was a disaster on a personal level. Nero soon embarked on a serious relationship with a freedman named Acte, and more importantly developed an active dislike for his wife. "Quickly feeling aversion to intimacy with Octavia, he replied to his friends who were finding fault with him that she ought to be satisfied with the outward trappings of a wife." This antipthy was not likely to produce offspring who would unite the Julian and Claudian lines. By 58 Nero was becoming involved with a freeborn mistress, Poppaea, whom he would want to make his empress in exchange for Octavia. But the legitimacy of his principate derived from his relationship with his predecessor, and he was not so secure that he could do without the connection with Claudius provided through his mother and his wife. In 59 he was able to arrange for Agrippina's death, but it was not until 62 that he felt free to divorce Octavia and marry Poppaea. The initial grounds for putting Octavia aside was the charge that she was barren because she had had no children. But a more aggressive attack was needed when opposition arose from those who still challenged Nero's prncipate and remained loyal to Octavia as the last representative of her family. With the connivance of Poppaea, charges of adultery were added, Octavia was banished to Campania and then to the island of Pandataria off the coast, and finally killed. Her severed head was sent to Rome.
2 commentsecoli
coin214.JPG
010. Vespasian 69 AD - 79 AD36 viewsVespasian

The character of this emperor showed very little, if anything, of the pagan tyrant. Though himself a man of no literary culture, he became the protector of his prisoner of war, the Jewish historian Josephus, a worshipper of the One God, and even permitted him the use of his own family name (Flavius). While this generosity may have been in some degree prompted by Josephus's shrewd prophecy of Vespasian's elevation to the purple, there are other instances of his disposition to reward merit in those with whom he was by no means personally sympathetic. Vespasian has the distinction of being the first Roman Emperor to transmit the purple to his own son; he is also noteworthy in Roman imperial history as having very nearly completed his seventieth year and died a natural death: being in feeble health, he had withdrawn to benefit by the purer air of his native Reate, in the "dewy fields" (rosei campi) of the Sabine country. By his wife, Flavia Domitilla, he left two sons, Titus and Domitian, and a daughter, Domitilla, through whom the name of Vespasian's empress was passed on to a granddaughter who is revered as a confessor of the Faith.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century. In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!"

Denarius. IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right / VES-TA to either side of Vesta standing left, holding simpulum & scepter. RSC 574
ecoli
Sabina_AE-As_SABINA-AVGVSTA-HADRIANI-AVG-PP_CONCORDIA-AVG_S-C_RIC-1037_128-136-AD_Q-001_axis-h_x,xxmm_x,xxgg-s.jpg
033 Sabina (???-136 A.D.), RIC II 1037, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//S-C, Concordia seated left, #1137 views033 Sabina (???-136 A.D.), RIC II 1037, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//S-C, Concordia seated left, #1
avers:- SABINA-AVGVSTA-HADRIANI-AVG-PP, Her bust draped right wreathed in grain with hair fastened in a small knot at back. RARE portrait type depicting the empress with hair tied back and wreathed in grain.
revers:- CONCORDIA-AVG/S-C, Concordia seated left holding patera and leaning left elbow on figure of Spes, cornucopiae below chair.
exerg: -/-//S-C, diameter: mm, weight: g, axes: h,
mint: Roma, date: 128-136 A.D., ref: RIC-II 1037,
Q-001
quadrans
Sabina_AE-As_SABINA-AVGVSTA-HADRIANI-AVG-P-P_CONCORDIA-AVG_S-C_RIC-1037_128-136-AD_Q-002_7h_26,5-27,5mm_9,30g-s.jpg
033 Sabina (???-136 A.D.), RIC II 1037, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//S-C, Concordia seated left, #2136 views033 Sabina (???-136 A.D.), RIC II 1037, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//S-C, Concordia seated left, #2
avers:- SABINA-AVGVSTA-HADRIANI-AVG-P-P, Her bust draped right wreathed in grain with hair fastened in a small knot at back. RARE portrait type depicting the empress with hair tied back and wreathed in grain.
revers:- CONCORDIA-AVG/S-C, Concordia seated left holding patera and leaning left elbow on figure of Spes, cornucopiae below chair.
exerg: -/-//S-C, diameter: 26,5-27,5mm, weight: 9,30g, axes: 7h,
mint: Roma, date: 128-136 A.D., ref: RIC-II 1037,
Q-002
2 commentsquadrans
Antonia_03_portrait.jpg
036 BC - AD 037 - ANTONIA10 viewsAntonia

Antonia 36 BC - 37 was the younger of two daughters of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor. She was a niece of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, and both maternal great-grandmother and paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
magniaurbica.jpg
040. Magnia Urbica57 viewsMagnia Urbica. AE Antoninianus. Lugdunum mint.

Obv. Draped and diademed bust right on crescent MAGNIA VRBICA AVG.

Rev. Venus Genetrix standing left holding gapple and sceptre, shield at feet VENVS GENETRIX, D in left field.

RIC V pt. 2, 337.gVF, R2.

A coin ive been looking for for a long time, Magnia Urbica has by far the finest portraits of any post-Severan empress
LordBest
faustina-sr_den_veiled-bust-peacock_2_82gr_feb2012a.JPG
06 - Faustina I - 02 - AR Denarius - Peacock 'CONSECRATIO' - NGC Choice VF56 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Senior (138 - 141), Wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138 - 161).
Silver Denarius, Struck at the Rome Mint by the Emperor Antoninus Pius to consecrate and commemorate his wife after her death.

(All Titles in Latin)
obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Veiled and Draped bust facing right.
rev: CONSECRATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Note how the two head feathers on the top of the Peacock's head seperate the 'R' and the 'A' in " CONSECR ATIO ' on the reverse.
***Less common type with Veiled bust obverse rather than her usual bust with hair wrapped on the top of her head, like on my other example of this type with the same reverse design and titles, and the same obverse titles.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Certified "Choice Very Fine" by NGC Ancients.
Strike: 4/5
Surface: 4/5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>^..^< CLICK PHOTO FOR FULLSIZE IMAGE >^..^
5 commentsrexesq
faustina-sr_den_veiled-bust-peacock_2_82gr_feb2012b.jpg
06 - Faustina I - 02 - AR Denarius - Peacock 'CONSECRATIO' - NGC Choice VF.15 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Senior (138 - 141), Wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138 - 161).
Silver Denarius, Struck at the Rome Mint by the Emperor Antoninus Pius to consecrate and commemorate his wife after her death.

(All Titles in Latin)
obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Veiled and Draped bust facing right.
rev: CONSECRATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
~~
*Note how the head feathers on the peacock's head seperate the 'R' and the 'A' in CONSECR ATIO

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Certified "Choice Very Fine" by NGC Ancients.
Strike: 4/5
Surface: 4/5
----------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------
** Any scratches, smudges or marks are on the slab, not the coin itself. **
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_peacock_2_62gr_00.jpg
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' 30 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.

rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_obv_01_rev_02.JPG
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - 0122 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_obv_04_rev_04.JPG
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - 0212 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_obv_14_rev_04.JPG
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - 0312 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_obv_13_rev_04.JPG
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - 0415 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_rev_06_off-color.jpg
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - off color10 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.
Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.
2.62 grams.
*photo is off color due to my camera problems.
rexesq
faustina-I_AR-denarius_AD147-161_consecratio_peacock_2_62gr_rev_09.jpg
06 - Faustina I - AR Denarius - Peacock, 'CONSECRATIO' - VII11 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina (AD 138-141) Silver Denarius.
Rome mint, AD 147-161. Died 141 AD. Cohen 175, RIC 384.
Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Obv: DIVA FAUSTINA - Draped bust right.
Rev: CONSECR ATIO - Peacock facing right, head left, standing on scepter with knobs on both ends.

Note the Peacock's headfeathers sticking up between the 'R' and 'A' of 'CONSECRATIO'.

2.62 grams.
rexesq
faustina-jr_AR-denarius_CERES_3_4gr_obv_08_rev_05.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES12 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
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rexesq
faustina-jr_AR-denarius_CERES_3_4gr_obv_01_rev_04.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES23 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
---
-
2 commentsrexesq
faustina-jr_AR-denarius_CERES_3_4gr_obv_09_rev_06.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES17 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
---
-
rexesq
faustina-jr_AR-Denarius_CERES_00.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES25 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
---
-
2 commentsrexesq
Copy_of_faustina-jr_AR-denarius_CERES_3_4gr_w-quarter_obv_01.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES - with US 25 Cent coin.8 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
---
-
--------------------------------
*US Quarter Dollar (25 cents) to right, for size comparison.
--------------------------------
rexesq
Copy_of_faustina-jr_AR-denarius_CERES_3_4gr_w-quarter_obv_05.JPG
07 - Faustina Jr. - AR Denarius - CERES - with US 25 Cent coin.12 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Faustina Jr. (161 - 175 AD)
also known as 'Faustina the Younger', daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD) and Roman Empress Faustina Sr. (138 - 141 AD) also known as 'Faustina the Elder'.
Faustina Jr. was wife of the Roman Emperor, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD).
She was also mother to the future Emperor 'Commodus' (180 - 192 AD, sole reign ).

obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right.
rev: CERES - Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long torch.

Size: 19 mm
Weight: 3.4 Grams
----
--------
----
Imperial Lifetime Issue Minted During the Reign of Marcus Aurelius.

References: RIC 669, RSC 35, BMC 79
---
-
--------------------------------
*US Quarter Dollar (25 cents) to right, for size comparison.
--------------------------------
rexesq
Crispina-RIC-281.jpg
071. Crispina.12 viewsDenarius, 180 -182 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: CRISPINA AVGVSTA / Bust of Crispina.
Reverse: DIS GENITALIBVS / Lighted altar.
3.49 gm., 18 mm.
RIC #281; Sear #5999.

This coin of Crispina has an unusual reverse type: an altar dedicated to the gods of childbirth. We know of no children born to Crispina and Commodus. Stevenson says of this reverse (p. 332): "It would seem that the empress had dedicated an altar to the dii genitales, either for having had children, or that she might obtain fertility from them, or that she might commend the child with which she was pregnant to their care and protection.
Callimachus
97a.jpg
097a Severina. bill. antoninianus23 viewsobv: SEVERINA AVG dia. drp. bust on crescet
rev: CONCORDIA AVGG emp. td.l. clasping hand of empress std. r.
ex: rXXIR
hill132
623_P_Sabina_RPC990var_.jpg
0990 BITHYNIA Koinon of Bithynia Sabina Ae 24 Tetrastyle temple female figure15 viewsReference.
RPC III, 990; Rec 60

Obv. СΑΒΕΙΝΑ СΕΒΑСΤΗ
Draped bust of Sabina, r., with hair coiled and piled on top of head above double stephane.

Rev. ΚΟΙ-ΝΟΝ ΒΕΙΘΥΝΙΑС
Tetrastyle temple on podium of two steps, with star in pediment; within, draped female figure (Empress?) stands facing Left, resting with r. hand on long sceptre, holding patera in l. hand

8.95 gr
23.50 mm
6h
okidoki
T-1882,_Aurelianus,_AE-As,_IMP_AVRELIANVS_AVG,__AVG,_retr__Z,_Roma,_RIC_V-I_80,_off-7,_iss-11,_275-AD,_Q-001,_0h,_24-26,4mm,_6,35g-s.jpg
106 Aurelianus (270-275 A.D.), T-1882, RIC V-I 080, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//inv. Z, Empress and Emperor, #156 views106 Aurelianus (270-275 A.D.), T-1882, RIC V-I 080, Rome, AE-As, CONCORDIA AVG, -/-//inv. Z, Empress and Emperor, #1
avers: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, Bust right, laureate, cuirassed and draped with paludamentum. (D1*)
reverse: CONCORDIA AVG, Empress standing right, clasping the hand of Emperor in military dress standing left, holding long scepter in the left hand, between them, radiate and draped bust of Sol right. (Emperor and Empress 3)
exergue: -/-//inv. Z, diameter: 24,0-26,4mm, weight: 6,35g, axes: 0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-7, date: 275 A.D., ref: T-1882 (Estiot), RIC V-I 80,
Q-001
quadrans
coin194.JPG
106a. Crispina48 viewsCrispina married the sixteen year-old, Commodus in the summer of 178 and brought him, as a dowry, a large number of estates. These, when added to the Imperial holdings, gave him control of a substantial part of Lucanian territory. The actual ceremony was modest but was commemorated on coinage and largesse was distributed to the people. An epithalamium for the occasion was composed by the sophist Julius Pollux.

Upon her marriage, Crispina received the title of Augusta, and thus, became Empress of the Roman Empire as her husband was co-emperor with her father-in-law at the time. The previous empress and her mother-in-law, Faustina the Younger, having died three years prior to her arrival.

Like most marriages of young members of the nobiles, it was arranged by paters: in Crispina's case by her father and her father-in-law, Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Crispina probably meant little to her egocentric husband though she was a beautiful woman. The other possible reason being that Commodus was known to prefer the company of men. Crispina is described as being a graceful person with a susceptible heart, but there is no medal extant of her.

As Augusta, Crispina was extensively honoured with public images, during the last two years of her father-in-law's reign and the initial years of her husband's reign. She did not seem to have any significant political influence over her husband during his bizarre reign. However, she was not exempted from court politics either as her sister-in-law, Lucilla, was an ambitious woman and was reportedly jealous of Crispina, the reigning empress, due to her position and power.

Crispina's marriage failed to produce an heir due to her husband's inability, which led to a dynastic succession crisis. In fact, both Anistius Burrus (with whom Commodus had share his first consulate as sole ruler) and Gaius Arrius Antoninus, who were probably related to the imperial family, were allegedly put to death 'on the suspicion of pretending to the throne'.

After ten years of marriage, Crispina was falsely charged with adultery by her husband and was banished to the island of Capri in 188, where she was later executed. After her banishment, Commodus did not marry again but took on a mistress, a woman named Marcia, who was later said to have conspired in his murder.

Crispina, wife of Commodus, 177-192, AE Dupondius or As (24x25mm), aVF. Sear RCV 6018. Obv. CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right. Rev. IVNO LVCINA S C, Juno standing left holding patera and scepter. The coin is brown and green, on a squarish flan.
ecoli
T-1560_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM_XX__RIC-8var_RIC-T-1560_Ticinium_iss-5_275-AD_Q-001_0h_21,5-22mm_3,75g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1560 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1119 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1560 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exerg: -/-//XXI, diameter: 21,5-22mm, weight: 3,75g, axes: 0h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off- , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8var., T-1560 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1561_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM_PXX__RIC-8_RIC-T-1561_Ticinium_iss-5_off-1_275-AD_Q-001_6h_22mm_3,99g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1561 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//PXXT, Concordia standing left, #1124 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1561 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//PXXT, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//PXXT, diameter:22mm, weight: 3,99g, axes: 6h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-1 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8, T-1561 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
107_Severina,_T-1561,_RIC_V-I_8,_Ticinum,_AE-Ant,_SEVERINA_AVG,_CONCORDIAE_MILITVM,_PXXIT,_iss-5,_off-1,_275_AD,_Q-001,_0h,_22-24mm,_4,4g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1561 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//PXXT, Concordia standing left, #2150 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1561 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//PXXT, Concordia standing left, #2
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//PXXT, diameter:22,0-24,0mm, weight: 4,40g, axes: 0h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-1 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC V-I 8, T-1561 (Estiot), C-,
Q-002
1 commentsquadrans
107_Severina,_T-1562,_RIC_V-I_8,_Ticinum,_AE-Ant,_SEVERINA_AVG,_CONCORDIAE_MILITVM,_SXXIT,_iss-5,_off-2,_275_AD,_Q-001,_6h,_22-23mm,_3,72g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1562 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//SXXT, Concordia standing left, #1173 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1562 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//SXXT, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//SXXT, diameter:22,0-23,0mm, weight: 3,72g, axes: 6h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-2 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8, T-1562 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1564_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM_PXX__RIC-8_RIC-T-1564_Ticinium_iss-5_off-4_275-AD_Q-001_5h_21,5-22,5mm_3,02g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1564 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//QXXT, Concordia standing left, #1124 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1564 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//QXXT, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//QXXT, diameter:21,5-22,5mm, weight: 3,02g, axes:5h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-4 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8, T-1564 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1566_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM_VXX__RIC-8_RIC-T-1566_Ticinium_iss-5_off-5_275-AD_Q-001_11h_21,5-23mm_4,13g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1566 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//VXXT, Concordia standing left, #1127 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1566 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//VXXT, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//VXXT, diameter:21,5-23mm, weight: 4,13g, axes:11h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-5 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8, T-1566 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1568_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NAE-AVG_CONCOR-DI-AE-MILITVM___XX__RIC-8var_RIC-T-1568_Ticinium_iss-5_6th-off_275-AD_Q-001_0h_22mm_3,19g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1568 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//μXXT, Concordia standing left, #1136 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1568 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//μXXT, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//μXXT, diameter: 22mm, weight: 3,19g, axes: 0h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-6 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8var., T-1568 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1568_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NAE-AVG_CONCOR-DI-AE-MILITVM___XX__RIC-8var_RIC-T-1568_Ticinium_iss-5_6th-off_275-AD_Q-002_11h_22-23mm_3,67g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1568 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//μXXT, Concordia standing left, #2119 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1568 (Estiot), RIC V-I 008var, Ticinum, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/-//μXXT, Concordia standing left, #2
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCOR DIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/-//μXXT, diameter: 22-23mm, weight: 3,67g, axes: 11h,
mint: Ticinum, iss-5 ,off-6 , date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-8var., T-1568 (Estiot), C-,
Q-002
quadrans
T-1792_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NAE-AVG_CONCO-RDI-AE-MILITVM__-XXI-R_RIC-3_RIC-T-1792_Rome_iss-10_3rd-off_275-AD_Q-001_0h_21-22mm_3,57g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1792 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ΓXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1126 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1792 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ΓXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCO RDIA AVG G, Empress standing right, holding an unidentified object in left hand, clasping the hand of Emperor standing left, holding short sceptre in left hand. (Emperor and Empress 2)
exergue: -/-//ΓXXIR, diameter: 21-22mm, weight: 3,57g, axes: 0h,
mint: Rome, iss-10, off-3 , date: 274 A.D., ref: RIC V-I 3., T-1792 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
107_Severina,_T-1792,_RIC_V-I_3,_Roma,_AE-Ant,_SEVERINA_AVG,_CONCORDIA_AVGG,_G_XXIR,_iss-10,_off-3,_274_AD,_Q-001,_0h,_21mm,_4,1g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1792 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ΓXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #2183 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1792 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ΓXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #2
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCO RDIA AVG G, Empress standing right, holding an unidentified object in left hand, clasping the hand of Emperor standing left, holding short sceptre in left hand. (Emperor and Empress 2)
exergue: -/-//ΓXXIR, diameter: 21,0mm, weight: 4,10g, axes: 0h,
mint: Rome, iss-10, off-3 , date: 274 A.D., ref: RIC V-I 3., T-1792 (Estiot), C-,
Q-002
2 commentsquadrans
T-1796_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCORDIA-AVG-G__-XXI-R_RIC-3_RIC-T-1796_Rome_iss-10_6-off_274-AD_Q-001_6h_21-23mm_3,69g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1796 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ςXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1193 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1796 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ςXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCO-RDIA-AVG-G, Empress standing right, holding unidentified object in left hand, clasping the hand of Emperor standing left, holding short sceptre in left hand. (Emperor and Empress 2)
exerg: -/-//ςXXIR, diameter: 21-23mm, weight: 3,69g, axes: 6h,
mint: Rome, iss-10, off-6, date: 274 A.D., ref: RIC-3., T-1796 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1818_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NAE-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM___XXIR_RIC-4_RIC-T-1818_Rome_iss-11_3rd-off_275-AD_Q-001_0h_22mm_4,36g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1818 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Γ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1143 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1818 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Γ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCOR-DI-AE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "Γ" in right field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: -/Γ//XXIR, diameter: 22mm, weight: 3,69g, axes:0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-3, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1818 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1820_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM_D_XXIR_RIC-4_RIC-T-1820_Rome_iss-11_4-off_275-AD_Q-001_1h_22mm_4,32g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1820 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Δ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1132 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1820 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Δ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCOR-DI-AE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "Δ" in right field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: -/Δ//XXIR, diameter: 22mm, weight: 4,32g, axes:1h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-4, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1820 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1820,_107_Severina,_AE-Ant-Silvered,_SEVERI_NA_AVG,_CONCORDIAE_MILITVM,_-D,_XXIR,_RIC_V-I_4,_Rome,_iss-11,_off-4,_275-AD,_Q-002,_0h,_22,5-23mm,_3,81g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1820 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Δ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #2106 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1820 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, -/Δ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #2
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCORDIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. "Δ" in right field. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/Δ//XXIR, diameter: 22,5-23,0mm, weight: 3,81g, axes:0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-4, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC V-I 4., T-1820 (Estiot), C-,
Q-002
quadrans
T-1824_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_(E2)_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM_(C-3)_E_XXI-R_RIC-4_T-1824_Rome_iss-11_off-5_275-AD_Q-001_0h_22,5mm_3,67g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1824 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/Є//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1180 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1824 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/Є//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCORDIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. "Є" in right field. (Concordia 3)
exergue: -/Є//XXIR, diameter: 22,5mm, weight: 3,67g, axes:0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-5, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1824 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1825_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCOR-DIAE-MILITVM_Digamma-XXI-R_RIC-4_RIC-T-1825_C-7_Rome_iss-11_off-6_318p_275-AD_Q-001_0h_19,7-21,6mm_3,77g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1825 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/ϛ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1161 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1825 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/ϛ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "ϛ" in right field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: -/ϛ//XXIR, diameter: 19,7-20,6mm, weight: 3,77g, axes:0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-6, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1825 (Estiot), C-7,
Q-001
quadrans
T-1825_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM_Digamma-XXI-R_RIC-4_RIC-T-1825_Rome_iss-11_off-6_318p_275-AD_Q-002_0h_20-22,5mm_3,04g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1825 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/ϛ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #2151 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1825 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, -/ϛ//XXIR, Concordia standing left, #2
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. ϛ in right field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: -/ϛ//XXIR, diameter: 20-22,5mm, weight: 3,04g, axes:0h,
mint: Rome, iss-11, off-6, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1825 (Estiot), C-7,
Q-002
quadrans
T-1888_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG(E2)_CONCO-RDIAE-MILITVM_(C-3)_R-B_XXI_RIC-4_RIC-T-1888_Rome_iss-12_off-2_275-AD_Q-001_4h_21-22mm_3,63g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1888 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, R/B//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1152 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1888 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIAE MILITVM, R/B//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCO-RDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand."R-B" across the field.(Concordia 3)
exerg: R/B//XXI, diameter: 21-22mm, weight: 3,63g, axes:4h,
mint: Rome, iss-12, off-2, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-4., T-1888 (Estiot),
Q-001
quadrans
T-3183_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVER-INA-AVG-(E2)_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM-(Conc-3)_H_XXI_RIC-V-I-20_RIC-T-3183_Antioch_5-iss-8-off_274-5-AD_Q-001_5h_19,5-22,0mm_3,95g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3183 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, H/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, Rare!125 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3183 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, H/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, Rare!
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "H" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: H/-//XXI, diameter: 19,5-22,0mm, weight: 3,95g, axes:5h,
mint: Antioch, iss-5, off-8, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3183 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
T-3187_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERINA-AVG-(E2)_CONCOR-DIAE-M-ILITVM-(Conc-3)_P_XXI_RIC-V-I-20_RIC-T-3187_Antioch_6-iss-1-off_275-AD_Q-001_5h_21,8-23,0mm_3,74g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3187 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, P/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1132 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3187 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, P/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed (high bun), draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "P" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: P/-//XXI, diameter: 21,8-23,0mm, weight: 3,74g, axes:5h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-1, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3187 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-3187_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERINA-AVG-(E2)_CONCOR-DIAE-M-ILITVM-(Conc-3)_P_XXI_RIC-V-I-20_RIC-T-3187_Antioch_6-iss-1-off_275-AD_Q-002_5h_20,0-24,1mm_4,28g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3187 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, P/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #2178 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3187 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, P/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #2
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "P" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: P/-//XXI, diameter: 22,0-24,1mm, weight: 4,28g, axes:5h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-1, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3187 (Estiot), C-,
Q-002
quadrans
T-3189_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERINA-AVG-(E2)_CONCOR-DIAE-M-ILITVM-(Conc-3)_P_XXI_RIC-V-I-20_RIC-T-3189_Antioch_6-iss-2-off_275-AD_Q-002_6h_22,5-23,7mm_4,08ga-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3189 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, S/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1124 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3189 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, S/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "S" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: S/-//XXI, diameter: 22,5-23,7mm, weight: 4,08g, axes:6h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-2, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3189 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
107_Severina,_T-3191,_RIC_V-I_020,_Antioch,_AE-Ant,_SEVERINA_AVG,_CONCORDIAE_MILITVM,_T_XXI,_iss-6,_off-3,_275_AD,_Q-001,_0h,_21,5-23mm,_3,45g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3191 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, T/-//XXI, Concordia standing left,144 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3191 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, T/-//XXI, Concordia standing left,
avers: SEVERI NA AVG, Empress right, diademed (high bun), draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
reverse: CONCORDIAE MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding the standard in each hand. "T" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exergue: T/-//XXI, diameter: 21,5-23,0mm, weight: 3,45g, axes:0h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-3, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC V-I 20, p-318, T-3191 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVER-INA-AVG-(E2)_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM-(Conc-3)_Q_XXI_RIC-V-I-20_RIC-T-3193_Antioch_6-iss-4-off_275-AD_Q-001_5h_20,5-22,5mm_3,90g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3193 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, Q/-//XXI, Concordia standing left,180 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3193 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, Q/-//XXI, Concordia standing left,
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed (high bun), draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "Q" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: Q/-//XXI, diameter: 20,5-22,5mm, weight: 3,90g, axes:5h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-4, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3193 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-3198_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG-(E2)_CONCORDIAE-MILITVM-(Conc-3)_VI-XXI_RIC-20_T-3198_Antioch_6-iss-6-off_275-AD_Q-01_6h_21-22,5mm_3,54g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3198 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, VI/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1149 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3198 (Estiot), RIC V-I 020, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, VI/-//XXI, Concordia standing left, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed (high bun), draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIAE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "VI" in left field. (Concordia 3)
exerg: VI/-//XXI, diameter: 22mm, weight: 3,69g, axes:0h,
mint: Antioch, iss-6, off-6, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-V-I-20, p-318, T-3198 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
T-3203_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERINA-PF-AVG_CONCORDIA-AVG_V_XXI_RIC-19v__T-3203_Antioch_iss-7_off-5_275-AD_Q-001_0h_23mm_4,61g-s.jpg
107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3203 (Estiot), RIC V-I 019var, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG, V//XXI, Emperor and Empress, R!203 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-3203 (Estiot), RIC V-I 019var, Antioch, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG, V//XXI, Emperor and Empress, R!
avers:- SEVERINA-PF-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCORDIA-AVG, Emperor togate (no laurel crown) standing right, clasping the hand of Empress standing left. (Emperor and Empress 1)
"A very interesting coin from the historical point of view as it belongs to the issues dating from Severina's interregnum after the assassination of Aurelian (september-november 275).
"As far as the organisation of coin production was concerned, we see that from the end of 274, certain officinae in some of the mints struck coins exclusively for Severina: this is the case with issues 2-4 at Lyon, issues 10-11 at Rome and issue 4 at Ticinum. After the death of Aurelian, the officinae are no longer shared between Aurelian and Severina: at Lyon, there is a 5th issue attested by coins in the name of Severina only, and the same applies to the 12th issue at Rome where the empress monopolizes the six active équipes, and the 5th issue at Ticinum, where all six officinae struck coins just for Severina. It is clear that the Empress as regent was exercising alone power and right to coin.
In fact the evidence shows that all eight mints that were active in the autumn of 275 across the Empire were producing issues in the name of Severina alone. The mint at Serdica struck coins for Severina with the legend Severina Augusta.The mint at Antioch exceptionally gave the Empress the titles P(ia) F(elix), normally reserved for emperors; on the reverse, the legend is changed from the plural form Concordia Augg (Augustorum) to the singular Concordia Aug, which may be expanded as Concordia Augustae. The type no longer shows the standard reverse, Aurelian shaking the hand of Concordia, but an anonymous male figure, now without laurel-wreath and sceptre, shaking the hand of Severina, who is easily recognizable by her characteristic hairdress and is shown in a larger size. At Alexandria, coins in the name of Severina continued to be struck as the mint received the news of Aurelian’s assassination, and stopped issuing his coins: the hoards from Karanis have 5 tetradrachms of the 7th year of Aurelian (that is after 29 August 275), but 25 of Severina."
(From the website Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage 268-276 AD : http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/info/hist5#severine)"
by S. Estiot. Thank you S. Estiot.
exerg: V//XXI, diameter: 23mm, weight: 4,61g, axes: 0h,
mint: Antioch, iss-7, off-5, date: 275 A.D., ref: RIC-19var., T-3203 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
RI 108a img.jpg
108 - Salonina Antoninianus RIC 06348 viewsObv:– CORN SALONINA AVG, Diademed draped bust right on crescent
Rev:– CONCORDIA AVGG, Empress and emperor clasping hands
Reference:– RIC 63. RSC 31. Gobl 1691p
1 commentsmaridvnvm
FaustJrMoush2529.jpg
146-175/6 AD - Faustina Jr. - Moushmov 2529 - Concordia Reverse72 viewsEmpress: Faustina Jr. (r. 146-175/6 AD)
Date: 146-175/6 AD
Condition: aFine
Size: AE22

Obverse: ΦAΥCTEINA CEBACTN
Faustina Augusta
Bust right

Reverse: AΔΡIANOΠ - OΛEITΩN
Concordia standing left, holding patera and cornucopiae.

Mint: Hadrianopolis, Thrace
Moushmov 2529
4.80g; 22.5mm; 210°
Pep
FaustJrMoush2984.jpg
146-175/6 AD - Faustina Jr. - Moushmov 2984 - Standing Woman Reverse82 viewsEmpress: Faustina Junior (r. 146-175/6 AD)
Date: 146-175/6 AD
Condition: Fine
Size: AE25

Obverse: ΦAYCTEINA CEBACTH
Faustina Augusta
Bust right

Reverse: AYΓOYCTHC TPAIANHC
Woman with turreted crown standing, holding in right hand patera and in left hand - scepter.
Mint: Augusta Traiana, Thrace

Moushmov 2984
8.76g; 25.9mm; 30°
Pep
Eudoxia_AE-3_AEL-EVDOXIA-AVG_GLORIA-ROMANORVM_Cross_CONA_RIC-X-79_Constantinopolis-_Q-001_axis-11h_14,5mm_2,28g-s.jpg
166 Aelia Eudoxia (?-404 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 079, -/†//CONA, AE-3, GLORIA ROMANORVM, Empress enthroned facing, Scarce! #1103 views166 Aelia Eudoxia (?-404 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 079, -/†//CONA, AE-3, GLORIA ROMANORVM, Empress enthroned facing, Scarce! #1
avers: AEL EVDOXIA AVG, Pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing necklace and earrings, crowned by the hand of God. (Ex1/Fh3)
reverse: GLORIA ROMANORVM, Empress enthroned facing, arms crossed over the breast, crowned by the hand of god., † in the right field.
exergue: -/†//CONA, diameter: 14,5mm, weight: 2,28g, axis:11h,
mint: Constantinopolis, date: 395-401 A.D., ref: RIC X 079, p-247, Scarce!
Q-001
quadrans
Leo-I_AE-11_DN-LEO_b-E-Verina_RIC-X-714_LRBC-2275_Q-001_axis-6h_11mm_1,13ga-s.jpg
171 Leo I. (457-474 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 714, b/E//--, AE-4, Verina, #1207 views171 Leo I. (457-474 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 714, b/E//--, AE-4, Verina, #1
avers:- D N L EO, Bust draped and cuirassed, pearl diademed.
revers:- Empress (Verina) standing faceing, holding cross on globe and transverse sceptre, b-E across the field.
exe: b/E//--, diameter: 11 mm, weight: 1,13g, axis: 6h,
mint: Constantinopolis, date: A.D., ref: RIC X 714, p-295, LRBC-2275,
Q-001
quadrans
Leo-I__AE-4_DN-LEO-1c_B-in-left-field_E-in-right-field_-D6_xx_RIC-xx-_C-x_xx_3xxAD__Q-001_11mm_1,01ga-s.jpg
171 Leo I. (457-474 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 714, b/E//--, AE-4, Verina, #2178 views171 Leo I. (457-474 A.D.), Constantinopolis, RIC X 714, b/E//--, AE-4, Verina, #2
avers:- D N L EO, Bust draped and cuirassed, pearl diademed.
revers:- Empress (Verina) standing faceing, holding cross on globe and transverse sceptre, b-E, across the field.
exe: b/E//--, diameter: 11 mm, weight: 1,01g, axis: h,
mint: Constantinopolis, date: A.D., ref: RIC-X-714, p-295, LRBC-2275,
Q-002
quadrans
GermanicusAsSC.jpg
1an Germanicus36 viewsAdopted by Tiberius in 4 AD, died mysteriously in 19

As, struck by Caligula

Bare head, left, GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVGVST F DIVI AVG N
C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT SC

RIC 57

Germanicus Julius Caesar (c16 BC-AD 19) was was born in Lugdunum, Gaul (modern Lyon). At birth he was named either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle. He received the agnomen Germanicus, in 9 BC, when it was posthumously awarded to his father in honour of his victories in Germania. Germanicus was the grandson-in-law and great-nephew of the Emperor Augustus, nephew and adoptive son of the Emperor Tiberius, father of the Emperor Caligula, brother of the Emperor Claudius, and the maternal grandfather of the Emperor Nero. He married his maternal second cousin Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of Augustus, between 5 and 1 BC. The couple had nine children. Two died very young; another, Gaius Julius Caesar, died in early childhood. The remaining six were: Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, the Emperor Caligula, the Empress Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla.

According to Suetonius: Germanicus, who was the son of Drusus the Elder and Antonia the Younger, was adopted (in 4AD) by Germanicus’s paternal uncle, Tiberius. He served as quaestor (in7AD) five years before the legal age and became consul (in12AD) without holding the intermediate offices. On the death of Augustus (in AD14) he was appointed to command the army in Germany, where, his filial piety and determination vying for prominence, he held the legions to their oath, though they stubbornly opposed Tiberius’s succession, and wished him to take power for himself.

He followed this with victory in Germany, for which he celebrated a triumph (in 17 AD), and was chosen as consul for a second time (18 AD) though unable to take office as he was despatched to the East to restore order there. He defeated the forces of the King of Armenia, and reduced Cappadocia to provincial status, but then died at Antioch, at the age of only thirty-three (in AD 19), after a lingering illness, though there was also suspicion that he had been poisoned. For as well as the livid stains which covered his body, and the foam on his lips, the heart was found entire among the ashes after his cremation, its total resistance to flame being a characteristic of that organ, they say, when it is filled with poison.

All considered Germanicus exceptional in body and mind, to a quite outstanding degree. Remarkably brave and handsome; a master of Greek and Latin oratory and learning; singularly benevolent; he was possessed of a powerful desire and vast capacity for winning respect and inspiring affection.

His scrawny legs were less in keeping with the rest of his figure, but he gradually fleshed them out by assiduous exercise on horseback after meals. He often killed enemy warriors in hand-to-hand combat; still pleaded cases in the courts even after receiving his triumph; and left various Greek comedies behind amongst other fruits of his studies.

At home and abroad his manners were unassuming, such that he always entered free or allied towns without his lictors.

Whenever he passed the tombs of famous men, he always offered a sacrifice to their shades. And he was the first to initiate a personal search for the scattered remains of Varus’s fallen legionaries, and have them gathered together, so as to inter them in a single burial mound.

As for Germanicus, Tiberius appreciated him so little, that he dismissed his famous deeds as trivial, and his brilliant victories as ruinous to the Empire. He complained to the Senate when Germanicus left for Alexandria (AD19) without consulting him, on the occasion there of a terrible and swift-spreading famine. It was even believed that Tiberius arranged for his poisoning at the hands of Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the Governor of Syria, and that Piso would have revealed the written instructions at his trial, had Tiberius not retrieved them during a private interview, before having Piso put to death. As a result, the words: ‘Give us back Germanicus!’ were posted on the walls, and shouted at night, all throughout Rome. The suspicion surrounding Germanicus’ death (19 AD) was deepened by Tiberius’s cruel treatment of Germanicus’s wife, Agrippina the Elder, and their children.
1 commentsBlindado
LucillaSestVenus.jpg
1bm Lucilla164 viewsWife of Lucius Verus, executed 182 AD

Sestertius
Draped bust, right, LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F
Venus standing facing left holding apple, drawing out robe, VENUS

RIC 1767

Daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, she married Lucius Verus in 164.

According to Herodian: For the present, however, the memory of his father and his respect for his advisers held Commodus in check. But then a disastrous stroke of ill fortune completely altered his previously mild, moderate disposition. It happened this way. The oldest of the emperor's sisters was Lucilla. She had formerly been married to Lucius Verus Caesar. . . . But after Lucius died, Lucilla, who retained all the privileges of her imperial position, was married by her father to Pompeianus.

Commodus, too, allowed his sister to retain the imperial honors; she continued to occupy the imperial seat at the theaters, and the sacred fire was carried before her. But when Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure, and felt that any honor paid to the empress was an insult to her; but since she was well aware that her husband Pompeianus was devoted to Commodus, she told him nothing about her plans to seize control of the empire. Instead, she tested the sentiments of a wealthy young nobleman, Quadratus, with whom she was rumored to be sleeping in secret. Complaining constantly about this matter of imperial precedence, she soon persuaded the young man to set in motion a plot which brought destruction upon himself and the entire senate.

Quadratus, in selecting confederates among the prominent senators, prevailed upon Quintianus, a bold and reckless young senator, to conceal a dagger beneath his robe and, watching for a suitable time and place, to stab Commodus; as for the rest, he assured Quintianus that he would set matters straight by bribes.

But the assassin, standing in the entrance to the amphitheater (it was dark there and he hoped to escape detection), drew his dagger and shouted at Commodus that he had been sent by the Senate to kill him. Quintianus wasted time making his little speech and waving his dagger; as a result, he was seized by the emperor's bodyguards before he could strike, and died for his stupidity in revealing the plot prematurely.

This was the initial reason for the young emperor's hatred of the Senate. He took Quintianus' words to heart and, ever mindful of what his attacker had said, now considered the entire Senate his collective enemy.

This incident also gave Perennis sufficient excuse for taking action, for he was always advising the emperor to eliminate and destroy the prominent men. By confiscating their property, Perennis easily made himself the richest man of his time. After the attempt at assassination had been thoroughly investigated by the prefect, Commodus without mercy put to death his sister, all those actually involved in the plot, and any who were under the slightest suspicion as well.
3 commentsBlindado
CrispinaAsJuno.jpg
1bo Crispina25 viewsWife of Commodus

As

Draped bust, right, CRISPINA AVGVSTA
Juno, IVNO LVCINA

RIC 680

We know little about Crispina. The Historia Augusta notes, "[W]hen Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure. . . . His wife, whom he caught in adultery, he drove from his house, then banished her, and later put her to death."
1 commentsBlindado
SevAlexDenSevAlex.jpg
1ce Severus Alexander27 views222-235

Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG
Sev. Alex in armor, P M TR P III COS P P

RIC 74

Herodian recorded: [The soldiers] were more favorably disposed toward Alexander, for they expected great things of a lad so properly and modestly reared. They kept continual watch upon the youth when they saw that Elagabalus was plotting against him. His mother Mamaea did not allow her son to touch any food or drink sent by the emperor, nor did Alexander use the cupbearers or cooks employed in the palace or those who happened to be in their mutual service; only those chosen by his mother, those who seemed most trustworthy, were allowed to handle Alexander's food.

Mamaea secretly distributed money to the praetorians to win their good will for her son; it was to gold that the praetorians were particularly devoted. . . . . Maesa, the grandmother of them both, foiled all his schemes; she was astute in every way and had spent much of her life in the imperial palace. As the sister of Severus' wife Julia, Maesa had always lived with the empress at the court. . . .

When Alexander received the empire, the appearance and the title of emperor were allowed him, but the management and control of imperial affairs were in the hands of his women, and they undertook a more moderate and more equitable administration. . . . At any rate, he entered the fourteenth year of his reign without bloodshed, and no one could say that the emperor had been responsible for anyone's murder. Even though men were convicted of serious crimes, he nevertheless granted them pardons to avoid putting them to death, and not readily did any emperor of our time, after the reign of Marcus, act in this way or display so much concern for human life.

In the fourteenth year, however, unexpected dispatches from the governors of Syria and Mesopotamia revealed that Artaxerxes, the Persian king, had conquered the Parthians and seized their Eastern empire, killing Artabanus [IV], who was formerly called the Great King and wore the double diadem. Artaxerxes then subdued all the barbarians on his borders and forced them to pay tribute. He did not remain quiet, however, nor stay on his side of the Tigris River, but, after scaling its banks and crossing the borders of the Roman empire, he overran Mesopotamia and threatened Syria.

Traveling rapidly, he came to Antioch, after visiting the provinces and the garrison camps in Illyricum; from that region he collected a huge force of troops. While in Antioch he continued his preparations for the war, giving the soldiers military training under field conditions. . . . The Romans suffered a staggering disaster; it is not easy to recall another like it, one in which a great army was destroyed, an army inferior in strength and determination to none of the armies of old.

Now unexpected messages and dispatches upset Alexander and caused him even greater anxiety: the governors in Illyria reported that the Germans [the Alamans] had crossed the Rhine and the Danube rivers, were plundering the Roman empire. . . . Although he loathed the idea, Alexander glumly announced his departure for Illyria. . . . Alexander undertook to buy a truce rather than risk the hazards of war. . . .

The soldiers, however, were not pleased by his action, for the time was passing without profit to them, and Alexander was doing nothing courageous or energetic about the war; on the contrary, when it was essential that he march out and punish the Germans for their insults, he spent the time in chariot racing and luxurious living. . . . They plotted now to kill Alexander and proclaim Maximinus emperor and Augustus. . . . Alexander's troops deserted him for Maximinus, who was then proclaimed emperor by all. . . . Maximinus sent a tribune and several centurions to kill Alexander and his mother, together with any of his followers who opposed them.
Blindado
OrbianaAnyConc.jpg
1cf Orbiana23 viewsDenarius

Draped bust, right, SALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG
Concord std, CONCORDIA AVGG

RIC 319

Orbiana married Severus Alexander about 235, but her mother-in-law convinced him to banish her to Africa. Herodian recorded: Mamaea secured for Alexander a wife from the aristocracy. Although he loved the girl and lived with her, she was afterward banished from the palace by his mother, who, in her egotistic desire to be sole empress, envied the girl her title. So excessively arrogant did Mamaea become that the girl's father, though Alexander esteemed him highly, could no longer endure the woman's insolence toward him and his daughter; consequently, he took refuge in the praetorian camp, fully aware of the debt of gratitude he owed Alexander for the honors he had received from him, but complaining bitterly about Mamaea's insults. Enraged, Mamaea ordered him to be killed and at the same time drove the girl from the palace to exile in Libya. She did this against Alexander's wishes and in spite of his displeasure, but the emperor was dominated by his mother and obeyed her every command.
Blindado
SaloninaAntVesta.jpg
1cz Salonina18 viewsWife of Gallienus and mother of Valerian II and Saloninus.

Antoninianus

Diademed and draped bust, right on crescent, right, CORN SALONINA AVG
Vesta standing left holding sceptre and patera, VESTA

RIC 39[j]

Zonaras relates this anecdote: While Galienus was making sorties against some of the enemy, the empress was on one occasion exposed to danger. For she was present with him. For as the sovereign had sallied forth with the majority of his troops, very few were stationed about his camp. The enemy, when they noticed this, attacked the sovereign’s tent, intending to snatch the empress. One of the soldiers who had been left behind had seated himself in front of the tent, removed one of his shoes from his foot, and was mending it. Then, as he saw the enemy attacking, he grabbed a shield and dagger and bravely rushed against them. He struck one and a second and blocked the remainder, who had shied away before his charge. And so, when more soldiers had raced to the spot, the sovereign’s wife was saved.
Blindado
HonoriusAE3Emperors.jpg
1fa Honorius19 views393-423

AE3

RIC 403

Pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right, DN HONORIVS PF AVG
Two emperors standing facing, heads turned to one another, each holding spear and resting hand on shield, GLORIA ROMANORVM. Mintmark SMKA.

Zosimus wrote: [Theodosius] proceeded with his army to the war [against Eugenius], leaving behind him his son Arcadius, who had some time previously been made emperor. . . . Having done this, he took with him his younger son Honorius, quickly passed through the intermediate countries, and having exceded his expectations in crossing the Alps, arrived where the enemy was stationed. . . . The emperor Theodosius after these successes proceeded to Rome, where he declared his son Honorius emperor, and appointing Stilico to the command of his forces there, left him as guardian to his son. . . . The emperor Theodosius, having consigned Italy, Spain, Celtica, and Libya to his son Honorius, died of a disease on his journey towards Constantinople. . . .

THE whole empire being vested in Arcadius and Honorius, they indeed appeared by their title to possess the sovereign authority, although the universal administration of affairs was under Rufinus in the east, and under Stilico in the west. By these all causes were determined, at their own pleasure; for whoever bribed plentifully, or by any other means of friendship or consanguinity could make the judge his advocate, was sure to succeed in the process. From hence it happened that most of those great estates, which cause the possessors to be generally esteemed fortunate, devolved to these two; since some endeavoured by gifts to avoid false accusations, and others relinquished all their possessions to obtain an office, or in any other manner to purchase the ruin of particular cities. While iniquity of every kind presided, therefore, in the respective cities, the money from all quarters flowed into the coffers of Rufinus and Stilico ; while on the reverse, poverty preyed on the habitations of those who had formerly been rich. Nor were the emperors acquainted with anything that was done, but thought all that Rufinus and Stilico commanded was done by virtue of some unwritten law. . . .

After the autumn was terminated, and winter had commenced, Bassus and Philippus being chosen consuls, the emperor Honorius, who had long before lost his wife Maria, desired to marry her sister Thermantia. But Stilico appeared not to approve of the match, although it was promoted by Serena, who wished it to take place from these motives. When Maria was about to be married to Honorius, her mother, deeming her too young for the marriage-state and being unwilling to defer the marriage, although she thought that to submit so young and tender a person to the embraces of a man was offering violence to nature, she had recourse to a woman who knew how to manage such affairs, and by her means contrived that Maria should live with the emperor and share his bed, but that he should not have the power to deprive her of virginity. In the meantime Maria died a virgin, and Serena, who, as may readily be supposed, was desirous to become the grandmother of a young emperor or empress, through fear of her influence being diminished, used all her endeavours to marry her other daughter to Honorius. This being accomplished, the young lady shortly afterwards died in the same manner as the former. . . . .

For Stilico was desirous of proceeding to the east to undertake the management of the affairs of Theodosius, the son of Arcadius, who was very young, and in want of a guardian. Honorius himself was also inclined to undertake the same journey, with a design to secure the dominions of that emperor. But Stilico, being displeased at that, and laying before the emperor a calculation of the immense sum of money it would require to defray the expence of such an expedition, deterred him from the enterprise. . . .

In the mean time, the emperor Honorius commanded his wife Thermantia to be taken from the imperial throne, and to be restored to her mother, who notwithstanding was without suspicion. . . . Alaric began his expedition against Rome, and ridiculed the preparations made by Honorius. . . . The emperor Honorius was now entering on the consulship, having enjoyed that honour eight times, and the emperor Theodosius in the east three times. At this juncture the rebel Constantine sent some eunches to Honorius, to intreat pardon from him for having accepted of the empire. When the emperor heard this petition, perceiving that it was not easy for him, since Alaric and his barbarians were so near, to prepare for other wars ; and consulting the safety of his relations who were in the hands of the rebel, whose names were Verenianus and Didymius; he not only granted his request, but likewise sent him an imperial robe. . . .

Note: No ancient source reports the sack of Rome by the Goths in 410, they having besieged the city three times, all while Honorius huddled in a besieged Ravenna. Honorius retained his nominal capacity until he died in 423.
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203. MACRINUS192 viewsMACRINUS. 217-218 AD.

Caracalla's mother, Julia Domna, had toyed with the idea of raising a rebellion against Macrinus shortly after her son's murder, but the empress was uncertain of success and already suffering from breast cancer. She chose to starve herself to death instead.

The grandchildren of her sister, Julia Maesa, would become the focus of the successful uprising that began on 15 May 218. Her 14-year-old grandson Avitus (known to history as Elagabalus) was proclaimed emperor by one the legions camped near the family's hometown of Emesa. Other troops quickly joined the rebellion, but Macrinus marshalled loyal soldiers to crush the revolt. Macrinus also promoted his son to the rank of emperor.

The forces met in a village outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Despite the inexperience of the leaders of the rebel army, Macrinus was defeated. He sent his son, Diadumenianus, with an ambassador to the Parthian king, while Macrinus himself prepared to flee to Rome. Macrinus traveled across Asia Minor disguised as a courier and nearly made it to Europe, but he was captured in Chalcedon. Macrinus was transported to Cappadocia, where he was executed. Diadumenianus had also been captured (at Zeugma) and was similarly put to death.

Contemporaries tended to portray Macrinus as a fear-driven parvenu who was able to make himself emperor but was incapable of the leadership required by the job. An able administrator, Macrinus lacked the aristocratic connections and personal bravado that might have won him legitimacy. His short reign represented a brief interlude of Parthian success during what would prove the final decade of the Parthian empire.

AR Denarius (18mm 3.55 gm). IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust with short beard right / SALVS PVBLICA, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, holding sceptre in left. RIC IV 86; Good VF; Ex-CNG
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253b12 viewsMariniana
AR antoninianus
Rome mint
Obv "DIVAE MARINIANAE"
Veiled bust right on crescent
Rev "CONSECRATIO"
Empress seated on peacock flying right
RIC 6; C 14; Gobl 220
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254-268 AD - Salonina - RIC V (sole reign of Gallienus) 24 - PVDICITIA29 viewsEmpress: Salonina (r. 254-268 AD)
Date: 260-268 AD
Condition: Fair/Fine
Denomination: Antoninianus

Obverse: SALONINA AVG
Empress Salonina
Diademed, draped bust right, on crescent

Reverse: PVDICITIA
The Empress is of modest virtue.
Pudicitia standing left, raising veil and holding scepter.
"Q" in right field

Rome mint
RIC V Salonina 24 (sole reign); VM 36
2.03g; 20.6mm; 195°
Pep
Conway-1-SEVERINA.jpg
274-275 AD - Severina Concordia69 viewsSEVERINA AVG - Diademed and draped bust right, resting on crescent
CONCORDIA AVGG - Emperor standing left, clasping hand of empress standing right, in exe sXXIR

Rome Mint; Ric-003
Nicely silvered, won the providentia award in the first Forum Cleaning Contest!

Ric-3 Cohen-2
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ThreeAugustae.jpg
3 Augustae - Plotina, Marciana and Matidia288 viewsFrom left to right: Plotina, wife of Trajan; Marciana, sister of Trajan; Matidia, daughter of Marciana and mother of the empress Sabina, wife of Hadrian.2 commentsCharles S
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305b. Herennius Etruscus24 viewsQuintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. 227 - July 1, 251), was Roman emperor in 251, in a joint rule with his father Trajan Decius. Emperor Hostilian was his younger brother.

Herennius was born in Pannonia, during one of his father's military postings. His mother was Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla, a Roman lady of an important senatorial family. Herennius was very close to his father and accompanied him in 248, as a military tribune, when Decius was appointed by Philip the Arab to deal with the revolt of Pacatianus in the Danube frontier. Decius was successful on defeating this usurper and felt confident to begin a rebellion of his own in the following year. Acclaimed emperor by his own troops, Decius marched into Italy and defeated Philip near modern Verona. In Rome, Herennius was declared heir to the throne and received the title of princeps iuventutis (prince of youth).

From the beginning of Herennius' accession, Gothic tribes raided across the Danube frontier and the provinces of Moesia and Dacia. At the beginning of 251, Decius elevated Herennius to the title of Augustus making him his co-emperor. Moreover, Herennius was chosen to be one of the year's consuls. The father and son, now joint rulers, then embarked in an expedition against king Cniva of the Goths to punish the invaders for the raids. Hostilian remained in Rome and the empress Herennia Etruscilla was named regent. Cniva and his men were returning to their lands with the booty, when the Roman army encountered them. Showing a very sophisticated military tactic, Cniva divided his army in smaller, more manageable groups and started to push back the Romans into a marshy swamp. On July 1, both armies engaged in the battle of Abrittus. Herennius died in battle, struck by an enemy arrow. Decius survived the initial confrontation, only to be slain with the rest of the army before the end of the day. Herennius and Decius were the first two emperors to be killed by a foreign army in battle.

With the news of the death of the emperors, the army proclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, but in Rome they were succeeded by Hostilian, who would die shortly afterwards in an outbreak of plague.

Herennius Etruscus AR Antoninianus. Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, radiate draped bust right / CONCORDIA AVGG, clasped hands. RIC 138, RSC 4
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305c. Hostilian23 viewsGaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus (died 251), was Roman emperor in 251. Hostilian was born in an unknown date, after 230, as the son of the future emperor Trajan Decius by his wife Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla. He was the younger brother of emperor Herennius Etruscus.

Following his father's accession to the throne, Hostilian received the treatment of an imperial prince, but was always kept in the shade of his brother Herennius, who enjoyed the privileges of being older and heir. In the beginning of 251, Decius elevated his son Herennius to co-emperor and Hostilian succeeded him in the title of princeps iuventutis (prince of youth). These dispositions were made previous to a campaign against king Cniva of the Goths, to punish him over the raids on the Danubian frontier. Hostilian remained in Rome due to his inexperience, and empress Herennia was named regent.

The campaign proved to be a disaster: both Herennius and Decius died in the Battle of Abrittus and became the first two emperors to be killed by a foreign army in battle. The armies in the Danube acclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, but Rome acknowledged Hostilian's rights. Since Trebonianus was a respected general, there was fear of another civil war of succession, despite the fact that he chose to respect the will of Rome and adopted Hostilian. But later in 251, plague broke out in Rome and Hostilian died in the epidemic. He was the first emperor in 40 years and one of only 13 to die of natural causes. His timely death opened the way for the rule of Trebonianus with his natural son Volusianus.

Hostilian. Moesia Superior. Viminacium AE 25 mm. 11.7 g. Obverse: C VAL HOST M QVINTVS CAE. Draped bust right. Reverse: P M S COL VIM AN XII. Moesia standing left between lion and bull.
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33 Philip II RIC 231c20 viewsPhilip II 247-249 AD. Ar Antoninianus. Rome Mint. (4.01g; 22.54mm) Obv: IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right. Rev: PAX AETERNA, Pax standing left holding a branch & short scepter.
RSC 23, RIC 231c

Ex: Romadrome

From Wikipedia:
Marcus Julius Philippus Severus, also known as Philippus II, Philip II and Philip the Younger (238–249) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Philip the Arab by his wife Roman Empress Marcia Otacilia Severa. According to numismatic evidence, he had a sister called Julia Severa or Severina, whom the extant literary sources do not mention and a brother, Quintus Philippus Severus.

When his father became emperor in 244 he was appointed Caesar. In 247 he became consul, and later elevated by his father to the rank of Augustus and co-ruler. His father was killed in battle by his successor Decius in 249. When news of this death reached Rome, he was murdered by the Praetorian Guard. He died in his mother's arms, aged eleven years.
Paddy
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389B Hadrian Denarius Roma 138 AD Eagle standing26 viewsReference.
RIC 389B; RSC 271;

Obv. DIVVS HADRIANVS AVG
Head of Divus Hadrian, bare, right

Rev. CONSECRATIO
Eagle standing front on globe, head turned left, wings spread

3.04 gr
18 mm
6h

Note.
From the estate of Thomas Bentley Cederlind.

Consecratio was the apotheosis of the dead Roman emperors, which however was only bestowed on those who were judged worthy of her by the Senate or by their successors.
However, it is well known, how generous people in Rome with this honor mishandled. Even empresses enjoyed after their death the privilege of consecratio. After their consecratio they got the nickname of Divi or Divae. Several ceremonies at the funeral went to the consecratio advance. In burning the corpse on the pyre rose include becoming an eagle from the flames to heaven. The emperors and empresses thus become the god had their own temples, priests and parties. They were so entirely assimilated to the gods.

The emperors themselves have mocked their deification. In the Historia Augusta is sick of Vespasian told that he says "I feel to be a God." In his famous poem "Animula vagula blandula" Hadrian doubt his deification.
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406a. Galeria Valeria24 viewsGaleria Valeria was Diocletian's daughter and, to cement the alliance between Diocletian and Galerius, Valeria was married to Galerius. It appears that this was not a very happy marriage. Galeria Valeria was sympathetic towards Christians during this time of severe persecution and it is possible that she was actually a Christian herself. The imperial couple were not blessed with any children during their eighteen year marriage. After Galerius died in A. D. 311, Galeria Valeria and her mother went to live at the court of Maximinus Daia, the caesar who became emperor of the East upon the death of Galerius.

Maximinus proposed marriage to Valeria soon afterward. He was probably more interested in her wealth and the prestige he would gain by marrying the widow of one emperor and the daughter of another than he was in Valeria as a person. She refused his hand, and immediately Maximinus reacted with hatred and fury. Diocletian, by now an old man living in a seaside villa on the Dalmatian coast, begged Maximinus to allow the two women to come home to him. Maximinus refused and had Valeria and her mother banished to live in a village in Syria.

During the civil war that erupted between Maximinus and Licinius, Valeria and Prisca disguised themselves and escaped, trying to reach the safety of Diocletian's villa. In the meantime, Diocletian had died, leaving the women without a haven of safety to which to run. For fifteen months the two royal fugitives traveled from one city to another, always living in fear of being discovered and in search of a little peace.

Finally, they were recognized by someone in the Greek city of Salonika. They were hastily taken to a square in the city and beheaded before a crowd of citizens who had once revered them as empresses. The bodies of Valeria and her mother were afterwards thrown into the sea.

Galeria Valeria Follis. AD 308-311. GAL VAL-ERIA AVG, Diademed & draped bust right / VENERI V-ICTRICI, Venus standing left, holding apple & scepter, * to left, G to right, (dot)SM(dot)TS(dot) in ex.
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45712 viewsLeo I & Verina
AE4
Obverse: D N LEO
Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: b E
Empress Verina standing facing holding cross on globe and transverse sceptre
RIC X 713 - 718
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4579 viewsLeo I & Verina
AE4
Obverse: D N LEO
Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: b E
Empress Verina standing facing holding cross on globe and transverse sceptre
RIC X 713 - 718
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515a. Aelia Flacilla33 viewsEmpress, wife of Theodosius the Great, died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like Theodosius himself, his first wife, Ælia Flaccilla, was of Spanish descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when his father, the comes Theodosius, fell into disfavour and he himself withdrew to Cauca in Gallæcia, for her eldest son, afterwards Emperor Arcadius, was born towards the end of the following year. In the succeeding years she presented two more children to her husband Honorius (384), who later became emperor, and Pulcheria, who died in early childhood, shortly before her mother. Gregory of Nyssa states expressly that she had three children; consequently the Gratian mentioned by St. Ambrose, together with Pulcheria, was probably not her son. Flaccilla was, like her husband, a zealous supporter of the Nicene Creed and prevented the conference between the emperor and the Arian Eunomius (Sozomen, Hist. eccl., VII, vi). On the throne she was a shining example of Christian virtue and ardent charity. St. Ambrose describes her as "a soul true to God" (Fidelis anima Deo. — "De obitu Theodosii", n. 40, in P. L., XVI, 1462). In his panegyric St. Gregory of Nyssa bestowed the highest praise on her virtuous life and pictured her as the helpmate of the emperor in all good works, an ornament of the empire, a leader of justice, an image of beneficence. He praises her as filled with zeal for the Faith, as a pillar of the Church, as a mother of the indigent. Theodoret in particular exalts her charity and benevolence (Hist. eccles., V, xix, ed. Valesius, III, 192 sq.). He tells us how she personally tended cripples, and quotes a saying of hers: "To distribute money belongs to the imperial dignity, but I offer up for the imperial dignity itself personal service to the Giver." Her humility also attracts a special meed of praise from the church historian. Flaccilla was buried in Constantinople, St. Gregory of Nyssa delivering her funeral oration. She is venerated in the Greek Church as a saint, and her feast is kept on 14 September. The Bollandists (Acta SS., Sept., IV, 142) are of the opinion that she is not regarded as a saint but only as venerable, but her name stands in the Greek Menæa and Synaxaria followed by words of eulogy, as is the case with the other saints

Wife of Theodosius. The reverse of the coin is very interesting; a nice bit of Pagan-Christian syncretism with winged victory inscribing a chi-rho on a shield.
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604a. Leo I and Verina327 viewsAelia Verina (died 484) was the wife of Byzantine emperor Leo I, and the mother-in-law of Zeno, who was married to her daughter Ariadne.

Her origins are unknown. She originally supported Zeno while the young emperor Leo II was still alive, but after Leo II's death in 474 she turned against her son-in-law. She conspired against him with her lover Patricius, her brother Basiliscus, the Isaurian general Illus, and general Theodoric Strabo, forcing Zeno to flee Constantinople in 475. Basiliscus then briefly became the rival emperor, until 476 when Verina reconciled with Zeno.

Verina then conspired against Illus, who discovered the plot, and with Zeno's consent had her imprisoned. This led to another conspiracy led by Verina's son Marcian (a grandson of the emperor Marcian), but Marcian was defeated and exiled.

In 483 Zeno asked Illus to release Verina, but by now Illus was opposed to Zeno's Monophysite sympathies. Illus allied with Verina and declared a general named Leontius emperor, but Zeno defeated them as well. Illus and Verina fled to Isauria, where Verina died in 484.

Bronze AE4, RIC 713-718, obverse D N LE-O (or similar), Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Empress Verina standing facing holding cross on globe and transverse scepter, b - E across fields, From uncleaned pile

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706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.73 views6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

It is difficult for the modern student of history to realize just how popular Nero actually was, at least at the beginning of his reign. Rome looked upon her new Emperor with hope. He was the student of Seneca, and he had a sensitive nature. He loved art, music, literature, and theatre. He was also devoted to horses and horse racing—a devotion shared by many of his subjects. The plebs loved their new Emperor. As Professor of Classics Judith P. Hallett (University of Maryland, College Park) says, “It is not clear to me that Nero ever changed or that Nero ever grew-up, and that was both his strength and his weakness. Nero was an extraordinarily popular Emperor: he was like Elvis” (The Roman Empire in the First Century, III. Dir. Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb. 2001. DVD. PBS/Warner Bros. 2003).

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
The five Julio-Claudian emperors are very different one from the other. Augustus dominates in prestige and achievement from the enormous impact he had upon the Roman state and his long service to Rome, during which he attained unrivaled auctoritas. Tiberius was clearly the only possible successor when Augustus died in AD 14, but, upon his death twenty-three years later, the next three were a peculiar mix of viciousness, arrogance, and inexperience. Gaius, better known as Caligula, is generally styled a monster, whose brief tenure did Rome no service. His successor Claudius, his uncle, was a capable man who served Rome well, but was condemned for being subject to his wives and freedmen. The last of the dynasty, Nero, reigned more than three times as long as Gaius, and the damage for which he was responsible to the state was correspondingly greater. An emperor who is well described by statements such as these, "But above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob." and "What an artist the world is losing!" and who is above all remembered for crimes against his mother and the Christians was indeed a sad falling-off from the levels of Augustus and Tiberius. Few will argue that Nero does not rank as one of the worst emperors of all.

The prime sources for Nero's life and reign are Tacitus' Annales 12-16, Suetonius' Life of Nero, and Dio Cassius' Roman History 61-63, written in the early third century. Additional valuable material comes from inscriptions, coinage, papyri, and archaeology.


Early Life
He was born on December 15, 37, at Antium, the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbusand Agrippina. Domitius was a member of an ancient noble family, consul in 32; Agrippina was the daughter of the popular Germanicus, who had died in 19, and Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, Augustus' closest associate, and Julia, the emperor's daughter, and thus in direct descent from the first princeps. When the child was born, his uncle Gaius had only recently become emperor. The relationship between mother and uncle was difficult, and Agrippina suffered occasional humiliation. But the family survived the short reign of the "crazy" emperor, and when he was assassinated, it chanced that Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, was the chosen of the praetorian guard, although there may have been a conspiracy to accomplish this.

Ahenobarbus had died in 40, so the son was now the responsibility of Agrippina alone. She lived as a private citizen for much of the decade, until the death of Messalina, the emperor's wife, in 48 made competition among several likely candidates to become the new empress inevitable. Although Roman law forbade marriage between uncle and niece, an eloquent speech in the senate by Lucius Vitellius, Claudius' closest advisor in the senatorial order, persuaded his audience that the public good required their union. The marriage took place in 49, and soon thereafter the philosopher Seneca [[PIR2 A617]] was recalled from exile to become the young Domitius' tutor, a relationship which endured for some dozen years.

His advance was thereafter rapid. He was adopted by Claudius the following year and took the name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar or Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was preferred to Claudius' natural son, Britannicus, who was about three years younger, was betrothed to the emperor's daughter Octavia, and was, in the eyes of the people, the clear successor to the emperor. In 54, Claudius died, having eaten some poisoned mushrooms, responsibility for which was believed to be Agrippina's, and the young Nero, not yet seventeen years old, was hailed on October 13 as emperor by the praetorian guard.


The First Years of Rule
The first five years of Nero's rule are customarily called the quinquennium, a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect. The latter two were allies in their "education" of the emperor. Seneca continued his philosophical and rhetorical training, Burrus was more involved in advising on the actualities of government. They often combined their influence against Agrippina, who, having made her son emperor, never let him forget the debt he owed his mother, until finally, and fatally, he moved against her.

Nero's betrothal to Octavia was a significant step in his ultimate accession to the throne, as it were, but she was too quiet, too shy, too modest for his taste. He was early attracted to Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Otho, and she continually goaded him to break from Octavia and to show himself an adult by opposing his mother. In his private life, Nero honed the musical and artistic tastes which were his chief interest, but, at this stage, they were kept private, at the instigation of Seneca and Burrus.

As the year 59 began, Nero had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and now felt the need to employ the powers which he possessed as emperor as he wished, without the limits imposed by others. Poppaea's urgings had their effect, first of all, at the very onset of the year, with Nero's murder of his mother in the Bay of Naples.

Agrippina had tried desperately to retain her influence with her son, going so far as to have intercourse with him. But the break between them proved irrevocable, and Nero undertook various devices to eliminate his mother without the appearance of guilt on his part. The choice was a splendid vessel which would collapse while she was on board. As this happened, she swam ashore and, when her attendant, having cried out that she was Agrippina, was clubbed to death, Agrippina knew what was going on. She sent Nero a message that she was well; his response was to send a detachment of sailors to finish the job. When she was struck across the head, she bared her womb and said, "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero," and she was brutally murdered.

Nero was petrified with fear when he learned that the deed had been done, yet his popularity with the plebs of Rome was not impaired. This matricide, however, proved a turning point in his life and principate. It appeared that all shackles were now removed. The influence of Seneca and Burrus began to wane, and when Burrus died in 62, Seneca realized that his powers of persuasion were at an end and soon went into retirement. Britannicus had died as early as 55; now Octavia was to follow, and Nero became free to marry Poppaea. It may be that it had been Burrus rather than Agrippina who had continually urged that Nero's position depended in large part upon his marriage to Octavia. Burrus' successor as commander of the praetorian guard, although now with a colleague, was Ofonius Tigellinus, quite the opposite of Burrus in character and outlook. Tigellinus became Nero's "evil twin," urging and assisting in the performance of crimes and the satisfaction of lusts.


Administrative and Foreign Policy
With Seneca and Burrus in charge of administration at home, the first half-dozen years of Nero's principate ran smoothly. He himself devoted his attention to his artistic, literary, and physical bents, with music, poetry, and chariot racing to the fore. But his advisors were able to keep these performances and displays private, with small, select audiences on hand. Yet there was a gradual trend toward public performance, with the establishment of games. Further, he spent many nights roaming the city in disguise, with numerous companions, who terrorized the streets and attacked individuals. Those who dared to defend themselves often faced death afterward, because they had shown disrespect for the emperor. The die was being cast for the last phases of Nero's reign.


The Great Fire at Rome and The Punishment
of the Christians
The year 64 was the most significant of Nero's principate up to this point. His mother and wife were dead, as was Burrus, and Seneca, unable to maintain his influence over Nero without his colleague's support, had withdrawn into private life. The abysmal Tigellinus was now the foremost advisor of the still young emperor, a man whose origin was from the lowest levels of society and who can accurately be described as criminal in outlook and action. Yet Nero must have considered that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Those who had constrained his enjoyment of his (seemingly) limitless power were gone, he was married to Poppaea, a woman with all advantages save for a bad character the empire was essentially at peace, and the people of Rome enjoyed a full measure of panem et circenses. But then occurred one of the greatest disasters that the city of Rome, in its long history, had ever endured.

The fire began in the southeastern angle of the Circus Maximus, spreading through the shops which clustered there, and raged for the better part of a week. There was brief success in controlling the blaze, but then it burst forth once more, so that many people claimed that the fires were deliberately set. After about a fortnight, the fire burned itself out, having consumed ten of the fourteen Augustan regions into which the city had been divided.

Nero was in Antium through much of the disaster, but his efforts at relief were substantial. Yet many believed that he had been responsible, so that he could perform his own work comparing the current fate of Rome to the downfall of Troy. All his efforts to assist the stricken city could not remove the suspicion that "the emperor had fiddled while Rome burned." He lost favor even among the plebs who had been enthusiastic supporters, particularly when his plans for the rebuilding of the city revealed that a very large part of the center was to become his new home.

As his popularity waned, Nero and Tigellinus realized that individuals were needed who could be charged with the disaster. It so happened that there was such a group ready at hand, Christians, who had made themselves unpopular because of their refusal to worship the emperor, their way of life, and their secret meetings. Further, at this time two of their most significant "teachers" were in Rome, Peter and Paul. They were ideal scapegoats, individuals whom most Romans loathed, and who had continually sung of the forthcoming end of the world.

Their destruction was planned with the utmost precision and cruelty, for the entertainment of the populace. The venue was Nero's circus near the Mons Vaticanus. Christians were exposed to wild animals and were set ablaze, smeared with pitch, to illuminate the night. The executions were so grisly that even the populace displayed sympathy for the victims. Separately, Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill and Paul was beheaded along the Via Ostiensis. But Nero's attempt, and hope, to shift all suspicion of arson to others failed. His popularity even among the lower classes was irrevocably impaired.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of Nero’s reign please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/nero.htm]

The End - Nero's Death and its Aftermath
Nero's and Tigellinus' response to the conspiracy was immediate and long-lasting. The senatorial order was decimated, as one leading member after another was put to death or compelled to commit suicide. The year 66 saw the suicides of perhaps the most distinguished victims of the "reign of terror," Caius Petronius and Thrasea Paetus. Petronius, long a favorite of Nero because of his aesthetic taste, had been an able public servant before he turned to a life of ease and indolence. He was recognized as the arbiter elegantiae of Nero's circle, and may be the author of the Satyricon. At his death, he left for Nero a document which itemized many of the latter's crimes. Thrasea, a staunch Stoic who had been for some years an outspoken opponent of Nero's policies, committed suicide in the Socratic manner. This scene is the last episode in the surviving books of Tacitus' Annals.

In the year 68, revolt began in the provinces. . . the end of Nero's reign became inevitable. Galba claimed the throne and began his march from Spain. Nero panicked and was rapidly abandoned by his supporters. He finally committed suicide with assistance, on June 9, 68, and his body was tended and buried by three women who had been close to him in his younger days, chief of whom was Acte. His death scene is marked above all by the statement, "Qualis artifex pereo," (What an artist dies in me.) Even at the end he was more concerned with his private life than with the affairs of state.

The aftermath of Nero's death was cataclysmic. Galba was the first of four emperors who revealed the new secret of empire, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome. Civil war ensued, which was only ended by the victory of the fourth claimant, Vespasian, who established the brief dynasty of the Flavians. The dynasty of the Julio-Claudians was at an end.

Nero's popularity among the lower classes remained even after his death.

. . . .

It is not excessive to say that he was one of the worst of Rome's emperors in the first two centuries and more of the empire. Whatever talents he had, whatever good he may have done, all is overwhelmed by three events, the murder of his mother, the fire at Rome, and his savage treatment of the Christians.

Precisely these qualities are the reasons that he has remained so well known and has been the subject of many writers and opera composers in modern times. These works of fiction particularly merit mention: Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, one of the finest works of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and John Hersey's The Conspiracy. Nero unquestionably will always be with us.

Copyright (C) 2006, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
Ael-Flaccillia-Ant-62.jpg
71. Aelia Flaccilla.46 viewsAE 2, 383 - 386, Antioch mint.
Obverse: AEL FLACCILLA AVG / Diademed bust of Aelia Flaccilla.
Reverse: SALVS REIPVBLICAE / Empress standing, arms folded on breast.
Mint mark: ANTE
4.80 gm., 21.5 mm.
RIC #62; LRBC #2760; Sear #20621.
1 commentsCallimachus
domitian_domitia_drachme-unpubl.jpg
81-96 AD - DOMITIAN & DOMITIA AE19 of Adramyteion43 viewsobv: AYT DOMITIANOC KAI CEB GEPM[ANIKOC] (laureate head right)
rev: DOMITIA CEB ADR[A] (draped bust right)
ref: RPC 2910 (just two specimens cited)
mint: Adramyteion
4.08gms, 19mm, plated
Very rare

Domitia Longina or simply Domitia married to Domitian in 70 A.D. In 81, Domitian became the new Roman Emperor and Domitia became the new Roman Empress. In 83 she had an affair with an actor called Paris, who was executed for this, and Domitia exiled after the divorce. In 91 Domitian recalled her from exile to Rome as a Roman Empress. Years after Domitian's death, Domitia still referred to herself as an Emperor's wife. She died peacefully about 130 AD. Some coins of her were minted during Domitian's reign.
Adramyttium (Adramyteion) was an ancient city of Mysia at the head of the Gulf of Adramyttium facing the island of Lesbos, and at the base of Mt. Ida.
berserker
Maiorina_Aelia_Flacila_RIC_IX_Constatinopla_82.jpg
A143-15 - Aelia Flaccilla (383 - 386 D.C.)49 viewsAE2 Maiorina 23 mm 4.3 gr.
Esposa de Teodosio I y madre de Arcadio y Honorio.

Anv: "AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG" - Busto con elaborado peinado con varias diademas de perlas, Collar de 1 hilo de perlas y manto sobre ella, viendo a derecha.
Rev: "SALVS REI-PVBLICAE" – Emperatriz de pié de frente, viendo a su izquierda, sus brazos cruzados sobre su pecho. "CONSΕ" en exergo y ”+” en el campo derecho.

Acuñada: Probablemente Emisión póstuma 386 - 388 D.C.
Ceca: Constantinopla (Off.5ta.)
Rareza: S

Referencias: RIC Vol.IX (Constantinopolis) #82 Pag.233 tipo 2 - Cohen Vol.VIII #6 Pag.165 (6f) - DVM #5 Pag.313 - Salgado MRBI Vol.III #9246.b. Pag.290 – Sear RCTV (1988) #4193
mdelvalle
R658_Domitia_portrait.jpg
AD 082-096 - DOMITIA12 viewsDomitia Longina

Domitia Longina (c. AD 53-55–c. AD 126-130) was a Roman empress and wife to the Roman emperor Domitian.


for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Plotina_R681_Portrait.jpg
AD 112-117 - PLOTINA6 viewsPlotina

Pompeia Plotina Claudia Phoebe Piso was a Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Trajan.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Sabina_R675_portrait.jpg
AD 128-137 - SABINA4 viewsVibia Sabina (83–136/137) was a Roman Empress, wife and second cousin to Roman Emperor Hadrian.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Faustina_I_R674_portrait.jpg
AD 138-141 - FAVSTINA I6 viewsAnnia Galeria Faustina was a Roman empress and wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here

shanxi
Faustina_II_15_portrait.jpg
AD 147-176 - FAVSTINA II10 viewsFaustina II

Annia Galeria Faustina Minor (130 - winter 175 or spring of 176]) was a daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and Roman Empress Faustina the Elder. She was a Roman Empress and wife to her Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Lucilla_02_portrait.jpg
AD 166-169 - LVCILLA9 viewsLucilla

Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla (148 or 150 – 182) was the second daughter and third child of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Roman Empress Faustina II. She was the wife of her father's co-ruler Lucius Verus.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
R652_Crispina_portrait.jpg
AD 178-191? - CRISPINA10 viewsCrispina

Roman Empress from 178 to 191? as the consort of Roman Emperor Commodus.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Didia_Clara_01_portrait.jpg
AD 193 - DIDIA CLARA3 viewsDidia Clarawas a daughter and only child to the Roman Emperor Didius Julianus and Empress Manlia Scantilla.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Julia_Domna_04_portrait.jpg
AD 193–211 - IVLIA DOMNA4 viewsJulia Domna (AD 160–217) was a Roman empress and wife of Septimius Severus.

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
sb806_yr9_22mm543g.jpg
AE follis Heraclius SB 80612 viewsObverse: No legend, Heraclius in centre, Heraclius Constantine on r., and Empress Martina on L. all standing each wearing a crown and chlamys, holding a gl. cr. in r. hand. Two crosses in field either side of Heraclius head.
Reverse: Cross above, Large M between ANNO and numerals representing the regnal yr. GII (8), Officina yr below (delta), con in ex.
Mint: Constantinople
Date: 616/7 CE
Sear 804
22mm, 5.43gm
wileyc
sear_806.jpg
AE follis Heraclius, SB 80629 viewsObverse: Heraclius in center, Heraclius Constantine on r., and the Empress MArtina on l, all stg facing; each wearing crown and chlamys, and holding gl. cr. in r. hand two crosses in field either side of Heraclius head
Reverse: Large M between ANNO and regnal yr (x,II,I) cross above, CON in ex
Mint: Constantinople
Date:622/3 CE
Sear 806 DO 89-91
25mm 6.74gm
Sear notes that this type is normally overstruck on folles of Phocas or less frequently on those of earlier reigns
Mint
wileyc
sear_808.jpg
AE follis Heraclius, SB 80822 viewsObverse: Heraclius in center, Heraclius Constantine on r., and the Empress MArtina on l, all stg facing; each wearing crown and chlamys, and holding gl. cr. in r. hand two crosses in field either side of Heraclius head
Reverse: Large M, ANNO above, Monogram 23 or 24 to l., regnal yr to rt (X,GI,II)
Mint: Constantinople
Date: 628/9 CE
Sear 808 DO 99-103
28 mm 5.29 gm
Sear notes that this type is normally overstruck on coins of Maurice Tiberius or Phocas and often on half folles rather than folles due to the much reduced module of this issue. The weight of 5.29gm is indicative of this
wileyc
s_849a.jpg
AE follis Heraclius, SB 84930 viewsObv: No legand. Heralius , H. Constantine and Empress MArtina all stg. facing wearing crown and chlamys, holding gl. cr. in rt hand.
Reverse: Large M between ANNO and regnal yr XUII officina below M gamma, KVIIP in exergue
Mint: Cyprus?
Date 626/7 CE
17/27mm 4.51gm
Sear 849 DO 184-5
wileyc
s_849.jpg
AE follis Heraclius, SB 84925 viewsOverstruck on unk coin
Obv: No legand. Heralius , H. Constantine and Empress MArtina all stg. facing wearing crown and chlamys, holding gl. cr. in rt hand.
Reverse: Lg M ANNO to l., unk regnal yr to rt
Mint: Cyprus?
Date:627-30 CE
16/26mm 4.37gm
Sear 849 DO 184-5
wileyc
sear_671.jpg
AE follis Phocas41 viewsObverse: ON FOCA NE PE AV Phocas on l., Leontia on r., stg facing, Emperor holds gl. cr., Empress sometimes nimbate holds cruciform sceptre; between heads cross.
Reverse: Large M between ANNO and regnal yr. III, cross above THEUP in ex.
Mint: Theoupolis(Antioch)
Date: 604/5 CE
Sear 671 DO 83-9
25mm 8.51gm
2 commentswileyc
empress.jpg
AE Imitation of a Faustina denarius (RIC 379)26 viewsFaustina I, struck after 140 A.D.
Obv.: DIVPA AEVSTIN, draped bust right
Rev.: C[ER]ES, Ceres seated on throne left, holding ears of grain and szepter
18.6mm, 3.85g
areich
ricx428ORweb.jpg
Aelia Eudocia AE3. Constantinople mint 64 viewsO: AEL EVDOCIA AVG, head right
R: CONCORDIA AVG, empress enthroned, facing, arms crossed over breast, star in l. field (var. B)
13mm 1.79g RIC X 428
casata137ec
eudoxia lg.JPG
AELIA EUDOXIA wife of Arcadius. Circa 400 AD AE/R57135 viewsEudoxia wife of Arcadius AE15 -- draped bust right, crowned by hand of God / Empress enthroned facing, arms crossed over breast, crowned by hand of god. right field: +. .RIC 83Marjan E
Aelia_Flaccilla~0.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla 226 viewsAelia Flaccilla AE2. Struck 383 AD, Constantinople mint.

AEL FLACCILLA AVG, mantled bust right in elaborate headdress & necklace / SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated right, inscribing a christogram on shield resting on small column. T in right field, mintmark CON Epsilon. RIC 81 var (RIC lists T in left field only).

FLACILLA (Aelia), the first wife of Theodosius the Great; born in Spain, daughter of Antonius, prefect of Gaul, she was celebrated for her piety, and for her benevolence to the poor. Arcadius and Honorius were her sons by the above named emperor, who married her before his accession to the imperial throne.

She died in Thrace, A. D. 388. Her brass coins are of the lowest degree of rarity, her gold and silver most rare.

A half aureus of this empress's, on which she is styled AEL FLACILLA AVG, bears her head crowned with a diadem enriched with precious stones. - SALVS REIPVBLICAE is the legend, and a victory inscribing on a shield the monogram of Christ, is the type of the reverse.
2 commentssuperflex
118~1.JPG
Aelia Flaccilla AD 379-386 Antioch (ANTE)161 viewsObv: AELFLAC-CILLAAVG
Rev: Empress Standing, Holding Scroll
SALVS REIPVBLICAE
RIC IX 62
Laetvs
flac~0.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla (379 - 386 A.D.)59 viewsÆ2
O: AEL FLACCILLA AVG, Diademed and draped bust right.
R: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Empress standing with hands folded on her chest. SMKr" in exergue.
Cyzicus mint
5.5g
RIC IX 24; LRBC 2567
4 commentsMat
W3.png
Aelia Flaccilla (wife of Theodosius I) Æ Centenionalis. 9 viewsAntioch, AD 383-388. AEL FLACCILLA AVG, draped bust right, with elaborate head-dress, necklace and mantle / SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Empress standing facing, head right, with arms folded; ANTЄ in exergue. RIC 62. 5.56g, 22mm, 11h. Very Fine.Chris C2
Aelia_Flaccilla_1_opt.jpg
AELIA FLACCILLA AE2, RIC 62, SALVS REIPVBLICAE48 viewsOBV: AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG, diademed & draped bust right
REV: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Empress standing left, holding scroll, ANTЄ in ex.


Minted at Antiochia, 379-385 AD
Legatus
AELIA FLACILLA.JPG
Aelia Flaccilla, Augusta 19 January 379 - 386 or 388 A.D., wife of Theodosius I36 views11099. Bronze AE 2, S 4193, VF, 4.764g, 23.22mm, 0o, uncertain mint, 25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE, empress standing facing, head right, arms folded on breast; partially uncleaned1 commentsMarjan E
AeliaFlaccilla2.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla, Constantinople253 viewsAEL FLAC-CILLA AVG
Bust draped with elaborate headdress, necklace and mantle
SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Empress standing, facing, head right, arms folded at breast
CONSΕ Large Chi-rho in right field
Constantinopolis year 383-388

RIC IX Constantinopolis 82; Cohen 6
Ae2; 21-22mm; 3.88g


One of my favorite examples of desert pantina
7 commentsarizonarobin
collage3~0.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla, Cyzicus46 viewsAEL FLAC-CILLA AVG
Bust draped with elaborate headdress, necklace and mantle

SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Empress standing facing, head right, hands folded at breast

E: SMKΓ
Cyzicus Mint

RIC 24
Ae2; 22mm; 5.17g
arizonarobin
aelia_flaccilla_Heraclea_25.2.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla, RIC IX, Heraclea 2582 viewsAelia Flaccilla AD 379-388, 1st wife of Theodosius I
AE- AE 2, 4.73g
Heraclea 1st officina, 25 Aug. 383 - 28 Aug. 388
obv. AEL FLAC - CILLA AVG
Bust, draped with elaborate headdress, necklace and mantle, r.
rev. SALVS REI - PVBLICAE
Empress standing frontal, head r., with arms crossed before breast
in ex. dot SMHA
star in l. field, cross in r. field
RIC IX, Heraclea 25 type 2; C.6
scarce, good VF, green patina

Usually all coins of Aelia Flaccilla are not common
4 commentsJochen
flacillaex.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla-Salvs Reipvblicae AE2154 views Attribution-RIC IX Constantinople 55.5 LRBC 2149

Obv. AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG
Rev. SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Rf. T
Ex. CON epsilon
black-prophet
flaccillaNicoB.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla-Salvs Reipvblicae AE2-Not in RIC144 viewsAttribution-Aelia Flaccilla 378-388 AD. Van Meter 5

Obv.AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG- Draped bust right, in elaborate headdress, necklace,
& mantle
REV. SALVS REI-PVBLICAE- Empress standing facing, arms folded over chest
LF. Branch
EX. SMNB
black-prophet
Coronationtet.jpg
ALEXIUS I Lead Tetarteron "Coronation Series" S-NL DOC37294 viewsFull Length figures of John II and of St. Demetrius holding between them a labarum on a long shaft. Emperor weras Stemma, divitision , collar piece and Jewelled loros of a simplified type. Saint wears short military tunic, Breast plate and Saigon. Rev Full length figures of Alexius l. on l. and of Irene holding between them cross on shaft. 20mm Very Good. Thessalonica Mint. DOC 37 The first tetarteron after coin reforms.

This coin is made of lead and it has been recently determined to be the first tetarteron.
Simon
Portraits2.jpg
Ancient portraits212 viewsEmpresses and Emperors from Ancient Roman Empire6 commentsTibsi
Arcadius.jpg
Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.10 viewsBronze AE 4, RIC 65(c), Fair, Thessalonica, 1.301g, 13.9mm, 180o, 28 Aug 388 - spring 393 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REI-PVBLICAE, Victory advancing left carrying trophy and dragging captive, P in left field, TESG in exergue; scarce;

Flavius Arcadius was the son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla. Born in 377 A.D., Arcadius was raised to the rank of Augustus by his father at the age of six. Upon the death of Theodosius in 395 A.D., Arcadius was given the Eastern half of the Roman empire while his brother Honorius received the Western half. Arcadius inherited none of his great father's skills and was under the influence of variously Rufinus the Praetorian prefect, Eutropius a courtier eunuch, the Goth Gainas, Empress Eudoxia and another Praetorian prefect Anthemius. His greatest personal accomplishment in life was his beautiful handwriting. Arcadius died in 408 A.D. and was succeeded by his young son Theodosius II.
b70
auli~0.jpg
Augustus and Livia , Colonial Romula (Seville), Minted by Tiberus13 viewsAugustus and Livia, minted by Tiberius, 14 Aug 19 - 16 Mar 37 A.D.
This coin associates Livia with globe and crescent symbols and refers to her as Augusta Genetrix Orbis, Sacred Mother of the World. This extraordinary title was never official and is not used on any other coin type for any empress.
5474. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC I 73, Alverez Burgos 1587, aF, Colonia Romula mint, 25.1g, 33.4mm, 180°, obverse PERM DIVI AVG COL ROM, Augustus radiate head right, star above, thunderbolt right; reverse IVLIA AVGVSTA GENETRIX ORBIS, Livia head left on globe, crescent above;
sold 4-2018
NORMAN K
maria_theresa_a_res.jpg
AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, BOHEMIA ETC. (HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE)-- MARIA TERESA16 views1717 - 1780
ruled 1740 - 1780
Sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma; Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress
Struck 1762
1 Kreutzer 25 mm; 10.49 g
Kremnitz, Hungary mint
laney
Heraclius_M_cypress_BCC_B9.jpg
BCC B930 viewsByzantine Period
Heraclius 610-641CE
AE 40 Nummia, Cyprus Mint.
Obv:Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine,
and Empress Martina, each with Globus Cruciger.
Rev:Large M, ANNO to left, [P on h monogram]
above, Year XUIII (18) to right, officina Γ (3)
below, mintmark ΚΥΠΡ in Greek.
20mm. 5.46gm. Axis:210
Regnal Year 18 (627-628CE)
Striking black Caesarea patina.
SB 849
v-drome
galeria_valeria.jpg
BCC Lr1317 viewsLate Roman BCC Lr13
Galeria Valeria 305-311CE
AE Follis - Thessalonica
OBV:GAL VALE-[RIA] AVG
Diademed and draped bust right, wearing necklace.
REV:VENERI V-ITRICI
Venus standing left, holding apple and raising drapery
from shoulder, star to left, A to right, dot SM dot TS in ex.
23x25mm. 5.81gm. Axis:0
RIC 36, A
The coins of Galeria all have very interesting variations in hairstyle, jewelry, and
dress. According to Stevenson, this empress met an unfortunate end, as did
so many of the rulers from this period.
v-drome
Welch_7__Napoleon_III___Eugenie.jpg
BHM 2561. Napoleon III & Eugenie at the London Guildhall.105 viewsObv: Conjoined busts of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie NAPOLEON III ET EUGENIA GALLORUM IMPERATOR ET IMPERATRIX

Rev: Britannia introduces Gallia (France) to Londinia (City of London). CONCORDES SERVAT AMICITIA (Friendship keeps them on good terms)

Exergue: LONDINI RECEPTI 19. APR. 1855 Signed: B. WYON

AE76. Mintage: 350

Welch 7; BHM 194/2561; Eimer 178/1496; Page-Divo 134/233.

This medal commemorates the visit of the Emperor and Empress of France to London in april of 1855. This was one of my 'holy grail' medals, a medal I had been trying to purchase unsuccessfully on and off for seven years.
1 commentsLordBest
Bramsen 0952.JPG
Bramsen 0952. Mariage a Paris avec Marie-Louise, 1810.268 viewsObv. The busts of the Emperor Napoleon laureated, and the Empress Marie Louisa crowned with a diadem. ANDRIEU. F. DENON D
Rev.Napoleon and Marie Louisa, full lengths, he habited in the Roman costume, with the imperial paludamentum clasped over his right shoulder; their right hands are joined, and with his left he embraces her shoulder, in the attitude of conducting her to the altar, on which burns the vestal flame: on the plinth of the altar, which is circular, is represented the bow and quiver of arrows of Cupid, crossed, with the torch of Hymen erect.
On the base, JOUANNIN F.
Legend, NAPOLEON EMP. ET ROI. M. LOUISE D'AUTRICHE.
Exergue, I AVRIL MDCCCX. DENON D

Struck to commemorate the wedding of Napoleon and Marie Louise of Austria in 1810
LordBest
Bramsen 1091.JPG
Bramsen 1091. Le Roi de Rome, 1811.225 viewsObv. Profile busts of the Emperor Napoleon, and the Empress Maria Louisa; the head of the Emperor encircled with a wreath, that of the Empress is adorned with the imperial diadem as worn by the former Queens of France; under the head of Napoleon or exergue, the name of the artist and designer, ANDRIEU F. DENON D.
Rev. Bust of the infant son of Napoleon; on base of the bust, ANDRIEU F.
Legend, NAPOLEON FRANCOIS JOSEPH CHARLES ROI DE ROME.
Exergue, XX MARS MDCCCXI.

Struck to commemorate the birth of Napoleon II in 1811.
LordBest
R-14 Byzantine.jpg
Byzantine AE HALF-FOLLIS of Emperor Justin II and Sophia, (565 – 578)27 viewsByzantine AE HALF-FOLLIS of Emperor Justin II and Sophia, November 15, 565 – October 5, 578, 6.3 grams, 21x18mm.

Obverse: Justin on l., Empress Sophia or r. both nimbate, on double throne, Empress holds cruciform scepter, Justin holds globus cruciger, D N IVSTINO ET SOFIA AC (Justin & Sophia).
Reverse: Large K (representing the denomination of half follis - K = 20 nummi), cross above, ANNO to l., TES (Thessalonika mint) below, Regnal year XI (year-11-576/577) to r.
Reference: Sear Byzantine 366.
Daniel Friedman
BYZANTINE_MAURICE_TIB_CHERSON_MINT.jpg
BYZANTINE EMPIRE - MAURICE TIBERIAS 32 viewsBYZANTINE EMPIRE - MAURICE TIBERIAS (582-602 CE) Bronze Pentanummia (Half-Follis). Cherson mint. Obv.: ΧΕΡCONOC Maurice on left; Empress Constantina on right, both standing facing & nimbate, Emperor holds globus cruciger; Empress holds long cruciform sceptre. Rev.: Large Δ to left, cross above it; to right - Theodosius, son of Maurice, stands facing, nimbate, holding long staff surmounted by XI-RHO symbol. Reference: Sear #610.

*NOTE: There is a controversy in the attribution: Anokhin (and other Russian experts) assign the varieties with XEPCWNOC to Justin II, instead of the older attribution to Maurice used by Sear. Anokhin assigns only those with DNMAVRIC PP AVG to Maurice. Grierson does not outright deny it, but has his doubts. Very similar coins were issued in the name of Maurice, so older attributions of the "XEPCONOC" types were also to Maurice, but now some scholars have argued that they were originally issued by Justin II. Under the old attribution the obverse figures are Maurice and his wife and the reverse figure is his son Theodosius. Grierson (p. 73) says, "If the coins all belong together it would seem reasonable to regard them as an insurrectionary coinage struck at Cherson in 602, the intention of the rebels having been initially to depose Maurice in favor of his son Theodosius and not the upstart adventurer Phocas." According to this theory, the revolt prompted a new coin with a neutral legend, which was replaced by the emperor's name when the outcome favored Maurice. This attribution is accepted by Sear.

Anokhin (1980) and Hahn (1978) concur in attributing them to Justin II (and the following period). Anokhin argues the two-figure type resembles the regular type introduced by Justin II and Sophia. However, a type can resemble one of Justin II and be issued a few years later. Anokhin says (p. 92) "if the striking commenced from the moment Theodosius was named Augustus, i.e. in 590, all three series with differing types would have had to be issued within limits between 590-602, which is unlikely." Hahn also argues that there are several minor varieties which would probably take a number of years to mint. However, the varieties are clearly very similar and not numerous. I think there is no need to postulate more than ten years to mint three very similar types, all of which are scarce.

Anokhin (p. 92) argues "if we assign the coins described to Maurice we expose their failure to correspond with empire-wide coins, which have on the obverse a portrait of Maurice alone." But that argument is feeble -- we know Maurice minted such coins that fail to correspond with empire-wide coins -- some of the coins we are attributing have his name on them!

Anokhin (p. 93) thinks the reverse figure, if a real person, could "be Tiberius, the future emperor, who was proclaimed Caesar in December 574 and who reigned as co-regent jointly with Sophia during the last four years of the life of Justin II who was mentally ill." However, he does not accept that it is a real person and says "it most likely represents some symbolic figure or a saint."

Hahn notes that the reverse figure seems to be a Caesar (because the pendillia are lacking) and says in the later 6th century the only appropriate Caesar is Tiberius II under Justin II. However, the older attribution already had an acceptable Caesar, just in the early 7th instead of the late 6th century. Hahn notes the first issue, with the "M" and "K" has a capital omega in "XERCWNOC", rather than the later "O", as do some of the "H" and delta pieces. Clearly, the "M" and "K" are the first of the series. However, that does not make them issued by Justin II.

Hahn admits, as noted by Grierson, that the two-figure type is very similar to some coins of Focas, showing a continuum of types could equally well be at either end of the potential attribution period. Hahn gives the attribution to Justin II and calls it "secure." It may well be that the "M" and "K" types began under Justin II, but the Hahn paper presents no convincing evidence.

If we postulate this type began under Justin II, it is hard to explain why it pops up again under Maurice with a 12-year gap from the end of Justin II (578) until Maurice (582-602) promotes Theodosius to Caesar (May 26, 590). Unless, of course, it was minted throughout the period as a type immobilise. (Thanks for ancients.info for the argument text). My own research of my Russian resources vs. Sear and others confirm all of the above!
dpaul7
Sear-849.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Heraclus (610-641) Æ follis, Isaura, RY18 (Sear 849)13 viewsObv: Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine, and Empress Martina standing facing, each wearing crown and chlamys and holding globus cruciger
Rev: Large M between A/N/N/O and X/ЧI/II; above, cross, beneath, Γ; in exergue KVΠP
Quant.Geek
Sear-607.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Maurice Tiberius (582-602) 8 pentanummi (Follis), Cherson Mint (Sear-607, DOC-I,303)29 viewsObv: Maurice and the Empress Constantina standing facing, both haloed, holding a globus cruciger one, the other a long cruciform scepter. Cross between heads. Legend aroud - DNmAV[...]PPAVG

Rev: Theodosius, son of Maurice, standing facing, nimbus, holding a long cross. Right, H with a cross above.
SpongeBob
Sear-675.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Phocas (602-610) Decanummium, Antioch (Sear-675)29 viewsObv: d N FOCA NE PE AV. Phocas (left) and Leontia (right) standing facing; the emperor holds globe cruciger, the empress holds cruciform sceptre; between their heads, cross.
Rev: Large X between ANNO - II; cross above; beneath, P.
SpongeBob
ConXS1853.JPG
BYZANTINE, Constantine X 1059-1067 Constantinople92 viewsObv: Christ Standing
Rev: Empress Eudocia and Emperor with Labarum Between Them
Sear 1853
1 commentsLaetvs
JustinIIS369.JPG
BYZANTINE, Justin II 565-578 Nicomedia66 viewsObv: Emperor and Empress Enthroned, DNIVSTI-NVSPPAVG
Rev: Large M, Anno 5, Cross Above, Oficina A, NIKO in exergue
Sear 369
Laetvs
KAI_YUAN_LATE_14-6ab.jpg
CHINA - TANG DYNASTY Kai Yuan68 viewsCHINA - TANG DYNASTY (618-907 AD) Cash, Kai Yuan Tong Bao legend. Late style (732-907 AD). Crescent "nail mark" on reverse, at 9 o'clock. Reference: Hartil #14.6ab. Kai Yuan means "Inaugural Currency", and was one of the main currencies issued by the Tang Dynasty.
Late period pieces are distinguished by: The JING 井 component of KAI 開 character touches the hole; longer top dash on YUAN 元 character; 2 middle strokes of the BAO 寳 touch the sides. Regarding crescent mark: (per Hartill) Legend states the Empress Wende inadvertently stuck one of her fingernails into the wax model of the coin as it was presented to her; and the resulting mark was reverentially retained. Other imperial ladies have also been proposed as the source of these marks! Hartill also states that it was more than likely a control mark used by mint staff!
dpaul7
sb1825classc26mm1017g.jpg
Class C follis, sb1825, attributed to Michael IV, 1034-1041 CE17 viewsObverse: EMMANOVHA - Three -quarter length of Christ Antiphonetes standing facing, wearing nimbus cr. pallium and colobium, raising rt hand in benediction in L. hand book of Gospels, in field to L., IC barred, to r., XC barred.
Reverse: IC-XC/ NI-KA - Jewelled cross with pellet at each end divides inscription into four equal parts, IC--XC/NI--KA
Mint: Contantinople
Date: 1034-1041 CE
26mm, 10.17g
SB 1825 Class C follis



The Obverse is Christ as Antiphonetes, "the guarantor." A famous icon of Christ was so named because, according to a miracle story, it had been held as loan collateral by a creditor. The Byzantine empress Zoë (r. 1028–50) had coins struck with the Antiphonetes image and kept an icon of the type close at hand. "I myself have often seen her, in moments of great distress, clasp the sacred object in her hands, contemplate it, talk to it as if it were indeed alive, and address it with one sweet term of endearment after another," wrote court historian Michael Psellos (1018–ca. 1081).

Source: Icon with Christ Antiphonetes [Byzantine] (1979.217) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
wileyc
sb1825classc.jpg
Class C follis, sb1825, attributed to Michael IV, 1034-1041 CE24 viewsObverse: EMMANOVHA - Three -quarter length of Christ Antiphonetes standing facing, wearing nimbus cr. pallium and colobium, raising rt hand in benediction in L. hand book of Gospels, in field to L., IC barred, to r., XC barred.
Reverse: IC-XC/ NI-KA - Jewelled cross with pellet at each end divides inscription into four equal parts, IC--XC/NI--KA
Mint: Contantinople
Date: 1034-1041 CE
25mm, 6.06g
SB 1825 Class C follis



The Obverse is Christ as Antiphonetes, "the guarantor." A famous icon of Christ was so named because, according to a miracle story, it had been held as loan collateral by a creditor. The Byzantine empress Zoë (r. 1028–50) had coins struck with the Antiphonetes image and kept an icon of the type close at hand. "I myself have often seen her, in moments of great distress, clasp the sacred object in her hands, contemplate it, talk to it as if it were indeed alive, and address it with one sweet term of endearment after another," wrote court historian Michael Psellos (1018–ca. 1081).

Source: Icon with Christ Antiphonetes [Byzantine] (1979.217) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
wileyc
sb1825classC23mm473g.jpg
Class C follis, sb1825, attributed to Michael IV, 1034-1041 CE22 viewsObverse: EMMANOVHA - Three -quarter length of Christ Antiphonetes standing facing, wearing nimbus cr. pallium and colobium, raising rt hand in benediction in L. hand book of Gospels, in field to L., IC barred, to r., XC barred.
Reverse: IC-XC/ NI-KA - Jewelled cross with pellet at each end divides inscription into four equal parts, IC--XC/NI--KA
Mint: Contantinople
Date: 1034-1041 CE
23mm, 4.73g
SB 1825 Class C follis



The Obverse is Christ as Antiphonetes, "the guarantor." A famous icon of Christ was so named because, according to a miracle story, it had been held as loan collateral by a creditor. The Byzantine empress Zoë (r. 1028–50) had coins struck with the Antiphonetes image and kept an icon of the type close at hand. "I myself have often seen her, in moments of great distress, clasp the sacred object in her hands, contemplate it, talk to it as if it were indeed alive, and address it with one sweet term of endearment after another," wrote court historian Michael Psellos (1018–ca. 1081).

Source: Icon with Christ Antiphonetes [Byzantine] (1979.217) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
wileyc
ClaudAntoniaTet.jpg
Claudius & Antonia Tetradrachm173 viewsTI KΛAY∆I KAIΣ ΣEBA ΓEPMANI AYTOKP
laureate head right, date LB (year 2) before

ANTΩNIA ΣEBAΣTH
bust of Antonia right, hair in queue

29 Sep 41 - 28 Sep 42 A.D.

Alexandria mint

11.054g, 23.2mm, die axis 0o,

RPC 5117; Geissen 62; Milne 61; BMC Alexandria p. 9, 65; Dattari 114; SNG Milan 620, SNG Cop 57; Sommer 12.3, Emmett 73

Scarce

Ex-Forum

Antonia was the youngest daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. She was a niece of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, and both maternal great-grandmother and paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. She was additionally the maternal great-aunt of the Empress Valeria Messalina and Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, and paternal grandmother of Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, and Britannicus.
3 commentsJay GT4
commodus.jpg
Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.37 viewsL Aelius Aurelius Commodus was the son of emperor Marcus Aurelius and empress Faustina II. Caesar in 177 A.D., Commodus succeeded his father as Augustus in 180. His rule of twelve years quickly degenerated into debauchery, paranoia and insanity. He actually believed he was Hercules reincarnated and participated in gladiatorial contests. The empire was directed by his unscrupulous favorites while the emperor amused himself in whatever decadent way he saw fit. His assassination in 192 A.D. was viewed as a blessing by most Romans of the day.

Silver denarius, RIC 160, BMC 227, RSC 966, Fair, 1.720g, 16.6mm, 180o, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT - P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVT AVG PMTR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Virtus standing left, Victory in right, resting left hand on shield, spear leaning on left arm;
Dumanyu2
fausta_AE_spes_trier-mint_3_7grams_obv_08_rev_06.JPG
Constantine I - Fausta, Wife of Constantine I - 'SPES REIPUBLICAE' - PTR21 viewsRoman Empire
Empress Fausta, Wife of Constantine I the Great (307 - 337 AD)
Augusta, 324 - 326 AD
Struck at the Trier Mint (Treveri, Germania)

obv: FLAV MAX FAUSTA AUG - Draped bust right, hair in braided bun, seen from the front.

rev: SPES REIPUBLICAE - Empress Fausta standing facing forward, holding her two sons, Constantine II and Constantius II, in her arms close to her chest.
'PTR crescent with dot' in exergue.

3.7 Grams
--------------
Ex Old Pueblo Coin Exchange, Southern Arizona.
2 commentsrexesq
fausta_AE_spes_trier-mint_3_7grams_obv_07_rev_07.JPG
Constantine I - Fausta, Wife of Constantine I - 'SPES REIPUBLICAE' - PTR20 viewsRoman Empire
Empress Fausta, Wife of Constantine I the Great (307 - 337 AD)
Augusta, 324 - 326 AD
Struck at the Trier Mint (Treveri, Germania)

obv: FLAV MAX FAUSTA AUG - Draped bust right, hair in braided bun, seen from the front.

rev: SPES REIPUBLICAE - Empress Fausta standing facing forward, holding her two sons, Constantine II and Constantius II, in her arms close to her chest.
'PTR crescent with dot' in exergue.

3.7 Grams
-------------
Ex Old Pueblo Coin Exchange, Southern Arizona.
3 commentsrexesq
cri55.jpg
Crispina (178 - 182 A.D.)90 viewsAR Denarius
O: CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
R: DIS GENITABILIS, lighted altar.
Rome
17.5mm
3.15g
RSC 16

Apparently commemorating an altar dedicated by the empress in hope of or thanks for a blessing of fecundity from the dii genitales.
6 commentsMat
Domitian_RIC_II_847.jpg
Domitian RIC II 084748 viewsDomitia. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm. Rome Mint for Asia. 82 A.D. (10.66g, 26.6m, 6h). Obv: DOMITIA AVGVSTA, bust of Domitia, draped, right, hair massed in front and long plait behind, [pellet under bust.] Rev: VENVS AVG, Venus stg. r. leaning on column, with helmet and spear. RIC II 847.

My first example of an Empress during the era of the 12 Caesars. Cistophoric tetradrachms were valued at 3 denarii, and during the Flavian era, were likely minted in Rome for distribution in the East. Worn, and slightly off center, I still enjoy the denomination.
3 commentsLucas H
D845.jpg
Domitian RIC-845206 viewsAR Cistophorus, 10.59g
Rome mint (for Asia), 82 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: DOMITIA AVGVSTA; bust of Domitia, draped, r., hair massed in front and in long plait behind
RIC 845 (R). BMC 255. RSC 2 (under Domitian and Domitia). RPC 866 (6 spec.). BNC -.
Ex Harlan J. Berk, eBay, 30 December 2013. Ex Harlan J. Berk 145, 14 September 2005, lot 459.

Domitian's cistophori were minted in Rome for distribution in Asia Minor on two separate occasions: at the beginning of the reign in 82 and near the end in 95. The type with the empress Domitia on the reverse can be dated to the first group based on Domitian's COS date. The style and die axis are similar to the denarii minted at Rome during the same period, firmly placing these cistophori to that mint.

A most fitting type to be minted at the beginning of the reign. Two similar portraits in a wonderfully "Flavian" style.


13 commentsDavid Atherton
239.jpg
Draped female bust right189 viewsUncertain mint. Uncertain emperor. Æ 28. Obv: Inscription illegible. Outline of laureate imperial bust right; countermark on head. Rev: Inscription illegible. Weight: 18.37 g. CM: Draped female bust right, in oval punch, 6 x 9 mm. Howgego - (?). Note: The bust resembles Faustina Sr., but may well depict another empress. Collection Automan.Automan
EB0564_scaled.JPG
EB0564 Maximus Caesar / Kilikarch Crown12 viewsMaximus Caesar, AE 33 of Tarsus, Cilicia, 235-238 AD.
Obv: Γ IOY OYH MAXIMOC KAIC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: THC MHTRO TARCOV around, EΠA RΞIK ΩN in three lines inside, Kilikarch (or Cilicarch) Crown decorated with 6 imperial heads topped by Nike standing left with wreath.
References: BMC 19 S208,238(1); SNG FRANCE 2 1615(1).
Diameter: 33mm, Weight: 14.816 grams.

"The Cilicarch (note spelling with added C, since it derives from "Cilicia") is the High Priest of Cilicia.
His most important function was as chief priest of the provincial temple or temples of the emperors.
The busts on his crown, which vary considerably from depiction to depiction, are those of the emperors and empresses who were honored in those provincial temples." - Curtis Clay in forumancientcoins.com discussion.
EB
EB0813_scaled.JPG
EB0813 Aelia Flaccilla / SALVS REIPVBLICAE11 viewsAelia Flaccilla (wife of Theodosius I died 386), AE 2, Heraclea 383-388 AD.
Obverse: AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG, draped bust right wearing headdress, necklace and mantle.
Reverse: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Empress standing facing, head right, hands crossed on breast. Star in left field, Cross in right field. Mintmark dot SMHA.
References: RIC IX Heraclea 25.
Diameter: 23.5mm, Weight: 4.195g.
EB
EB0815_scaled.JPG
EB0815 Aelia Flaccilla / SALVS REIPVBLICAE9 viewsAelia Flaccilla, AE 2, Antioch.
Obverse: AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG, diademed & draped bust right.
Reverse: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Empress standing left, holding scroll. Mintmark ANT [?].
References: RIC IX Antioch 62.
Diameter: 21.5mm, Weight: 4.903g.
EB
EB0974_scaled.JPG
EB0974 Phocas & Empress Leontia / Large M5 viewsPhocas and Leontia. 602-610 AD. AE Follis. Constantinople.
Obverse: DM FO[CAE] PP AVG, Phocas on left, holding cross on globe and Leontia, nimbate, on right, holding sceptre topped by cross, standing, cross between their heads.
Reverse: Large M, ANNO to left, cross above, year I to right, mintmark CON and officina letter.
References: SB 639, MIB 60a-b.
Diameter: 32mm, Weight: 13.057g.
EB
Antoninus_Pius_R621_fac.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, AD 141/142, Antoninus Pius, Faustina16 viewsAntoninus Pius
Alexandria
Billon-Tetradrachm
Obv.: ΑΝΤωΝΙΝΟС СƐΒ ƐVС(Ɛ)Β, laureate head of Antoninus Pius, r.
Rev.: ΦΑVСΤΙΝΑ ΘƐΑ L Ɛ, empress (Faustina I) standing, l., dropping incense on lighted altar, holding long sceptre
Billon, 12.76g, 23.5mm
Ref.: Milne 1697, RPC Online 13473. Dattari-Savio Pl. 105, 8033 (this coin).
Ex Dattari Collection
Ex Naville Numismatics, auction 39, Lot 357
1 commentsshanxi
JLSOSE01.jpg
Elagabalus, RIC 402, for Julia Soaemias, Sestertius of AD 220-221 10 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.90g, Ø30mm, 12h), Rome mint, Struck AD 220-221
Obv.: IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, diademed and draped bust of Julia Soaemias facing right.
Rev.: VENVS CAELESTIS (around) S C (in field), Venus caelestis standing left, holding apple and long sceptre; star in field.
RIC 402 (R); Cohen 11
ex CNG 85 (2010) lot 964

Venus Caelestis is a Roman adaptation of a Syrian goddess brought by princesses from the east to Rome. The only coins with this reverse type are of the Severan empresses.
Charles S
IMG_1287.JPG
empress141 viewsCapitoline museums

I can't remember who it is - maybe Herennia Etruscilla
Johny SYSEL
__57_(4).JPG
Empress Faustina II - AE As - SALUTI AUGUSTAE33 viewsRoman Empire
Empress Faustina II ( 161 - 176 AD ) Wife of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Bronze As, Rome Mint. 10.5 Grams.

obverse: FAUSTINA AUGUSTA - Draped bust, right.

reverse: SALUTI AUGUSTAE -SC- - Salus seated left, feeding snake entwined around Altar.
4 commentsrexesq
043n~0.jpg
Empress, AVKTP(?) and ΠPY168 viewsBITHYNIA. Prusias (?). Domitian (?). Æ 26. A.D. 81-96 (?). Obv: Laureate (?) bust right; 2 countermarks, (1) on shoulder, (2) before face. Rev: Countermark (3). Poor/worn smooth, brown patina with very minor traces of green encrustation. Weight: 9.05 g. Note: All coins noted by Howgego with these countermarks are from Domitian and are attributed to Prusias or Bithynia in Genere (which, in turn, may have been from Prusias also. CM(1): Head of empress, in oval punch, 7 x 8 mm. Howgego 217 (1 pcs). CM(2): Monogram of AVKTP (?), in rectangular punch, 6 x 4 mm. Howgego 608 (8 pcs). CM(3): Monogram of ΠPY, in rectangular punch, 8 x 5 mm. Howgego 630 (3 pcs). Note: Since all coins countermarked with (1) are countermarked also with (2) and (3), while all coins countermarked with (2) are also countermarked with (3), the order of application (3)-(2)-(1) may be implied (also consistent with (1) being a portrait of Faustina Jr. and (2) referring to Trajan). Collection Automan.Automan
139.jpg
Empress, AVKTR(?) and ΠPY115 viewsBITHYNIA. Prusias (?). Domitian (?). Æ 27. A.D. 81-96 (?). Laureate bust right (?); 2 countermarks: (1) to left, (2) to right. Countermark (3). Weight: 8.18 g. Note: All coins noted by Howgego with these countermarks are from Domitian and are attributed to Prusias or Bithynia in Genere CM (1): Head of empress, in oval punch, 7 x 8 mm. Howgego 217 (1 pcs). CM(2): Monogram of AVKTP (?), in rectangular punch, 6 x 4 mm. Howgego 608 (8 pcs). CM(3): Monogram of ΠPY, in rectangular punch, 7 x 6.5 mm.Howgego 630 (3 pcs). The order of application appears to have been (3)-(2)-(1) may be implied (also be consistent if (1) is Faustina Jr., and if (2) reads “AVTOKPATWP TPAIAN…”). Collection Automan.Automan
1__Eudoxia.jpg
Eudoxia D.404 AD5 viewsRef: RIC X 80
Denom: AE3; Mint: Nicomedia; DATE: 398-401
Obverse: AEL EVDO-XIA AVG - Bust, pearl-diademed, draped, wearing necklace and earrings, crowned by hand of God
Rev: GLORIA RO-MANORVM - Empress enthroned facing forward, arms crossed over breast, crowned by hand of god
Right Field : +
Exergue: SMNA
Size: 16 mm
Cleaned
brian l
eudoxi.jpg
Eudoxia (400 - 404 A.D.)62 viewsÆ3
O: AEL EVDOXIA AVG, pearl-diademed and draped bust right, crowned with wreath by the Hand of God above.
R: GLORIA ROMANORVM, empress seated facing on throne, hands folded, being crowned by manus Dei, cross right. SMKA in exergue.
Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) Mint
2.1g
18mm
RIC 80, LRBC 2450

Published on Wildwinds!
2 commentsMat
EUDOXIA-1.jpg
Eudoxia RIC X 836 viewsObv: AEL EVDO-XIA AVG
pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing necklace,
and earrings.crowned by hand of God
Rev: GLORIA RO-MANORVM
Empress enthroned facing, arms crossed over breast,
crowned by hand of god, cross left field
ANTA in ex.
17mm 2.2 gm
OWL365
eudoxia_com.JPG
Eudoxia RIC X ANTIOCH 8313 viewsAE 15-17 mm 2.1 grams 400-404 AD
OBV :: AEL EUDO-XIA AVG. Pearl diadem with jewel at front, draped, wearing earing and necklace being crowned by the hand of God
REV :: GLORIA RO-MANORVM. Empress seated on throne, hands folded across breast, being crowned by the hand of God. Cross in right field
EX :: ANTA
RIC X ANTIOCH 83
RIC rated S
from uncleaned lot
06/2008
Johnny
euar.jpg
Eudoxia, Augustus RIC X 77, 400-404 CE12 viewsObverse: AEL EVDI-XIA AVG, pearl diademed and draped bust right, crowned with wreath by the h and of god above.
Reverse: GLORIA ROMANORVM, Empress enthroned facing, hands folded over breast, crowned by thehand of god above, cross right
17.5 mm., 1.85 g. obscure mint mark, eastern mint
NORMAN K
Eudoxia,_GLORIA_ROMANORVM,_empress_enthroned,_400-404_AD,_scarce.jpg
Eudoxia, GLORIA ROMANORVM, empress enthroned, 400-404 AD, scarce 14 viewsAelia Eudoxia AE3. Alexandria mint. AEL EVDO-XIA AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing pearl necklace and earrings, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem, hand of God holding wreath above head GLORIA RO_MANORVM Empress seated facing, head right, arms folded with hands on breast, hand of God crowning from above; Cross in right field, mintmark ALEA. RIC X 84
2.8g / 15mm _674
Antonivs Protti
fgbdfb_042.JPG
Eudoxia, GLORIA ROMANORVM, empress enthroned, 400-404 AD, scarce11 viewsAelia Eudoxia AE3. Alexandria mint. AEL EVDO-XIA AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing pearl necklace and earrings, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem, hand of God holding wreath above head GLORIA RO_MANORVM Empress seated facing, head right, arms folded with hands on breast, hand of God crowning from above; Cross in right field, mintmark ALEA. RIC X 84
2.8g / 15mm
Antonivs Protti
Eudoxia,_RIC_83(Antioch).jpg
Eudoxia, RIC 83 (Antioch)9 viewsAEL EVDO-XIA AVG
Pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing necklace and earrings, crowned by hand of God
GLORIA RO-MANORVM
Empress enthroned facing, arms crossed over breast, crowned by hand of god. Cross in right field
ANTA in ex.
AE3, 18.5mm, 2.07g
Antioch
novacystis
Fausta_(300-326)_follis_(AE3).png
Fausta (300-326) follis (AE3)15 viewsObv.: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG (Draped bust with necklace) Rev.: SPES REIPVBLICAE (Empress as Spes with Constantinus II and Constantius II in her arms) Exergue: ΔSIS Diameter: 19 mm Weight: 2,3 g RIC VII 205

The very first empress I ever bought.
Nick.vdw
FAUSTA-1.jpg
Fausta RIC VII 16114 viewsObv: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG
bare-headed, draped bust right with waved hair
Rev: SPES REIPVBLICAE
Empress as Spes standing left, holding two children.
SMTSA in ex.
19mm 2.6gm
OWL365
16_1_b.jpg
Fausta, Constantinople388 viewsFLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Empress (as Salus) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms

CONS / A in left field

RIC 12 ; Minted Late 326 AD
AE 19-20mm; 3.10g
Ex-CNG 69 lot 151, Ex- K. Kline
11 commentsarizonarobin
collage4~1.jpg
Fausta, Cyzicus51 viewsFLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms

SMKA(dot)
Cyzicus Mint

RIC VII Cyzicus 40
Ae3; 19-20 mm; 3.08g
arizonarobin
fausta030802.jpg
Fausta, Cyzicus34 viewsFausta

FLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms

(dot) SMK delta (dot)
Cyzicus Mint

AE 19mm; 2.67g
RIC 50 Cyzicus
arizonarobin
collage1~11.jpg
Fausta, Heraclea73 viewsFLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

SMH(delta)
Heraclea Mint

RIC 80
Ae 18-19mm; 2.63g

I like the long flat portrait, though I would say it is not the most flattering portrait of Fausta.
1 commentsarizonarobin
fausta030801.jpg
Fausta, Nicomedia31 viewsFLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REI-PVBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

MN(epsilon)

RIC 131 Nicomedia; LRBC 1093
Ae 19mm; 2.50g
arizonarobin
collage-1.jpg
Fausta, Sirmium197 viewsFLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Empress (as Salus) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

SIRM

RIC VII Sirmium 55
Ae 19-20mm; 3.01g

The reverse detail on this one is fantastic- the infants are beautifully rendered!
1 commentsarizonarobin
2-2014-10-027.JPG
Fausta, Siscia37 viewsAe 17-19mm; 2.27g

FLAV MAX- FAVSTA AVG
draped bust right

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress/Spes standing, facing, holding 2 children

dot ASIS dot (Siscia Mint)

RIC VII Siscia 205; Sear 16570
I bought this one for the interesting Spes/Children. I love the arms and the depiction of the children. Not as well rendered as the one I have from Sirmium but still not the norm!
1 commentsRobin Ayers
fausta1~0.jpg
Fausta, Thessalonica62 viewsFLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

SMTSA
Thessalonica mint RIC 161; Ae 18-19mm; 3.05g
1 commentsarizonarobin
2013-02-03_oldnikon.jpg
Fausta, Thessalonica29 viewsFLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and diademed bust right

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

SMTSA
Thessalonica Mint

Ae 19mm; 3.35g
RIC VII Thessalonica 162; Sear 16571


A different hair style for Fausta.
Robin Ayers
2013-02-004.jpg
Fausta, Ticinum24 viewsFLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REI-PVBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left,and holding two children in her arms

T T

RIC VII Ticinum 191; Sear 16564
Ae 18mm; 2.45g
Robin Ayers
collage1~6.jpg
Fausta, Trier72 viewsFLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Spes) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

PTR(cresent with dot)
Trier Mint

RIC VII 484 ; 326 AD
Ae 18mm; 2.39g
arizonarobin
9856.jpg
Fausta, Trier88 viewsFLAV MAX-FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SALVS REI-PVBLICAE
Empress (as Salus) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

STR(cresent with pellet)
Trier Mint

Ae 17-19mm; 3.12g
RIC VII483; LRBC I 37; SRCV 3903
1 commentsarizonarobin
collage4~9.jpg
Fausta, Trier86 viewsFLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG
Mantled and bareheaded bust right with waved hair

SPES REIP-VBLICAE
Empress (as Salus) standing facing, looking left, head veiled, and holding two children in her arms.

PTR(cresent with pellet)
Trier

RIC 484
Ae 19mm; 3.03g
1 commentsarizonarobin
FAUSTA-2.jpg
Fausta, wife of Constantine I, daughter of Maximian. Augusta, 324-326 CE.173 viewsReduced Follis Æ 3 (19 mm, 2.92 gm), Siscia mint, 326-7 CE.
Obv: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, her hair tied in bun on back of head.
Rev: SPES REI-PVBLICAE, Empress standing facing, head left, holding two infants, (Constantine II and Constantius II); .BSIS. in exergue.
RIC 205; Sear 3905 var.
EmpressCollector
Faustina_II.jpg
Faustina II (c. 130-176 AD) - AE As - Rome70 viewsRoman empress, wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius

Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA - Draped bust right
Rev: AVGVS-TI PII FIL / S.C. - Venus standing left, holding Victory and leaning on shield, set on helmet

Minted in Rome (145-146 AD)
References: RIC III Antoninus Pius, 1389a (C)
Weight: 10.29 g
Dimensions: 25 mm
1 commentskrazy
faustina.jpg
Faustina II As, Fecunditas17 viewsObverse: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA. Faustina the Younger, draped, looking right.
Reverse: FECVNDITAS. The empress standing, holding a scepter and an infant. S-C.
Mint: Rome, 161-175.

Weight: 20,5 g. Diameter: 29 mm. Axis: 0º.

Reference: RIC III 1638; BMC 905; Sear 5274.
1 commentsManuel
Faustina Jr.jpg
Faustina Jr. , Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Mother of Lucilla, and Commodus35 viewsThe daughter, wife and mothers of emperors and empresses, Faustina II was born around 130 A.D. to Antoninus Pius and Faustina I. She was married to her cousin Marcus Aurelius in 145 A.D. In 146 A.D., she gave birth to the first of many children. To celebrate this occasion she was given the Title Augusta, which technically made her superior in rank then her husband. Faustina II was a devoted wife and mother, and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns. Her son Commodus went on to became emperor after his father’s death, and her daughter Lucilla became Augusta when she married Lucius Verus in 164 A.D. She died at the city of Halala in Asia Minor in 175 A.D. plagued by many baseless rumors about her infidelity. She was deified soon after and a grand temple was erected to her in the city where she died.1 commentsDumanyu2
Faustina_Junior_venus.jpg
Faustina Junior VENVS28 viewsFaustina Junior, Augusta 146 - winter 175/176 A.D, wife of Marcus Aurelius

Obverse:
Draped bust right
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA

FAVSTINA: Faustina
AVGVSTA: Empress

Reverse:
VENVS

VENVS: Venus
Venus standing left, holding apple & sceptre.

Domination: Denarius (silver), size 15 mm

Mint: Rom,
John S
Faustina_Junior,_Augusta___Wife_of_Marcus_Aurelius.jpg
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of emperor Marcus Aurelius64 viewsSilver Denarius, BMCRE II p. 404, 148; RSC II 195; SRCV II 5262; RIC III MA689 var. (no stephane); Hunter II 8 var. (same), Choice Very Fine , excellent centering, unusual artistic portrait for empress Faustina,toned, Rome mint, weight 2.655g, maximum diameter 17.8mm, die axis 0o, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane and earring, bun in the back; reverse SALVS, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, from patera in right hand, resting left elbow on throne, feet on footstool.
Rare with this grade.

Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.

*The logo of Pharmacology was taken from Salus 's Patera and snake .

From The Sam Mansourati Collection. / Item number RI 75220 (F)/ 20469 (S).

Given as a souvenir to a dear friend and a great Pharmacist on 9/8/2017.
Sam
2013-01-008.jpg
Faustina Junior, Empress on Peacock45 viewsFaustina Junior
Ae Sestertius; 24.20g; 30-32mm

DIVA FAV-STINA PIA
draped bust right

CONSECRATIO
Faustina on Peacock, flying right
S-C across fields

RIC 1702, Cohen 69, BMC 1570
4 commentsRobin Ayers
Faustina_Maior_(138-140,_commemorative_issue)_denarius_(AR).jpg
Faustina Maior (138-140 commemorative issue) denarius (AR)30 viewsObv.: DIVA FAVSTINA (Draped bust of empress) Rev.: AETERNITAS (Aeternitas standing, holding globe with veil blowing around head) Diameter: 17.9 mm RIC 351Nick.vdw
Lg3_quart_sm.jpg
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA / AVGVSTI PII FIL / Ӕ As or Dupontius (156-161 A.D.)20 viewsFAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair arranged in a chignon (bun) behind the head / AVGVSTI PII FIL, Venus standing left holding Victory and leaning on shield set on a helmet, S-C across fields in the lower half

Ӕ, 22.5-24+mm, 9.56g, die axis 11h

There may be a countermark across the front part of the face on obverse, but due to its location it is difficult to be sure and identify it.

AVGVSTI PII FIL(ia) = daughter of August Antoninus Pius, points out to the ruling of Fausta's father Antoninus Pius rather than her husband Marcus Aurelius. Reverse: Unlike Greek Aphrodite, in addition to her other aspects Roman Venus was also a goddess of victory, this embodied in her representation as Venus Victrix (Victorious) or Victris (of Victory), like in this case: she offers a little winged representation of victory, resting on defensive military attributes (as a female goddess, she represented passive, defensive aspects of war, active ones being the domain of male Mars). SC = [Ex] Senatus Consulto (Senatus is genitive, Consulto is ablative of Consultum) = by decree of the Senate, i. e. the authority of the Senate approved minting of this coin (necessary to justify issue of copper alloy coins for which the intrinsic value was not obvious).

Of two Ӕ coins with the same legends and Venus with shield, RIC 1367 and 1389a, the first is a sestertius and its typical dimensions are characteristic of the type: 30+ mm and 20+g. This one is definitely smaller. Material seems reddish, so this one is more likely an as. Minted in Rome. Some sources give issue dates as 156-161 (the end of Faustina's father's reign), others as 145-146 (her marriage).

Annia Galeria Faustina Minor (Minor is Latin for the Younger), Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (born probably 21 September c. 130 CE, died in winter of 175 or spring of 176 CE) was a daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and Roman Empress Faustina the Elder. She was a Roman Empress and wife to her maternal cousin Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was held in high esteem by soldiers and her own husband and was given divine honours after her death. Faustina, named after her mother, was her parents' fourth and youngest child and their second daughter; she was also their only child to survive to adulthood. She was born and raised in Rome. Her great uncle, the emperor Hadrian, had arranged with her father for Faustina to marry Lucius Verus. On 25 February 138, she and Verus were betrothed. Verus’ father was Hadrian’s first adopted son and his intended heir; however, when Verus’ father died, Hadrian chose Faustina’s father to be his second adopted son, and eventually, successor. Faustina’s father ended the engagement between his daughter and Verus and arranged for Faustina's betrothal to her maternal cousin, Marcus Aurelius; Aurelius was also adopted by her father.

In April or May 145, Faustina and Marcus Aurelius were married, as had been planned since 138. Since Aurelius was, by adoption, Antoninus Pius' son, under Roman law he was marrying his sister; Antoninus would have had to formally release one or the other from his paternal authority (his patria potestas) for the ceremony to take place. Little is specifically known of the ceremony, but it is said to have been "noteworthy". Coins were issued with the heads of the couple, and Antoninus, as Pontifex Maximus, would have officiated. Marcus makes no apparent reference to the marriage in his surviving letters, and only sparing references to Faustina. Faustina was given the title of Augusta on 1 December 147 after the birth of her first child, Galeria Faustina (or Domitia? sources differ which of them was born in 147 and was the first child).

When Antoninus died on 7 March 161, Marcus and Lucius Verus ascended to the throne and became co-rulers. Faustina then became empress. Unfortunately, not much has survived from the Roman sources regarding Faustina's life, but what is available does not give a good report. Cassius Dio and the Augustan History accuse Faustina of ordering deaths by poison and execution; she has also been accused of instigating the revolt of Avidius Cassius against her husband. The Augustan History mentions adultery with sailors, gladiators, and men of rank; however, Faustina and Aurelius seem to have been very close and mutually devoted.

Faustina accompanied her husband on various military campaigns and enjoyed the love and reverence of Roman soldiers. Aurelius gave her the title of Mater Castrorum or ‘Mother of the Camp’. She attempted to make her home out of an army camp. Between 170–175, she was in the north, and in 175, she accompanied Aurelius to the east.

That same year, 175, Aurelius's general Avidius Cassius was proclaimed Roman emperor after the erroneous news of Marcus's death; the sources indicate Cassius was encouraged by Marcus's wife Faustina, who was concerned about her husband's failing health, believing him to be on the verge of death, and felt the need for Cassius to act as a protector in this event, since her son Commodus, aged 13, was still young. She also wanted someone who would act as a counterweight to the claims of Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, who was in a strong position to take the office of Princeps in the event of Marcus’s death. The evidence, including Marcus's own Meditations, supports the idea that Marcus was indeed quite ill, but by the time Marcus recovered, Cassius was already fully acclaimed by the Egyptian legions of II Traiana Fortis and XXII Deiotariana. "After a dream of empire lasting three months and six days", Cassius was murdered by a centurion; his head was sent to Marcus Aurelius, who refused to see it and ordered it buried. Egypt recognized Marcus as emperor again by 28 July 175.

Faustina died in the winter of 175, after a somewhat suspicious accident, at the military camp in Halala (a city in the Taurus Mountains in Cappadocia). Aurelius grieved much for his wife and buried her in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. She was deified: her statue was placed in the Temple of Venus in Rome and a temple was dedicated to her in her honor. Halala’s name was changed to Faustinopolis and Aurelius opened charity schools for orphan girls called Puellae Faustinianae or 'Girls of Faustina'. The Baths of Faustina in Miletus are named after her.

In their thirty years of marriage, Faustina bore Marcus Aurelius thirteen children, of whom 6 reached adulthood and were significant in history. The best known are emperor Commodus and the closest to him sister Lucilla (both depicted in a very historically inaccurate movie "Gladiator" and, together with their parents, in a much more accurate 1st season "Reign of Blood" of the TV series "Roman Empire").
Yurii P
FAUSTJR-21.jpg
Fortuna, Personification of good luck294 viewsFaustina Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius, Augusta 147-175/6 C.E.
AR Denarius (18.5 mm), Rome mint, 161-175 C.E.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed & draped bust r.
Rev: FORTVNAE MVLIEBRI, Fortuna enthroned left, holding rudder and cornucopiae.
RIC-683; Sear-5253; BMC-96; Cohen-107.

This legend, unique to this empress, dedicates the type 'to the Fortune of Women'. Festus speaks of a statue of this goddess at the fourth milestone from Rome.

Fortuna personifies good fortune, luck and prosperity. She is usually depicted holding a rudder or cornucopiae; she sometimes holds a wheel at her side.
EmpressCollector
unknown_jg_100.jpg
Helena - Uncleaned Find60 viewsFL HELENA - AVGVSTA (legend # 12) 18.8mm 18.degrees
diademed, mantled, with necklece (Helena) (bust E10)
SECVRITAS - REIPVBLICE
Empress stg. l., lowering branch, raising robe.
with SMTSG in the exergue
Struck 326 to 328 rated an R1
Tkonnova
sb834,29mm1183gpir.jpg
Heraclius, AE follis, SB 8347 viewsObverse: dd NN hERACLIUS ET hERA CON usually fragmentary, Heraclius Constantine on r., and Empress Martina on L., all stg. facing each wearing crown and chlamys, holding gl. cr. in rt hand. between heads cross.
Reverse: Large M between ANNO regnal yr 3 (III), cross above NIKO in exergue.
Mint: Nicomedia
Date: 612/3 CE
Sear 834 DO 158-60
19mm, 11.83g
wileyc
heretrusc veritas.jpg
HERENNIA ETRUSCILLA antoninianus - 249-251 AD43 viewsobv: HER.ETRVSCILLA.AVG (diademed, draped bust right on crescent)
rev: VERITAS.AVG (Uberitas standing left, holding purse and cornucopia)
ref: RIC IViii 69a (R), C.32 (10frcs)
3.22gms, 22mm
mint: Antioch
Very rare
The VERITAS legend is probably blundered (missing ’B’), no other Empress used this, and the personification is as same as Uberitas coins. See also Trajan Decius VERITAS coin.
berserker
GORDIAN3-1.jpg
Hygieia, the personification of health245 viewsGordian III and Tranquillina
Moesia Inferior, Tomis. Æ 4 Assaria (?) (27mm, 11.2 gm), struck AD 241.
Obv: AVT K M ANTWNIOC GORDIANOC, TRANKVLI/NA, Laureate bust of Gordian III, facing right, confronting diademed and draped bust of Tranquillina, facing left.
Rev: MHTROPONTOV TOMEWC, Hygeia standing, feeding snake from patera.
Moushmov 2288. (Contributed by EmpressCollector).

Hygieia is usually said to be a daughter of Asklepios, along with her sisters, Panacea and Iaso. Hygieia, though, was the most important of the attendants of Asklepios and was thought by some in antiquity to be not his daughter but his wife. She was more important than other members of the family and more on par with Asklepios himself. Hygieia is remembered today in the word, "hygiene." She appears on numerous coins, usually depicted feeding the sacred snake from a patera. She was often identified with Salus, an old Roman goddess.
EmpressCollector
Mariniana-Antoninian-ROMA-CONSECRATIO-GÖBL220b.jpg
I/a - MARINIANA - 001 - Antoninian GÖBL 220b6 viewsAv) DIVAE MARINIANAE
Veiled and draped bust right on crescent
Rv) CONSECRATIO
Peacock with empress flying right to heaven

Weight:2,4g; Ø:21mm; References: GÖBL:0220b; RIC V/I/6;
ROME mint; struck: 253 A.D. - 254 A.D.


sulcipius
herennia-etruscilla_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia-standing_03.jpg
IIII - Herennia Etruscilla - AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia standing21 viewsEmpress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Decius, Mother of Herennius Etruscus
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 249 - 251 AD.

obv: HER ETRUSCILLA AUG - Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia standing left holding scepter and drawing veil from her face.

3.8 Grams
rexesq
herennia-etruscilla_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia-standing_00.JPG
IIII - Herennia Etruscilla - AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia standing20 viewsEmpress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Decius, Mother of Herennius Etruscus
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 249 - 251 AD.

obv: HER ETRUSCILLA AUG - Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia standing left holding scepter and drawing veil from her face.
rexesq
herennia-etruscilla_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia-standing_rev_03.JPG
IIII - Herennia Etruscilla - AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia standing.14 viewsEmpress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Decius, Mother of Herennius Etruscus
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 249 - 251 AD.

obv: HER ETRUSCILLA AUG - Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia standing left holding scepter and drawing veil from her face.

3.8 Grams
rexesq
herennia-etruscilla_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia-standing_obv_04.JPG
IIII - Herennia Etruscilla - AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia standing.15 viewsEmpress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Decius, Mother of Herennius Etruscus
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 249 - 251 AD.

obv: HER ETRUSCILLA AUG - Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia standing left holding scepter and drawing veil from her face.

3.8 Grams
rexesq
herennia-etruscilla_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia-standing_obv_01_rev_02_95%.JPG
IIII - Herennia Etruscilla - AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia standing.18 viewsEmpress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Decius, Mother of Herennius Etruscus
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 249 - 251 AD.

obv: HER ETRUSCILLA AUG - Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia standing left holding scepter and drawing veil from her face.

3.8 Grams
1 commentsrexesq
INDIA_VICTORIA_RUPEE.jpg
INDIA - British19 viewsINDIA - British, Queen Victoria, AR Rupee, 1887. Obv: Victoria facing left; VICTORIA EMPRESS. Rev.: ONE/RUPEE/1887 in ornamental wreath. Reference: KM#492.dpaul7
kutvhie.jpg
India. Princely states. Kutch. Copper Trambiyo 1882/1938, 1909, 1920/197614 viewsIndia. Princely states. Kutch. Copper Trambiyo 1882/1938, 1909, 1920/1976.
1.) Victoria Empress of India 1882 A.D. KM Y 30
2.) Edward VII Emperor of India 1909 A.D. KM Y 38
3.) George V Emperor of India 1920 A.D. KM Y 46
oneill6217
dokdi.jpg
India. Princley States. Kutch.Khengarji III V.S. 1875 - 1942 A.D. Copper 1 1/2 Dokdo 1934 V.S. (1878 A.D.) & 1927 V.S. (1870 A.D.).8 viewsIndia. Princley States. Kutch.Khengarji III V.S. 1875 - 1942 A.D. and Pragmaji II 1860 - 1875 A.D. Copper 1 1/2 Dokdo 1934 V.S. (1878 A.D.) & 1927 V.S. (1870 A.D.). Victoria Empress of India.

KM y23
oneill6217
kutchtrambyio.jpg
India. Princley States. Kutch.Khengarji III V.S. 1875 - 1942 A.D. Copper Trambiyo 1882.10 viewsIndia. Princley States. Kutch.Khengarji III V.S. 1875 - 1942 A.D. Copper Trambiyo 1882. VICTORIA EMPRESS OF INDIA over date.
KMY 30
oneill6217
Eudocia__s_poem_Hamat_Gader.jpg
Israel, Hamat Gadar, inscription of the Empress Eudocia's poem about the Hamat Gader baths12 viewsIsrael, Hamat Gadar, inscription of the Empress Eudocia's poem about the Hamat Gader baths, 5th Century AD

The Hamat Gader Poem inscribed on the baths at Hamat Gader was very short, and can be included here, as evidence of her hexameter writing style. The poem was inscribed so visitors could read it as they went into the pool.

I have seen many wonders in my life, countless,
But who, noble Clibanus, however many his mouths, could proclaim
Your might, when born a worthless mortal? But rather
It is right for you to be called a new fiery ocean,
Paean and parent, provider of sweet streams.
From you the thousandfold swell is born, one here, one there,
On this side boiling-hot, on that side in turn icy-cold and tepid.
Into fountains four-fold four you pour out your beauty.
Indian and Matrona, Repentius, holy Elijah,
Antoninus the Good, Dewy Galatia, and
Hygieia herself, warm baths both large and small,
Pearl, ancient Clibanus, Indian and other
Matrona, Strong, Nun, and the Patriarch's.
For those in pain your powerful might is always everlasting.
But I will sing of a god, renowned for wisdom
For the benefit of speaking mortals.

The inscription of the poem

The line "Of the Empress Eudocia" flanked by two crosses is set above the poem. This title line was added after the carving of the main inscription, making room for some doubt whether the poem was indeed authored by Eudocia. Clibanus is the name given to the source of the hot water. After praising his qualities and those of his many springs ("the thousandfold swell"), the poem enumerates "four-fold four", thus sixteen different parts of the bath complex, fourteen of which bear a name; these names include Hygieia (the pagan goddess of health), a whole range of pagan personal names, "holy Elijah" referring to the prophet, and two refer to Christians – a nun and a patriarch.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eudocia's_poem_Hamat_Gader.png
Greek Inscriptions from Ḥammat Gader: A Poem by the Empress Eudocia and Two Building Inscriptions Author(s): JUDITH GREEN and YORAM TSAFRIR
Source: Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2/3 (1982), pp. 77-96
Joe Sermarini
Hamat-gader-archeol-site-synagoge.jpg
Israel, Hamat Gadar, Ruins of Synagogue10 viewsHamat Gader was already a well known health and recreation site in Roman times, mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara. The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of (the ancient city of) Gadara. Gadar today is nearby modern Umm Qais. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the tel located near the site, Tel Bani, is a corruption of the Latin word meaning "baths." The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool. The mosaic pavement recovered from the 5th century Hamat Gader synagogue, is now installed in the entrance hall of the Supreme Court of Israel.


Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hamat-gader-archeol-site-synagoge.jpg
Joe Sermarini
Hamat-gader_25.jpg
Israel, Hamat Gadar, Ruins of the Roman Baths17 viewsHamat Gader was already a well known health and recreation site in Roman times, mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara (modern Umm Qais). The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of (the ancient city of) Gadara. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the tel located near the site, Tel Bani, is a corruption of the Latin word meaning "baths." The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hamat-gader_25.jpg
Photo by Daniel Ventura
Joe Sermarini
Hammat_Gader.JPG
Israel, Jerusalem, Supreme Court Entrance Hall - Mosaic from Hamat Gader Synagogue 10 viewsA section of the mosaic pavement recovered from the ancient Hamat Gader synagogue, now installed in the entrance hall of the Supreme Court of Israel.

Hamat Gader was already a widely known health and recreation site in Roman times. It is mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara. The site includes a Roman theater, which was built in the 3rd century CE and contained 2,000 seats. A large synagogue was built in the 5th century CE. The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool.
Joe Sermarini
MISC_Ancona_grosso_Biaggi_34.jpg
Italian States: Ancona. Republic3 viewsBiaggi 34; CNI v. VIII, pp. 3-4, nos. 19-31, plate I/4-5

AR Grosso, struck ca. 13th-14th Century; 2.19 g., 21.77 mm. max.; 270°

Obv: + (star) DE ANCONA (star), cross pattée.

Rev: °• PP • S • QVI (star) – (trefoil) RI ACVS • (rosette) °, St. Judas Cyriacus (Quiriacus) standing facing, holding crozier and raising hand in benediction.

The reverse legend refers to Saint Judas Cyriacus (Quiriacus), patron Saint of Ancona. Local tradition claims that Cyriacus/Quiriacus was a Jew of Jerusalem who had a fateful meeting with the Roman empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, around 327 A.D. Helena was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem when she encountered Cyriacus, who revealed to her the location of the True Cross upon which Christ was crucified. After guiding the empress to the holy relic, Cyriacus converted to Christianity and became Bishop of Jerusalem, only to suffer martyrdom years later under Julian the Apostate. The city of Ancona is said to have received his relics, minus his head, under empress Galla Placidia, around the middle of the fifth Century (his head is in the town of Provins, France, where it was brought from Jerusalem during the crusades). He has been the city’s patron Saint ever since.

During this period Ancona was an oligarchic republic, ruled by six elected Elders. In 1348, after the city was weakened by the black death and a fire, the Malatesta family took control.
Stkp
Iulia_Domna_(193-217)_denarius_(AR).jpg
Iulia Domna (193-217) denarius (AR)92 viewsObv.: IVLIA AVGVSTA (Draped bust of empress) Rev.: MATER DEVM (Kybele wearing the Mural crown, seated between two lions, holding branch and sceptre) Weight: 3,15 g Diameter: 19 mm RIC 5645 commentsNick.vdw
Iulia_Domna_(193-217)_denarius_(AR).png
Iulia Domna (193-217) denarius (AR)15 viewsObv.: IVLIA AVGVSTA (Draped bust of empress) Rev.: MATER DEVM (Kybele wearing the Mural crown, seated between two lions, holding branch and sceptre) Diameter: 19 mm Weight: 3,15 g RIC 564

According to Cassius Dio, when Domna was jesting with the wife of a Caledonian chieftain about the licentiousness of British women, the wife replied: "We fulfil the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest."
Nick.vdw
julia.jpg
Julia Domna30 viewsOb. IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
Rev. IVNO REGINA, Juno, veiled, standing left holding patera and sceptre; peacock to left
Mint (possibly) Laodicea
Heavily toned

Ref. RIC 640, RSC 97, BMC 601

Juno was a favourite patroness of the empresses and the only Emperor showing this reverse was Claudius Gothicus

-:Bacchus:-
Bacchus
domnacaracalla.jpg
JULIA DOMNA 36 viewsAR denarius. 201 AD. 3.70 grs. 12h. Draped bust of Empress right. IVLIA AVGVSTA / Laureate and draped bust of Caracalla right. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG.
RIC 544. Cohen ( Julie et Caracalla) 1.
benito
domnacaracalla~0.jpg
JULIA DOMNA30 viewsAR denarius. 201 AD. 3.70 grs. 12h. Draped bust of Empress right. IVLIA AVGVSTA / Laureate and draped bust of Caracalla right. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG.
RIC 544. Cohen ( Julie et Caracalla) 1.
benito
pjimage_(2).jpg
Julia Domna8 viewsWife of Sept. Severus, Empress 193-217 AD, AR Denarius, Rome Mint, Struck 203 AD
Obverse: IVLIA AVGVSTA, Bareheaded bust right, draped
Reverse: PIETAS PVBLICA, Pietas standing left, veiled, both hands
raised, palms up; at left, an altar
References: RIC 574, RSC 156, BMC 69
Size: 20mm, 2.96g
Justin L
J2.JPG
Julia Domna - Juno52 viewsDenarius 209
O/ IULIA - AUGUSTA Draped bust right
R/ IU-NO Juno standing half-left, holding patera and sceptre; in front, peacock standing left, head turned back
C 82 - RIC 559
Mint: Rome (6th off., 29th emission)
In 209, Septimius and his two sons leave Rome for the campaign of Britain and let the regency to the empress Julia. She will never see her husband alive.
septimus
jd3.jpg
Julia Domna 193-211 denarius34 viewsOb. IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
Rev. SAECVLI FELICITAS, Isis, wearing peaked head-dress on head, standing right, left foot on prow, holding Horus (or more properly - Harpokrates); behind, rudder resting against altar.

Ref. RIC 577, RSC 174, BMC 75

IVLIA AVGVSTA Julia is your Empress
SAECVLI FELICITAS This is a happy age


-:Bacchus:-
Bacchus
Julia_Domna_Juno~0.JPG
Julia Domna Juno27 viewsJulia Domna - Roman Empress - wife of Severus Alexander
Silver Denarius 19mm (2.6 grams) Rome mint: 209 A.D.
Reference: RIC 559 (Septimius Severus), S 6588, C 82
IVLIAAVGVSTA - Draped bust right.
IVNO - Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter; peacock to left
Romanorvm
39908p00.jpg
Julia Domna, Thessalonica56 viewsJulia Domna
Bronze AE 25; 6.050g, 19.8mm, 225o,

IOVLIA DOMNA
draped bust right

QECCALONIKEWN
Ares advancing right in military garb, spear in right, shield in left

Thessalonica mint, c. 196 - 211 A.D.;

Unpublished; Varbanov III -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; BMC -; AMNG III -; Lindgren -; Weber -; SNG Righetti -,
Wildwinds example

Prov. Forum Ancient Coins
Information from Forum purchase:
This reverse is known for Septimius Severus from Moushmov 6737, but it is not in the plates. Varbanov lists the Severus coin (4351, referencing Moushmov, printed in 1912) but apparently never having seen an example, he was unable to identify the diameter and did not list rarity. Our coin, entirely unpublished, has this extremely rare war god reverse inappropriately on the reverse of the empress
2 commentsarizonarobin
Julia Domna Hilaritas.JPG
Julia Domna- Hilaritas32 viewsJulia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right

Obverse:
IVLIA AVGVSTA

IVLIA: Julia
AVGVSTA: Augusta/ Empress

Reverse:
HILARITAS, the happiness of our empress

Hilaritas standing left holding long palm and cornucopia
That it is Hilaritas is a guess, the coin is worn.

Bronze AE 3, size 18 mm

Mint: official, Rome mint, 198 A.D, RIC # ?
John S
julia-mamaea_sestertius_24_9gr_obv_06_rev_03.JPG
Julia Mamaea 002 - 01 - AE Sestertius - Venus Victrix 30 viewsEmpress Julia Mamaea, Mother of Emperor Severus Alexander (222-235 AD)
AE Sestertius. Struck 228-9 AD - Rome Mint.

obv: JULIA MAMAEA AUGUSTA - Diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front.
rev: VENVS VICTRIX SC - Venus standing left holding helmet & scepter, shield at feet.

24.9 grams - HEAVY!
-----------

*Notes: This is a very thick and large sestertius of Julia Mamaea, great even patina and coloration as well as having a VERY bold and quite pleasant portrait of the Empress! despite some legend letters being worn or off the flan.
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2 commentsrexesq
julia-mamaea_sestertius_24_9gr_obv_01_rev_01.JPG
Julia Mamaea 002 - 01 AE Sestertius - Venus Victrix50 viewsEmpress Julia Mamaea, Mother of Emperor Severus Alexander (222-235AD)
AE Sestertius. Struck 228-9 AD - Rome Mint.

obv: JULIA MAMAEA AUGUSTA - Diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front.
rev: VENVS VICTRIX SC - Venus standing left holding helmet & scepter, shield at feet.

24.9 grams - HEAVY!
-----------

*Notes: This is a very thick and large sestertius of Julia Mamaea, great even patina and coloration as well as having a VERY bold and quite pleasant portrait of the Empress! despite some legend letters being worn or off the flan.
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5 commentsrexesq
julia-mamaea_sestertius_24_9gr_obv_07.JPG
Julia Mamaea 002 - 02 - AE Sestertius - Venus Victrix 11 viewsEmpress Julia Mamaea, Mother of Emperor Severus Alexander (222-235 AD)
AE Sestertius. Struck 228-9 AD - Rome Mint.

obv: JULIA MAMAEA AUGUSTA - Diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front.
rev: VENVS VICTRIX SC - Venus standing left holding helmet & scepter, shield at feet.

24.9 grams - HEAVY!
rexesq
julia-mamaea_sestertius_24_9gr_obv_08.JPG
Julia Mamaea 002 - 03 - AE Sestertius - Venus Victrix 12 viewsEmpress Julia Mamaea, Mother of Emperor Severus Alexander (222-235 AD)
AE Sestertius. Struck 228-9 AD - Rome Mint.

obv: JULIA MAMAEA AUGUSTA - Diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front.
rev: VENVS VICTRIX SC - Venus standing left holding helmet & scepter, shield at feet.

24.9 grams - HEAVY!
rexesq
julia-mamaea_sestertius_24_9gr_obv_10.JPG
Julia Mamaea 002 - 04 - AE Sestertius - Venus Victrix 19 viewsJulia Mamaea AE Sestertius. 228-9 AD.

obv: JULIA MAMAEA AUGUSTA - Diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front.
rev: VENVS VICTRIX SC - Venus standing left holding helmet & scepter, shield at feet.

24.9 grams - heavy
-----------

*Notes: This is a very thick and large sestertius of Julia Mamaea, great even patina and coloration as well as having a VERY bold and quite pleasant portrait of the Empress! despite some legend letters being worn or off the flan.
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1 commentsrexesq
julia-mamaea_sestertius_two_edge_01.JPG
Julia Mamaea AE Sesterces - Venus, Felicitas - Edge 0317 viewsright - Felicitas Publica reverse - 19.6 grams

left - Venus Victrix reverse - 24.9 grams
-----------
Showing the difference in thickness between these two Sesterces of the same Empress.
rexesq
194.jpg
Julia Mamaea Denarius - Felicitas (RIC 335)36 viewsAR Denarius
Rome, 222-235 AD
3.43g

Obv: Diademed and draped bust of Julia Mamaea (R)
IVLIA MAMAEA AVG

Rev: Felicitas standing front, head to left, legs crossed, holding caduceus in her right hand and leaning on column with her left elbow.
FELICITAS PVBLICA

RIC 335, BMC 483, Cohen 17

Leu Numismatik Web Auction 6, Lot 1062
ex. Maggiore Collection, formed in the late 1970s to early 2000s.

Julia Avita Mamaea (180–235) was the second daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Syrian noble Gaius Julius Avitus Alexianus. She was a niece of empress Julia Domna and sister of Julia Soaemias Bassiana (mother of Elegabalus). She was born and raised in Emesa (modern Homs, Syria). She was the mother of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus and served as regent of Rome and de facto ruler during her son's reign.

In 232, mother and son were sent north to deal with a German attack. Alexander so alienated the Rhine legions by his lack of military prowess and his inflexibility towards pay that the troops proclaimed Maximinus Thrax as emperor in 235. Troops sent to kill Alexander found him clinging to his mother in a tent. Mother and son were butchered together, ending the Severan dynasty.
3 commentsOptimo Principi
PM1569.jpg
Julia Mamaea, AR Denarius. AD 222. Very First Issue From Rome With Original Legend86 viewsImperial Rome, Julia Mamaea, the mother of Severus Alexander. Augusta, AD 222 - 235. AR Denarius, AD 222. Rome. 3.25g. 7h. IVLIA MAMIAS AVG, her draped bust rt. / IVNO CONSERVATRIX, Juno standing rt., looking lt., holding a patera and a sceptre, peacock at her feet. RIC 343 note (incorrect assumption about mint). EF and a beautiful example!

A very rare issue of Julia Mamea which represents the initial issue from Rome in her name, which also occurs on the sestertii and dupondii. Then MAMIAS was corrected to MAMAEA and the same IVNO CONSERVATRIX rev. type was continued in all denominations. Another interesting aspect of this coin is the pose of Juno. All the weight is placed on her left leg on this coin along with the earliest issues bearing the new spelling MAMAEA. Thereafter the bulk of the IVNO CONSERVATRIX depicts Juno placing her weight on her right leg.

As an empress collector I thank Curtis Clay for trading me this coin and alerting me to it's significance.

A very rare and interesting piece!
Fausta
juliasoaemias.jpg
Julia Soaemias, Denar, 218-22216 viewsJulia Soaemias, AR-Denar, 218-222; 2.78g; 20 mm.
Obv.: IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG; draped bust right.
Rev.: VENVS CAELESTIS; Venus with sceptre and apple sitting left, child at her feet.
RIC 243; Cohen 14; Sear 2171; BMC 55
about very fine, some roughness.

Although not a expremely well preserved coin, it is from one of the scarcer empresses, so that I am very happy to own this coin. The roughness ist somewhat overemphasized in the scan due to the light angle. Looks nicer in hand!
helcaraxe
lg_ByxK_01.jpg
Justin II AE Half Follis27 viewsJustin II
AE Half follis 5.16g / 20.5mm / -
- Justin on l., Empress Sophia or r. on double throne, Empress holds cruciform scepter
- Large K, cross above, A/N/N/O to l., TES (Thessalonika mint) below, (epsilon) to right (year 5 , 570/571
Mint: Thessalonica (570-571 AD)
References: Sear 366
Scotvs Capitis
FAUSTJR-32.jpg
Laetitia, the personification of gladness and happiness.215 viewsFaustina Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, 147-175/6 CE.

Æ As (25 mm, 8.6 gm), Rome mint, 161-175 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing circlet of pearls, hair in chignon behind.
Rev: LAETITIA SC, Laetitia standing right, holding scepter and wreath.
RIC-1657; Sear-5300; BMC-987; Cohen-152.

Laetitia personifies happiness, and as such, she resembles Hilaritas. There seems to be no set iconography for her and she has a variety of attributes: she may hold a scepter, ears of grain, a wreath, an anchor or a rudder on globe.

Jones (1990), p. 156, states that on the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
EmpressCollector
01782q00.jpg
Leo I and Verina, Verina Standing64 viewsBronze AE4, RIC 713-718, Fair, 1.23g, 10.8mm, 45o, obverse D N LE-O (or similar), Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Empress Verina standing facing holding cross on globe and transverse scepter, b - E across fields, ex Forumecoli73
LEONTIA-1.jpg
Leontia, wife of Phocas, 602-610 CE.188 viewsÆ Follis (28.4 mm, 13.35 g). Constantinople mint. Struck 602/603 CE.
Obv: δmFOCA ЄPPAVG, Phocas and Leontia stg. facing. The Emperor holds globus cruciger, the Empress, nimbate, holds cruciform scepter.
Rev: Large M, surmounted by cross; ANNO to left, I (regnal year 1) right, CONB in exergue.
Sear 639; MIB 129, 60a; DOC 163, 24b.
EmpressCollector
auli.jpg
Livia and Augustus, Colonial Romula (Seville), Minted by Tiberus12 viewsAugustus and Livia, minted by Tiberius, 14 Aug 19 - 16 Mar 37 A.D.
This coin associates Livia with globe and crescent symbols and refers to her as Augusta Genetrix Orbis, Sacred Mother of the World. This extraordinary title was never official and is not used on any other coin type for any empress.
5474. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC I 73, Alverez Burgos 1587, aF, Colonia Romula mint, 25.1g, 33.4mm, 180°, obverse PERM DIVI AVG COL ROM, Augustus radiate head right, star above, thunderbolt right; reverse IVLIA AVGVSTA GENETRIX ORBIS, Livia head left on globe, crescent above;
NORMAN K
AUG-1.jpg
Livia, wife of Augustus. Augusta 14-29 CE.185 viewsSpain, Hispalis. Æ (31mm, 21.48 g).
Minted in Colonia Romula (modern Seville) under Tiberius.
Obv: PERM DIVI AVG COL ROM, Radiate head of Augustus right; thunderbolt before, star above.
Rev: IVLIA AVGVSTA GENETRIX ORBIS, Head of Livia left; globe beneath, crescent above.
RPC 73; SGI 189; Heiss 393,2; Cohen 169,3; Alvarez Burgos 1587.

This coin associates Livia with globe and crescent symbols and refers to her as Augusta Genetrix Orbis, Sacred Mother of the World. This extraordinary title was never official and is not used on any other coin type for any empress.
EmpressCollector
Lucilla.jpg
Lucilla33 viewsRoman Empire
Lucilla
(Daughter of Marcus Aurelius, Married to Lucius Verus (her adoptive uncle), executed after failed assassination and coup attempt against Commodus)
(b. 148-150 AD, d. 182 AD)



Obverse: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Draped Bust of Lucilla facing right

Reverse: VOTA PVBLICA in wreath



Silver Denarius
Minted in Rome 164-169 AD


Translations:

LVILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F= For Lucilla Empress, Daughter of Emperor Antoninus

VOTA PVBLICA=Public Vows









References:
RIC III 791
ERIC II 38
2 commentsSphinx357
MarAurFaustinaCombo3.jpg
MAFJ5 Emperor and Empress18 viewsMarcus Aurelius
Sestertius
Dec 162-Autumn 163

Sestertius
Laureate head, right, IMP CAES M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG PM
Salus stg, SALVTI AVGVSTOR TR P XVII COS III SC

RIC 843

Faustina II
Denarius

Draped bust right, hair in a bun behind, FAVSTINA AVGVSTA
Fecundity (Faustina) standing left between two children, holding two more in arms, FECVND AVGVSTAE

RIC 676

The sestertius portrays Marcus within two years of his elevation to emperor in 161. Faustina's denarius, although undated in RIC, probably is from the same timeframe and presumably depicts the young girls Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina and Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla, and the twin babies Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (Commodus). Her portrait has taken on a more matronly air.
Blindado
LucillaSestVenus~1.jpg
MAFJ7 Daughter and Empress16 viewsLucilla

Sestertius
Draped bust, right, LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F
Venus standing facing left holding apple, drawing out robe, VENUS

RIC 1767

Marcus Aurelius betrothed Lucilla to Lucius Verus upon his elevation to the purple in 161. In 164, while Lucius was in the East waging the Parthian war, Marcus sent his daughter off to be wed. According to the Historia Augusta, "In the middle of the war, [Marcus] conducted as far as Brundisium both Civica, Verus' uncle, and his own daughter who was about to be married, in the care of her sister, having endowed her with money, and sent them to Verus." Lucius received her in Ephesus. She was implicated in a plot against her brother Commodus and dispatched in 182.
1 commentsBlindado
Maria_Bagrationi_Byzantine_Empress.jpg
Maria of Alania Byzantine empress by marriages to emperors Michael VII Doukas and Nikephoros III Botaneiates (aka Maria-Martha of Georgia of Bagrationi royal dynasy)42 viewsMaria of Alania (born Martha, Georgian, 1053-1118) was Byzantine empress by marriages to emperors Michael VII Doukas and Nikephoros III Botaneiates. At the time of her marriage, Georgian Maria was one of only two non-Byzantine princesses to marry a Byzantine heir and the only one to give birth to an heir.

Anna Komnene, in her medieval biographical text Alexiad, describes the beautiful Georgian princess Maria of Alania: "...after Michael Ducas' deposition, when he had advised the latter's successor, Nicephorus Botaniates, to take her in marriage, because she came from another country and had not a crowd of kinsfolk to give the Emperor trouble, and he had told Botaniates a great deal about her family and personal beauty, and often praised her to him. And certainly she was as slender of stature as a cypress, her skin was white as snow, and though her face was not a perfect round, yet her complexion was exactly like a spring flower or a rose. And what mortal could describe the radiance of her eyes? Her eyebrows were well-marked and red-gold, while her eyes were blue. Full many a painter's hand has successfully imitated the colors of the various flowers the seasons bring, but this queen's beauty, the radiance of her grace and the charm and sweetness of her manners surpassed all description and all art. Never did Apelles or Pheidias or any of the sculptors produce a statue so beautiful. The Gorgon's head was said to turn those who looked upon it into stone, but anyone who saw the Queen walking or met her unexpectedly, would have gaped and remained rooted to the spot, speechless, as if apparently robbed of his mind and wits. There was such harmony of limbs and features, such perfect relation of the whole to the parts and of the parts to the whole, as was never before seen in a mortal body, she was a living statue, a joy to all true lovers of the beautiful. In a word, she was an incarnation of Love come down to this terrestrial globe."

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_of_Alania
Joe Sermarini
00mariniana.jpg
MARINIANA34 viewsBI antoninianus. 253-254 AD. 3,51 grs. Diademed,veiled and draped bust right. Crescent behind empress shoulders. DIVAE MARINIANAE. / Peacock standing facing,head to left,tail in splendour. CONSECRATIO.
RIC 3. RSC 2.
benito
00marinianagran.jpg
MARINIANA15 viewsBI antoninianus. 253-254 AD. 3,51 grs. Diademed,veiled and draped bust right. Crescent behind empress shoulders. DIVAE MARINIANAE. / Peacock standing facing,head to left,tail in splendour. CONSECRATIO.
RIC 3. RSC 2.
benito
MARTINA-1.jpg
Martina, wife and niece of Heraclius, 610-641 CE.174 viewsÆ Follis (25.4 mm). Nicomedia mint.
Obv: Heraclius center, Heraclius Constantine r., & Empress Martina l., stg. facing.
Rev: Large M; to l., monogram; above, ANNO & cross; to right, regnal year XS (16); beneath, officina number B; in exergue, NIKO.
Berk 560, DOC 165v (unlisted officina), Sear 836.
EmpressCollector
1881v.jpg
MODERN MILLED (up to 19th Century), INDIA, British India, Victoria, Copper 1/2 Pice, 1886.14 viewsBritish India. Victoria. Copper 1/2 Pice 1886. VICTORIA EMPRESS, Crowned bust left / Floral design around value and date in dotted circle.

KM 484
oneill6217
neroIIII.jpg
NERO33 viewsAR denarius 64-65 AD, 3.41 g. Laureate head right. NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS / Nero radiated and wearing toga, holding patera and long sceptre, standing left, beside empress, veiled, holding holding patera and cornucopiae. AVGVSTVS AVGVSTA .
C 43. RIC 45.
2 commentsbenito
neroIIII~0.jpg
NERO33 viewsNERO
AR denarius 64-65 AD, 3.41 g. Laureate head right. NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS / Nero radiated and wearing toga, holding patera and long sceptre, standing left, beside empress, veiled, holding holding patera and cornucopiae. AVGVSTVS AVGVSTA .
C 43. RIC 45.


benito
NeroStatiliaMessalinaGalbaI.jpg
Nero and Statilia Messalina Galba countermark94 viewsNero & Statilia Messalina, Æ27 as, Galba ctmk., 10.54g Nicaea, Bythinia,
O: NERWN K[LAU]DIOS KAISAR SEBASTOS GE, laureate head left, rectangular countermark GALB[A].
R: ME[SSALEIN]A [GYNE SEBASTOY] Statilia Messalina as Securitas seated right.
Unique mule - Obverse die RPC 2057, Reverse die RPC 2061; Listed in Wildwinds as RPC 2061cf, countermark Howgego 591

Statilia Messalina was the third and last wife of Nero, empress from 66-68. Her great beauty and intelligence kept her alive during some of the most turbulent years of the early empire.

After several failed attempts to strangle his first wife, Claudia Octavia, to death, Nero divorced her for barrenness and she was forced into suicide. Nero kicked his second wife, Poppaea Sabina who was pregnant at the time, to death. Going into a deep depression (Women, can't live with them, can't live without them!) he found comfort in his new bride, Statilia Messalina. All it took was the forced suicide of her husband and Nero was able to have her all to himself.

She must have been a most clever woman as she survived the revolution and civil war that followed, even being betrothed to Otho before he too met an untimely end. Suetonius reports that of the two letters Otho wrote the night before he committed suicide, one of them was to Statilia.
1 commentsNemonater
otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia_rev_03.jpg
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated25 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
rexesq
otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_pudicitia_01.jpg
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated34 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
3 commentsrexesq
marcia-otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_DSC02118_cut.JPG
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated - Portrait 0127 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
--------------------------------------------
Beautiful Portrait of the Empress.
2 commentsrexesq
marcia-otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_DSC02129_cut.JPG
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated - Portrait 0225 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
-------------------------------------------------------
*Note the detail in her braid in this photo.
Photograph slightly off-color.
2 commentsrexesq
marcia-otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_DSC02115_rev_DSC02133.JPG
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated.28 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
2 commentsrexesq
marcia-otacilia-severa_ar-antoninianus_DSC02129_rev_DSC02135.JPG
Otacilia Severa AR Antoninianus - Pudicitia seated.32 viewsEmpress Marcia Otacilia Severa, Wife of Emperor Philip I
AR Antoninianus, Rome Mint - 244 - 249 AD.

obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AUG- Draped bust right, seated on crescent.
rev: PUDICITIA AUG - Pudicitia seated facing left, removing veil from face and holding sceptre.

4.8 Grams.
------------------------------
***NOTE: note the 'crosshatching' on the braid at the back of the Empress' head, note the detail there.
2 commentsrexesq
otacilia severa sest.jpg
OTACILIA SEVERA sestertius - 244-249 AD22 viewsobv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG (diademed & draped bust right)
rev: PVDICITIA AVG (Pudicitia seated left, hand raised to pull veil from face & holding scepter), S-C in ex.
ref: RIC209a, C.55
mint: Rome
18.35gms, 30mm
This form of legend by which the attributes of deified modesty are more closely identified with the person of the Empress than they are in previously cited instances.
berserker
phillip_sr_syrian_ar_tetra.JPG
Philip Jr, Antioch billion tetradrachm. 244-249, 11.9 grams, 26.3 mm177 viewsMarcus Julius Philippus Severus, also known as Philippus II, Philip II and Philip the Younger (237–249) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Philip the Arab by his wife Roman Empress Marcia Otacilia Severa. According to numismatic evidence, he had a sister called Julia Severa or Severina, whom the extant literary sources do not mention.

When his father became emperor in 244 he was appointed Caesar. In 247 he became consul, and later elevated by his father to the rank of Augustus and co-ruler.

His father was killed in battle by his successor Decius in 249. When news of this death reached Rome, he was murdered by the Praetorian Guard. He died in his mother's arms, aged eleven years.

2 commentsAntonivs Protti
SeptimiusPisidiaAntiochAE22.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 105 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Plautilla_(202-205)_denarius_(AR).jpg
Plautilla (202-205) denarius (AR)86 viewsObv.: PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA (Draped bust of empress) Rev.: CONCORDIA AVGG (Concordia standing with patera and sceptre) Weight: 2,74 g Diameter: 19 mm RIC 363 (a)3 commentsNick.vdw
Plautilla_(202-205)_denarius_(AR).png
Plautilla (202-205) denarius (AR)17 viewsObv.: PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA (Draped bust of empress) Rev.: CONCORDIA AVGG (Concordia standing with patera and sceptre) Diameter: 19 mm Weight: 2,74 g RIC 363 (a)

The marriage between Caracalla and Plautilla was an unhappy one, as the partners loathed one another. Plautilla was exiled in 205 and six years later she was executed.

Nick.vdw
PLAUTIL-1.jpg
Plautilla, wife of Caracalla, killed 211 CE.150 viewsAR Denarius (19 mm, 3.13 gm), Rome mint, struck 202 CE.
Obv: PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust of empress right, hair in nearly vertical waves and drawn into large bun at back.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia, wearing diadem, standing. half-left, holding patera and scepter.
RIC 363a; BMC 236, 411; Cohen 1; Sear 7065; Hill 585.
EmpressCollector
PLOTINA-SARTI~2.jpg
PLOTINA, The lady that changed history.142 views(An incredible PORTRAIT in the format of a Sestertius of PLOTINA)
The most influential of all Roman Empresses, she was interested in philosophy and in the doctrines of Epicurus, virtue, dignity and simplicity. She provided Romans with fairer taxation, improved education, assisted the poor, and tried to make Roman society ever more tolerant. Plotina was well known for her high moral standards and her kindness, as well as for her support for her husband: she travelled with him to the East and was present at his deathbed. It is said that when Plotina entered the imperial palace after her husband Trajan had become Emperor, she turned to those gathered at the steps and declared “I enter here such a woman as I would wish to be when I leave.” Plotina was instrumental in ensuring that Hadrian, who she greatly liked and was Trajan’s ward, succeeded peacefully to the throne on Trajan’s death
sunwukong
PolemoII.jpg
Polemo II-Mark Antony's great grandson479 views Silver drachm

BACΙΛΕΩC ΠΟΛΕΜΩΝΟC
diademed head of Polemo right

ETOYC - K (year 20)
laureate head of Nero right;

57 - 58 A.D.
3.645g

18.1mm, die axis 180o

RPC I 3832, SNG Cop 242, BMC Pontus 7 - 8, SNG von Aulock 6691

Ex-Forum

Marcus Antonius Polemon Pythodoros, also known as Polemon II of Pontos and Polemon of Cilicia is the only known direct descendant of Mark Antony who bares his name. Through his maternal grandmother he was a direct descendant of Mark Antony and his second wife Antonia Hybrida Minor. Antony and Antonia Hybrida were first paternal cousins. He was Antony’s second born great grandson. Through Antony, he was a distant cousin to Roman Client King Ptolemy of Mauretania and Drusilla of Mauretania. He was also a distant cousin to Roman Emperors Caligula, Claudius and Nero and Roman Empresses Valeria Messalina, Agrippina the Younger and Claudia Octavia.

Polemon II’s father Polemon Pythodoros King of Pontos died in 8 BC. His mother then married King Archelaus of Cappadocia, and the family moved to the court of his stepfather. In 17 AD Archelaus died and Polemon II and his mother moved back to Pontus. From 17 until 38, Polemon II assisted his mother in the administration of Pontos. When his mother died in 38, Polemon II succeeded her as the sole ruler of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia.

Around 50 AD, Polemon II met the Judean princess Julia Berenice in Tiberias during a visit to King Agrippa I. Berenice was widowed in 48 AD when her second husband and paternal uncle Herod of Chalcis, died. She had two sons by him, Berenicianus and Hyrcanus. Berenice set the condition that Polemon II had to convert to Judaism before marriage, which included undergoing the rite of circumcision. Polemon II complied, and the marriage went ahead but it did not last long. Berenice left Pontus with her sons and returned to the court of her brother. Polemon II abandoned Judaism and, according to the legend of Bartholomew the Apostle, accepted Christianity, only to become a pagan again.

In 62, Nero compelled Polemon II to abdicate the Pontian throne. Pontos and Colchis became a Roman province. From then until his death, Polemon II only ruled Cilicia. He never remarried and had no children that are known.

Polemon's sister Antonia Tryphaena's Royal lineage goes all the way down to Nana Queen of Iberia, who died in 363 AD. Truly Antony may have lost the battle of Actium but won the war of genetics!
8 commentsJay GT4
julia_maesa_268.jpg
Pudicitia184 viewsJulia Maesa died 223, grandmother of Elagabal and Severus Alexander
AR - Denar, 2.92g, 17mm
Rome 218 - 220
obv. IVLIA MAESA AVG
draped bust, bare head r.
rev. PVDICITIA
Pudicitia seated l. on throne, holding sceptre l., lifting veil with r.
RIC IV, Elagabal 268; C.36; BMCR. 76
about EF

PUDICITIA, 'modesty, chastity', a virtue first represented on a denar of Plotina AD 112. It may be assumed that this was a new cult in honor of Plotina. She is a virtue only associated to empresses. Indicates modesty by covering herself with a veil.
Jochen
Julia_Domna,_Augusta_194_-_8_April_217_A_D_.jpg
Roman Empire , empress Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D. (Wife of emperor Septimius Severus , mother of emperor Caracalla and co-emperor Geta.)93 viewsSilver Denarius, RIC IV S546, RSC III 14, BMCRE V S10, SRCV II 6576, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, 3.253 gr, 18.9 mm , 0o, Rome mint, struck in year 200 A.D.
Obverse : IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Reverse : CERERI FRVGIF, Ceres seated left, heads of grain in right hand, long torch behind in left hand.
Scarce.
Gorgeous portrait.

The most powerful woman in Roman Empire history.

FORVM Ancient Coins/ The Sam Mansourati Collection / Given as a Christmas present to a superb dear friend.

*Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.

***Julia Domna was the second wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta. An intelligent, talented and beautiful woman, Julia Domna exercised great influence during her husband's reign and practically administered the empire for her sons. In 217 A.D. after the assassination of Caracalla, she possibly committed suicide by starvation or she died of breast cancer.
3 commentsSam
herennia.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - HERENNIA ESTRUSCILLA27 viewsHerenia Etruscilla Ant "Fecunditas" SCARCE Herennia Etruscilla, Silver Antoninianus stricken by her husband Trajan Decius AD 249-251 "Our fertile and fair Empress." Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG - Diademed bust right, draped and on a crescent Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG - Fecunditas standing left, holding hand over child and cornucopia. Rome mint: AD 250-251 = RIC IViii, p. 127, 55b Scarce; Cohen 8, 2.59 g. dpaul7
phiip & octilia.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - PHILIP I & OTACILIA SEVERA24 viewsMoushmov 4024 - Philip I & Otacilia Severa AE25 of Mesembria, Thrace. Vis-a-vis busts of emperor & empress / MECAMBRIANWN, Nemesis-Dikaiosyne standing left with scales & cornucopiae, wheel at feet. SNGCop 664. CNG 51. 11.71 gdpaul7
23-Theodora_Constantinople_1000px.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - Theodora13 viewsROMAN EMPIRE - Theodora, Augusta (305-306 AD) AE-4. Obv.: Bust of empress right; FL MAX THEO-DORAE AVG Rev.: PIETAS-ROMANA [dot] Pietas standing facing, carrying an infant at her breast. CONSε mintmark, Constantinople mint. Reference: RIC VIII Constantinopolis 36. Coin is holed, but nice.dpaul7
ROMAN_EMPIRE_-_Aellia_Flacilla.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE -- AELIA FLACCILLA, AUGUSTA 91 viewsROMAN EMPIRE -- AELIA FLACCILLA, AUGUSTA (379-386 AD) AE2. Made 383-388 AD. Obv.: Bust draped with elaborate headdress, necklace and mantle faces right; AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG Rev.: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE with CON epsilon in exergue, Empress standing facing, head right, arms folded on breast. T in right field. Constantinople mint. Reference: RIC IX Constantinople 82.dpaul7
623_P_Sabina_RPC990var_~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, SABINA, BITHYNIA Koinon of Bithynia, Tetrastyle temple female figure63 viewsReference.
RPC 3, 990 var. (facing female, in pediment star); Rec 60 same

Obv. СΑΒΕΙΝΑ СΕΒΑСΤΗ
Draped bust of Sabina, r., with hair coiled and piled on top of head above double stephane.

Rev. ΚΟΙ-ΝΟΝ ΒΕΙΘΥΝΙΑС
Tetrastyle temple on podium of two steps, with star in pediment; within, draped female figure (Empress?) stands facing Left, resting with r. hand on long sceptre, holding patera in l. hand

8.95 gr
23.50 mm
6h
okidoki
10394ab~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, Markianopolis in Moesia Inferior, governor Tereventinus, 5 assaria, 222-235 AD., unpublished.233 viewsMarkianopolis in Moesia Inferior, Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, governor Tereventinus,
Æ28 / 5 assaria (27-29 mm / 13.76 g), 222-235 AD.,
Obv.: AVT K M AVP CEVH AΛEZANΔPOC IOVΛIA MAIC {AVΓ} , ({AVΓ} ligate ), confronted busts of Severus Alexander (l.) and Julia Maesa (r.).
Rev.: {HΓ} {OV}M TEPEBENTIN{OV} M{AP}KIANOΠOΛITΩN / E , ({HΓ}, {OV}, {AR} ligate) , Hera/Juno standing l., holding patera? and torch/spear?.
unpublished, cf. AMNG I page 296, 1063*.

Curtis Clay: For some reason coins of Alex. and Maesa under Tereventinus are rare. Pick knew only two types, three specimens, since 1064 shows Mamaea not Maesa. Hristova/Jekov pp. 189 and 191 try to add two new types, but the readings of empress and/or governor seem doubtful.
1 commentsArminius
Ael-Flaccilla-Salvs-Antioch.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aelia Flaccilla-Salvs Reipvblicae AE2-Not in RIC?35 viewsAelia Flaccilla Æ2 22mm.
OBV- AEL FLAC-CILLA AVG, diademed & draped bust right
REV- SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Empress standing left, holding scroll
EX- ANT?-not sure on officina,although it does not appear to be epsilon.

If officina is epsilon than it will be attributed as RIC IX Antioch 62
black-prophet
As~0.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aurelianus As/Sestertius539 viewsAurelian As or Sestertius, struck 270-275 AD at Rome mint.
Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG, emperor and empress clasping hands, above and between them bust of Sol right.
Ø 23-26 mm, 7.14 g
RIC 80 var. (no mintmark in exergue)

Ex FORVM.
1 commentsPscipio
1.jpg
Roman Empire, Constantine I AE follis, Constantinople, RIC 3569 views18mm
3 gm

Obv: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG
laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right

Rev: CONSTANTINI-ANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus,
head right, holding palm branch in each hand; trophy before, captive seated before her;
Left field: Epsilon
Mintmark: CONS.
RIC VII 35.


One of the scarcer issues of Constantine. The precise meaning of this curious legend is unclear, though various theories have been advanced. Dafne (or Daphne) was the name of a Constantinian fortress on the Danube, of the imperial palace in Constantinople, and of a celebrated park south of Antioch (the source of the city's water supply) where a statue of the Empress Helena had been erected. Daphne also means 'laurel' and the type may simply be in commemoration of Constantine's numerous military victories
Tim v
EudociaRIC428.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE, Eudocia, 423-425 Constantinople (mm off flan)157 viewsObv: ...EVDO...
Rev: Empress Enthroned, CONCORDIA AVG
RIC X 428
(Eudocia was the empress of Theodosius II and is not to be confused with Arcadius' empress Eudoxia. Eudoxia had a similar coin, but it was larger [AE3], with a different reverse legend [GLORIA ROMANORVM], and never a star in reverse left field [sometimes a cross]).
1 commentsLaetvs
leo_01.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, LEO I, AE416 viewsLeo I, A.D.457 - 474.
Obv: D N LEO. Diademed bust of Leo facing right.
Rev: No legend. Empress Verina standing facing holding transverse scepter and globus cruciger, b - E across fields.
10mm
RIC X: 714; LRBC: 2275
seaotter
T-1796_107_Severina_AE-Ant-Silvered_SEVERI-NA-AVG_CONCORDIA-AVG-G__-XXI-R_RIC-3_RIC-T-1796_Rome_iss-10_6-off_274-AD_Q-001_6h_21-23mm_3,69g-s~0.jpg
Roman Empire, Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1796 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ςXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1164 views107 Severina (270-275 A.D.), T-1796 (Estiot), RIC V-I 003, Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA AVG G, -/-//ςXXIR, Emperor and Concordia, #1
avers:- SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
revers:- CONCO-RDIA-AVG-G, Empress standing right, holding unidentified object in left hand, clasping the hand of Emperor standing left, holding short sceptre in left hand. (Emperor and Empress 2)
exerg: -/-//ςXXIR, diameter: 21-23mm, weight: 3,69g, axes: 6h,
mint: Rome, iss-10, off-6, date: 274 A.D., ref: RIC-3., T-1796 (Estiot), C-,
Q-001
quadrans
Sabina_large_pic.JPG
Sabina SC Ceres42 viewsSabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

Obverse:
Diademed, draped bust right.

SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P

SABINA: Sabina
AVGVSTA: Augusta, empress
HADRIANI: Hadrian
AVG: Emperor
PP:Pater Patria, father of the country

Reverse:

S C in Exergue: Senatus Consulto, by Decree of the Senate

No legend on reverse, S C in Exergue - Ceres seated left, holding grain ears/ grain stalks and torch.

Domination: Orichalcum dupondius AS, size 25 mm, die axis 180o

Mint: Rome, S C in Exergue, RIC 1023 (Hadrian), BMC 1900, C 70
John S
salonia1.jpg
Salonina Antoninianus Empress20 viewsOb. CORN SALONINA AVG, diademed draped bust right on crescent
Rev. CONCORDIA AVGG, Empress and emperor clasping hands
Ref. RIC63

-:Bacchus:-
Bacchus
salonina.jpg
Salonina, Concordia85 viewsBillon antoninianus; 3.16g; 22mm
Samosata mint, 255 - 258 A.D.

CORN SALONINA AVG
diademed and draped bust on crescent

CONCORDIA AVG
Emperor and Empress clasping hands, wreath between

RIC 63 var (rev. legend AVGG); Cunetio hoard 864, Göbl 1706Ac, Gökyildirim hoard 2849
3 commentsarizonarobin
Saloninia I double denarius, 262-263 AD, Mediolanum.JPG
Saloninia, 262-263 AD, Mediolanum40 viewsSaloninia, AD 253-268
Billon, 19mm
Mediolanum, 262-263 AD
empress facing right, resting on crescent
SALONINA AUG
Venus standing right, holding long scepter left and Cupid right
VENVS FELIX
RIC 65
Ardatirion
IreneDO2.jpg
Sear 1600 - Follis - 797-802 AD - Constantinople mint74 viewsEmpress: Irene (r. 797-802 AD)
Date: 797-802 AD
Condition: aVF
Denomination: Follis

Obverse: - [
Bust of Irene facing, wearing loros and crown with cross, pinnacles, and pendilia. In right hand, globus cruciger; in left, cross scepter.

Reverse: Large ""; Above, cross; To left, //; To right, //; Beneath, .

Constantinople mint
DO 2; Sear 1600
4.47g; 22.6mm; 180°
Pep
Sear_1758.jpg
Sear 175845 viewsConstantine VII Porphyrogennitos (913 – 959 CE) Follis, weight 5.5g, diameter 24mm. Mint of Constantinople, struck between 914 and 919 CE, the period when the Empress Zoë Carbonopsina (pictured with her son on the obverse) acted as regent. Abu Galyon
HclsDOC184a.jpg
Sear 849 - Follis - 626-627 AD (Year 17) - Cyprus mint50 viewsEmperor: Heraclius (r. 610-641 AD)
Date: 626-627 AD (Year 17)
Condition: VF
Denomination: Follis

Obverse: No Legend
Heraclius (in center), Heraclius Constantine (on right) and the Empress Martina (on left) all standing facing; each wearing chlamys and crown with cross, and holding globus cruciger in right hand.

Reverse: Large "M"; Above, cross; To left, /N/N/O; To right, X//II; Beneath, .
Exergue: KVP

Cyprus mint
DO 184a; Sear 849
2.97g; 27.8mm; 180°
Pep
HclsDO185.jpg
Sear 849 - Follis - 627-628 AD (Year 18) - Cyprus mint47 viewsEmperor: Heraclius (r. 610-641 AD)
Date: 627-628 AD (Year 18)
Condition: VF
Denomination: Follis

Obverse: No Legend
Heraclius (in center), Heraclius Constantine (on right) and the Empress Martina (on left) all standing facing; each wearing chlamys and crown with cross, and holding globus cruciger in right hand.

Reverse: Large ""; Above, ; To left, ///; To right, //; Beneath, .
Exergue:

Cyprus mint
DO 185; Sear 849
5.36g; 22.3mm; 30°
1 commentsPep
HclsDO185bis.jpg
Sear 849 - Follis - 628-629 AD (Year 19) - Cyprus mint29 viewsEmperor: Heraclius (r. 610-641 AD)
Date: 628-629 AD (Year 19)
Condition: VF
Denomination: Follis

Obverse: No Legend
Heraclius (in center), Heraclius Constantine (on right) and the Empress Martina (on left) all standing facing; each wearing chlamys and crown with cross, and holding globus cruciger in right hand.

Reverse: Large ""; Above, ; To left, ///; To right, //; Beneath, .
Exergue:

Cyprus mint
DO 185 bis; Sear 849
6.40g; 24.9mm; 210°
Pep
Sev_.jpg
Severina (270-275 A.D.), Rome, AE-Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM9 viewsObv. SEVERI-NA-AVG, Empress right, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent. (E2)
Rev. CONCOR-DI-AE-MILITVM, Concordia standing left, holding standard in each hand. "Γ" in right field.
exerg: -/Γ//XXIR.
Ref. T-1818 (Estiot), RIC V-I 004.
24mm, 3.38 grams.
Canaan
Faustina_I_Diva_Temple~0.JPG
Struck A.D.150 or thereabouts under Antoninus Pius. DIVA FAUSTINA SENIOR. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome3 viewsObverse: DIVA FAVSTINA. Draped bust of Faustina, hair waved and coiled on top of her head, facing right.
Reverse: AED DIV FAVSTINAE. Hexastyle temple of Diva Faustina containing seated statue of Faustina I, trellis-work fencing in the foreground in front of steps.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.2gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC III : 343
SCARCE

Construction of the temple shown on the reverse of this coin began in the year following the death of the Empress in A.D.141. It was probably completed about A.D.150, the date assigned to this issue by Philip V. Hill in "The Monuments of Ancient Rome as Coin Types".
The temple was later rededicated to Divus Antoninus and Diva Faustina and the shell of the building survives to this day in the Roman Forum, enclosing the Church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda.
*Alex
her-etruscilla_tet_antioch_11_52gr_amphoracoins_2011_exHendin.jpg
T. Decius - Herennia Etruscilla AR Tetradrachm of Antioch, Syria33 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Trajan Decius (249 - 251 AD), Mother of Herennius Etruscus
Tetradrachm struck at the mint of Antioch, Syria.

(titles in Greek)
obv: Bust of Empress Herennia Etruscilla facing right wearing tiara/diadem, seen from the front. Her bust resting on a crescent moon.
2 or 3 dots or 'pellets' as I have heard them called below her bust.

rev: Eagle standing, wings spread, head left, tail right. Holding wreath in beak, 'S C' below, in exergue.

Weight: 11.52 Grams
Size: 28.5 mm
-
------
---
------
-
Ex David Hendin, Amphora Coins w/ signed Photo C.O.A.
5 commentsrexesq
__57_(1)-1.jpg
T. Decius - Herennia Etruscilla AR Tetradrachm of Antioch, Syria - #0216 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Herennia Etruscilla, Wife of Emperor Trajan Decius (249 - 251 AD), Mother of Herennius Etruscus
Tetradrachm struck at the mint of Antioch, Syria.

(titles in Greek)
obv: Bust of Empress Herennia Etruscilla facing right wearing tiara/diadem, seen from the front. Her bust resting on a crescent moon.

rev: Eagle standing, wings spread, head left, tail right. Holding wreath in beak, and standing on branch. 'S C' below, in exergue.

Weight: 10.71 grams - 27 mm diameter.
1 commentsrexesq
faustinaIIgemelos.jpg
TEMPLE, FAUSTINA SENIOR, Temple of Faustina and Antoninus Pius.178 viewsAR denarius. c.146 AD. 3.60 g, 6h. Draped bust right. DIVA FAVSTINA. / Hexastyle temple; with figure within; surmounted by a central facing quadriga, winged Victories on corners; statues on lower left and right; fencing in front. AED DIV FAVSTINAE. RIC III 343 (A.Pius). RSC 1.
The building was built after the death of Empress Faustina (141 A.C.) and was dedicated by the Senate to the deceased, who they declared a divinity. It was also dedicated to Emperor Antoninus Pio, as is stated on its facade. Around the seventh and eighth centuries, it became a Christian church, but its appearance today is mostly a result of the baroque modifications of Orazio Torriani (1601-14).
2 commentsbenito
Thracian_Mint_Julia_Domna_Bronze_Coin.jpg
Thracian Mint Julia Domna Bronze Coin346 viewsJulia Domna - Roman Empress Wife of Emperor Septimius Severus 193-211 A.D. -
Bronze coin.16 mm 3.3 gram
Nicopolis ad Istrum
in Moesia Inferior.
IOVΛIA ΔOMNA CE, Draped bust right.
NIKOПOΛITΩN ПPOC ICTP, Bull standing right.
*Numismatic note: Rare._1750

2 commentsAntonivs Protti
Julia_Domna_Nikopolis_ad_Istrum,_Thrace_.JPG
Thracian Mint Julia Domna Bronze Coin20 viewsJulia Domna - Roman Empress Wife of Emperor Septimius Severus 193-211 A.D. -
Bronze coin.16 mm 3.3 gram
Nicopolis ad Istrum
in Moesia Inferior.
IOVΛIA ΔOMNA CE, Draped bust right.
NIKOПOΛITΩN ПPOC ICTP, Bull standing right.
*Numismatic note: Rare.
1 commentsAntonivs Protti
MARCSE01-2.jpg
Trajan, RIC 750, for Marciana, Sestertius of AD 113-117 (Elephant biga)128 viewsÆ Sestertius (23.87g, Ø33mm, 6h), Rome mint. Struck AD 113-117.
Obv.: DIVA AVGVSTA MARCIANA, draped diademed bust of Marciana facing right.
Rev.: EX SENATVS CONSVLTO (around), S C (in ex.), Statue of Marciana seated on elephant biga advancing left.
RIC (Trajan) 750 [R3]; Cohen 13; BMC 1086; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 104:61
ex Künker Auktion 204; exemplar der Auktion Fritz Rudolf Künker 136, Osnabrück 2008, Nr. 1009.

This type was issued to commemorate the funeral and consecration in AD 112 of Ulpia Marciana, the sister of Trajan, mother of Matidia, grandmother of the empress Sabina. Like Trajan's wife Plotina, she refused the title of Augusta when it was offered to her when Trajan became emperor, but accepted it in AD 105, together with Plotina. She died in AD 112 and was immediately consecrated
3 commentsCharles S
Severina_Concordiae_Militvm_Large.jpg
Ulpia Severina - A Coin of an Interregnum?10 viewsUlpia Severina, Augusta (274 AD), wife of Aurelian
Obv: SEVERINA AVG; Bust of Severina, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent, facing right.
Rev: CONCORDIAE MILITVM; Concordia standing left, facing left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, VI in left field, XXI in exergue.
Denomination: billion antoninianus; Mint: Antioch; Officina: 6th; Issue: 6; Date: early 275 to September 275 AD; Weight: 3.77g; Diameter: 23.3mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 20; MER - RIC 3198.

Notes:

Is this a coin of an interregnum?
That there was an interregnum, in the literal meaning of the word, between the murder of Aurelian and the Senatorial appointment of Tacitus as emperor is undisputed. What is disputed, however, is the length of the interregnum as well as its meaningfulness, i.e. for whatever period of interregnum that did exist, did Severina or the Senate actually rule the empire and thereby make decisions that engendered consequences and/or directed actions? This coin type (although not the only coin type) has played a part in the interregnum story. In Aurelian and the Third Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1999) Alaric Watson dedicates seven and a half pages (pp. 109 - 116) to discussing the interregnum, where he vociferously argues that there was no meaningful interregnum. As part of this discussion he references, on p. 115, this particular coin type and in footnote 66 he cites a number of sources that assign this type in the name of Severina to the period after Aurelian’s death. For example:
Percy Webb in RIC, vol. V, part 1 (1927), pp. 4, 35, and 253 does not take a stance on the possible length of the interregnum, but on p. 253 he states that if the interregnum lasted eight months, then the mints certainly could not have been closed and so “...it is necessary to find coins representing their output.”1 This coin type, dedicated to Concordia and in the name of Severina alone, might represent that output. In “The Imperial Recovery” (chapter nine of The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. XII, The Imperial Crisis and Recovery AD 193 - 324. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939) Harold Mattingly acknowledges that although the length of the interregnum is in debate “... the coinage shows clearly that for some considerable period government was carried on in the name of the Empress Severina for the the dead Aurelian.” (p. 310). In all officina for several mints the coinage of Severina, such as the “Concordia Militum” type “...bear witness to the conditions of the interregnum.” (p. 310). In “The Reform of Aurelian” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vol. 7, 1965: 225 - 235) R. A. G. Carson mentions on pp. 233 and 234 that Severina’s Concordia Militum type is for Severina alone, and that as such it was minted after the death of Aurelian (p. 233). Carson is not concerned with the question of an interregnum, but his placement of this coin type for Severina alone after Aurelian’s death allows this coin type to be taken as evidence of an interregnum. Eugen Cizek in L’Empereur Aurélien Et Son Temps (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1994) also refers to this coin type (not by specific legend, but by reference to “concord with the soldiers”) when discussing the interregnum. He notes that other scholars assign this coinage to the interregnum, a position that he appears to adopt. In Repostiglio della Venèra Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato Aureliano II/I (Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1995) Sylviane Estiot also assigns this coin type to the period after Aurelian’s death.2

But what of the coin here, this coin actually attributed to the 6th officina, mint of Antioch, 6th issue? Estiot attributes this coin not to an interregnal period between Aurelian and Tacitus, when Severina might have ruled in her own right. Rather, on p. 90 of “Aureliana” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vo. 150, 1995: 50 - 94) Estiot attributes this coin, because of exact parallelisms to Aurelian’s coinage at Antioch at this time, to a period of joint coinage between Aurelian and Severina.3

Footnotes:

1He actually allows for the possibility of coinage even if the interregnum was short. See footnote 1, p. 253.
2I assume this to be the case. Although I have no reason to doubt Watson’s citation I was unable to verify it because I am unable to obtain a copy of this book by Estiot.
3Also see Estiot, Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien (270 - 276 apres J.-C.). Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2004, pp. 28 (table 1) and 122.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins
Tracy Aiello
unknownProv.jpg
Uncertain Empress AE1682 viewsObv: Empress facing r.
Rev: Athena standing r. holding spear in l. and resting r. hand on grounded shield.
ancientone
unknownProv~0.jpg
Uncertain Empress AE16 58 views Obv: Empress facing r.
Rev: Athena standing left, wearing Corinthian helm, holding transverse spear and resting hand on shield.
ancientone
sear_849.jpg
Unoffical mint possible arab byzantine follis Heraclius 32 viewsObverse: Heraclius in center, Heraclius Constantine on r., and Empress Martina on L. all stg, facing each holding fl. cr in r. hand.
Reverse: Large M , cross above, ANNO to r. retrograde gamma below
Mint: unknown
Date: approx after 610 CE
Sear 849 (for official mint)
30/19mm 5.84gm
wileyc
julia_soaemias_243.jpg
Venus Caelestis231 viewsJulia Soaemias, killed 222, mother of Elagabal
AR - Denar, 3.50g, 18mm
Rome 218 - 222
obv. IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG
draped bust r.
rev. VENVS CAELESTIS
Venus sitting l., holding l. sceptre and r. apple; at her feet
Cupido stretching his arms
RIC iv, 243; C.14
about VF, slighty toned

VENVS CAELESTIS, on some coins of the Severan empresses,
an adaptation of a Syrian goddess (Dea Syria, not Dea Celestis!),
brought to Rome by these eastern princesses.
Jochen
vesp divus quadriga.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-361262 viewsAR Denarius, 3.08g
Rome Mint, 79-80 AD (Titus)
Obv: DIVVS AVGVSTVS VESPASIANVS; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: EX S C in ex.; Tensa l., surmounted by two victories
RIC 361 (C). BMC 119. RSC 146. BNC 94.
Acquired from Klassische Münzen, March 2007.

Here are Curtis Clay's comments concerning the reverse which I cannot improve upon:

"The wagon is a tensa, a chariot in which the symbols of the gods were carried to the games in the circus procession. The wagon has a pediment, evidently in imitation of the temple where those symbols were normally stored.

A unique medallion of A. Pius in Berlin, illustrated by Cohen 1186, shows a similar pedimented wagon drawn by four horses, with a statue of Roma seated atop the pediment and ROM inscribed on the front of the wagon, evidently the tensa of the goddess Roma.

Suetonius and Dio Cassius report that a tensa in the circus procession was one of the excessive honors voted to Julius Caesar in 45-44 BC, shortly before his assassination.

No literary text or inscription attests that tensae were also accorded to consecrated emperors and empresses, but this fact is demonstrated by the coin types, namely the type of Divus Claudius I, your type of Divus Vespasianus, and the type of Diva Marciana showing a similar pedimented wagon drawn by two mules, BMC pl. 21.7-8.

I believe I was the first scholar to correctly identify these wagons, with a full argument bringing in several other examples too, in my paper on the coinage of Nero, Num. Zeitschrift 96, 1982, pp. 28-9 and Appendix 3."

2 commentsVespasian70
gallienus_valerian_apollo-propug_ants_obv_DSC07079_DSC07082_ovc-95%.JPG
VI - Gallienus and Valerian Antoninianii - 'IOVI ULTORI' and 'APOLINI PROPUG'32 viewsAncient Rome, Roman Empire. 253 - 260 A.D. Both are possibly from the Rome Mint.
Emperor Valerian (left) Father of Gallienus (right).
Father and Son AR/BI Antoninianii:
--------------
LEFT :

Emperor Valerian I (253-260 AD) Husband of Empress Salonina and Father of Gallienus and Valerian II.
AR Antoninianus. Struck 253 AD. Rome Mint.

obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG - Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Seen from the front.
rev: APOLINI PROPVG - Apollo standing right, drawing bow.

Weight: 3.0 grams
---------------
----------------------------------------------------
---------------
RIGHT:

Gallienus Antoninianus - IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing w/ thunderbolt 'S' in left field - #01
Gallienus (253 - 268 AD) Son of Emperor Valerian I (253 - 260 AD) and Empress Salonina.
Silver/billon Antoninianus.

obv: GALLIENUS AUG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed and seen from the front.
rev: IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing, facing right preparing to hurl thunderbolt. 'S' in left field.

Weight: 3.43 Grams
Size: 24 x 23 mm
-----
---
-
2 commentsrexesq
gallienus_valerian_apollo-propug_ants_obv_DSC07077.JPG
VI - Gallienus and Valerian Antoninianii - 'IOVI ULTORI' and 'APOLINI PROPUG' - obverses.23 viewsAncient Rome, Roman Empire. 253 - 260 A.D. Both are possibly from the Rome Mint.
Emperor Valerian (left) Father of Gallienus (right).
Father and Son AR/BI Antoninianii:
--------------
LEFT :

Emperor Valerian I (253-260 AD) Husband of Empress Salonina and Father of Gallienus and Valerian II.
AR Antoninianus. Struck 253 AD. Rome Mint.

obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG - Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Seen from the front.
rev: APOLINI PROPVG - Apollo standing right, drawing bow.

Weight: 3.0 grams
---------------
----------------------------------------------------
---------------
RIGHT:

Gallienus Antoninianus - IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing w/ thunderbolt 'S' in left field - #01
Gallienus (253 - 268 AD) Son of Emperor Valerian I (253 - 260 AD) and Empress Salonina.
Silver/billon Antoninianus.

obv: GALLIENUS AUG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed and seen from the front.
rev: IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing, facing right preparing to hurl thunderbolt. 'S' in left field.

Weight: 3.43 Grams
Size: 24 x 23 mm
-----
---
-
1 commentsrexesq
s-l500_(8).jpg
VI - SALONINA - AR/BI Antoninianus, ROME THE ETERNAL10 viewsAncient Roman Empire, mid 3rd Century AD
Empress Cornelia Salonina, died 268 AD. This Silver Antoninianus coin was struck between the years 259 - 268 AD at the Antioch mint, in what, at the time was located in the Roman Imperial Province of Syria.
Weight: 4.56 Grams (Quite heavy AR coin from this time period)
Titles in Latin;

obv: " SALONINA AUG " - Tiara crowned bust facing right with nicely braided hair, draped and seen from the front, her bust resting upon a very well struck Crescent Moon (many of the crescent moons that are beneath the bust on coins of Empress' are far less clear). This coin has a very nice portrait on the obverse(front), and a *RARE* reverse, for Empress Salonina, that is; "Rome, the Eternal" is the English translation of the Latin titles on the reverse, the reverse shows a depiction of Roma seated handing the Goddess Victory from Roma's hand to the Emperor standing before

rev:" ROMAE AETERNAE " = " Rome, the Eternal " ( English translation ) - Roma seated, shield at her side, sceptre in one hand, wearing military helmet and extending outstretched other hand, holding Goddess Victory, to standing Emperor.
rexesq
s-l500_(9).jpg
VI - SALONINA - AR/BI Antoninianus, ROME THE ETERNAL.7 viewsAncient Roman Empire, mid 3rd Century AD
Empress Cornelia Salonina, died 268 AD. This Silver Antoninianus coin was struck between the years 259 - 268 AD at the Antioch mint, in what, at the time was located in the Roman Imperial Province of Syria.
Weight: 4.56 Grams (Quite heavy AR coin from this time period)
Titles in Latin;

obv: " SALONINA AUG " - Tiara crowned bust facing right with nicely braided hair, draped and seen from the front, her bust resting upon a very well struck Crescent Moon (many of the crescent moons that are beneath the bust on coins of Empress' are far less clear). This coin has a very nice portrait on the obverse(front), and a *RARE* reverse, for Empress Salonina, that is; "Rome, the Eternal" is the English translation of the Latin titles on the reverse, the reverse shows a depiction of Roma seated handing the Goddess Victory from Roma's hand to the Emperor standing before

rev:" ROMAE AETERNAE " = " Rome, the Eternal " ( English translation ) - Roma seated, shield at her side, sceptre in one hand, wearing military helmet and extending outstretched other hand, holding Goddess Victory, to standing Emperor.
rexesq
s-l500_(2).jpg
VI - SALONINA - AR/BI Antoninianus, VENUS21 viewsAncient Rome, mid 3rd Century AD.
Silver/Billon Antoninianus of Empress Salonina, died 268 AD. Rome mint.
Latin titles;
obv: " SALONINA AUG " - Bust of Empress Salonina, hair braided and crowned with a Tiara. Draped bust, set upon a crescent moon. Frontal.
rev: " VENUS AUG " - Goddess Venus standing left, holding helmet in outstretched hand, and spear in other, elbow resting on shield set on ground. "PXV" below.
*The weight is 4,73 grams, quite heavy for the time period. Also, amazing detail on the Empress' bust, specifically her braids and the crescent moon her bust sits upon.*
2 commentsrexesq
s-l500_(3).jpg
VI - SALONINA - AR/BI Antoninianus, VENUS.11 viewsAncient Rome, mid 3rd Century AD.
Silver/Billon Antoninianus of Empress CorneliaSalonina, died 268 AD. Rome mint.
Latin titles;
obv: " SALONINA AUG " - Bust of Empress Salonina, hair braided and crowned with a Tiara. Draped bust, set upon a crescent moon. Frontal.
rev: " VENUS AUG " - Goddess Venus standing left, holding helmet in outstretched hand, and spear in other, elbow resting on shield set on ground. "PXV" below.
*The weight is 4,73 grams, quite heavy for the time period. Also, amazing detail on the Empress' bust, specifically her braids and the crescent moon her bust sits upon.*
rexesq
salonina_antoninianus_MP_obv_04.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - Antoninianus12 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 AD)
AR Antoninianus, Milan Mint.

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: AVG IN PACE - Empress seated left, holding olive branch and scepter. M P in exergue below.

Size: 23x 22.5 mm
Weight: 2.3 Grams
rexesq
salonina_antoninianus_MP_obv_05.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - Antoninianus10 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 AD)
AR Antoninianus, Milan Mint.

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: AVG IN PACE - Empress seated left, holding olive branch and scepter. M P in exergue below.

Size: 23x 22.5 mm
Weight: 2.3 Grams
rexesq
salonina_antoninianus_MP_rev_01.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - Antoninianus - Reverse17 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 AD)
AR Antoninianus, Milan Mint.

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: AVG IN PACE - Empress seated left, holding olive branch and scepter. M P in exergue below.

Size: 23x 22.5 mm
Weight: 2.3 Grams
rexesq
salonina_ant_juno_o_04_ud_r_05_ud_flipped.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus 37 views*This photo is the two Upside Down photos of this coin, the one of the obverse one of the reverse shots, I took them and flipped then over and conjoined the two photos.... the detail looks quite nice especially on the reverse and on her hair in the portrait IMO. The peacock looks well detailed and in great shape as well, I do love this coin, it is my favorite one of the Empress Salonina that is in my collection.
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Ancient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
7 commentsrexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_o_02_r_02.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus27 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_o_01_r_01_70%.JPG
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus29 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
3 commentsrexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_o_04_upside-down.jpg
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus - Obv. Upside Down19 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_r_01.jpg
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus - Reverse 01.9 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_r_02.jpg
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus - Reverse 02.12 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_r_03.jpg
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus - Reverse 03.21 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
Copy_of_salonina_antoninianus_juno-regina_r_04.jpg
VI - Salonina, Wife of Gallienus - AR Antoninianus - Reverse.10 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Empress Julia Cornelia Salonina, Wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Silver Antoninianus -

obv: SALONINA AUG - Diademed and draped bust right, seated on a crescent.
rev: JUNO REGINA - Juno standing facing left holding a patera and sceptre. Peacock to left, star in left field.

Size: 23 mm
Weight: 4.1 Grams
rexesq
SeptSeverus.jpg
[1001a] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.63 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 32, RSC 301, VF, 2.966g, 16.8mm, 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse LIBERO PATRI, Liber (Bacchus) standing left, in right ocnochoe over panther, thysus in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeptSevArDen.jpg
[1001b] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.45 viewsSeptimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Silver denarius, RIC 119A. aF. Rome. Obverse: L. SEP. SEVERVS PER. AVG. P. M. IMP. XI, His bearded and laureated head right. Reverse: SALVTI AVGG. Salus seated left feeding serpent arising from altar(?). Scarce. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves.[[3]] By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
MacrinusDiadumenian_Hygeia_Marcianopolis.jpg
[1006a] Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.; Diadumenian, mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.26 viewsMacrinus and Diadumenian, AMNG 750, 217-218 AD, 12.4 g, 27.25 mm; Moesia Inferior Marcianopolis; aVF; Obverse: Busts of Macrinus and Diadumenian facing each other; Reverse: Rv.: Asklepios standing left, with snake coiled on staff, lovely jade green patina; Ex Colosseum; Ex Ancient Imports.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Macrinus (217-218 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University


Marcus Opellius Macrinus was the first emperor who was neither a senator nor of a senatorial family at the time of his accession. His 14-month reign was spent entirely in the East, where he proved unable to maintain the influence gained in the region by the campaigns of his predecessor, Caracalla, nor was Macrinus able to shake the suspicion that he was responsible for Caracalla's murder.

Macrinus was born in Caesarea in Mauretania around the year 165 AD. While it is highly conjectural that, as a young man, the future emperor was the dedicatee of Ampelius' encyclopedic Liber memoralis, Macrinus undoubtedly received a literary education that enabled him to rise high as a bureaucrat in the imperial service during the reign of the emperor Severus. Caracalla made Macrinus a praetorian prefect, an equestrian post that was second to the emperor in power. Macrinus shared the position with the experienced soldier Adventus, and the pair served Caracalla during the emperor's campaigns in the East.

By the end of the second campaigning season in the winter of 216-17, rumors were flying both in Rome and in the East that Macrinus was promoting himself as a possible future emperor. Caracalla must have been aware of the rumors concerning Macrinus, for the contemporary historian Cassius Dio notes the emperor was already reassigning members of Macrinus' staff. Such personnel moves may have accelerated Macrinus' plot.

Shortly before the campaigning season was to begin, Caracalla paid a visit to a temple near Carrhae. The emperor was accompanied by a hand-picked corps of bodyguards. The guards returned with Caracalla's murdered body, along with the body of one of the guards and a story that the dead guard killed the dead emperor. Not everyone was convinced, but Macrinus was able to translate his authority as praetorian prefect into that of emperor, being proclaimed by the troops on 11 April 217. Macrinus soon named his son, Diadumenianus, as Caesar and heir. The new emperor also got his former colleague, Adventus, out of the way by sending him back to Rome as urban prefect.

Macrinus straightaway sent conciliatory messages to the Parthian ruler Artabanus V, but Artabanus sensed weakness and raised an army to avenge his losses from the previous year's campaign. Macrinus hoped to avoid a battle with the Parthians, but fighting erupted between the armies while both sides were encamped around Nisibis. The Parthians gained victory and, during the following autumn and winter, peace negotiations were held. Macrinus ended up paying the Parthians large bribes and reparations. Settlements were also reached with the Armenians, and, in the lower Danube, with the Dacians, who had launched attacks on the Romans after learning of Caracalla's death.

By not returning to Rome in 217, Macrinus opened himself to criticism. Dissatisfaction was especially high in the city after a particularly violent, late-August thunderstorm started a fire that damaged much of the Colosseum and caused widespread flooding, especially in the Forum. Adventus proved himself incompetent as urban prefect and had to be replaced.

But grumblings in Rome were insignificant compared to the growing unease among the soldiers on campaign in the East. The defeat at Nisibis disheartened troops. Macrinus also introduced an unpopular, two-tier pay system in which new recruits received less money than veterans. The move was a way to save money after the pay raise granted by Caracalla, but it lowered morale as well.

Earlier, Caracalla's mother, Julia Domna, had toyed with the idea of raising a rebellion against Macrinus shortly after her son's murder, but the empress was uncertain of success and already suffering from breast cancer. She chose to starve herself to death instead.

The grandchildren of her sister, Julia Maesa, would become the focus of the successful uprising that began on 15 May 218. Her 14-year-old grandson Avitus (known to history as Elagabalus) was proclaimed emperor by one the legions camped near the family's hometown of Emesa. Other troops quickly joined the rebellion, but Macrinus marshalled loyal soldiers to crush the revolt. Macrinus also promoted his son to the rank of emperor.

The forces met in a village outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Despite the inexperience of the leaders of the rebel army, Macrinus was defeated. He sent his son, Diadumenianus, with an ambassador to the Parthian king, while Macrinus himself prepared to flee to Rome. Macrinus traveled across Asia Minor disguised as a courier and nearly made it to Europe, but he was captured in Chalcedon. Macrinus was transported to Cappadocia, where he was executed. Diadumenianus had also been captured (at Zeugma) and was similarly put to death.

Contemporaries tended to portray Macrinus as a fear-driven parvenu who was able to make himself emperor but was incapable of the leadership required by the job. An able administrator, Macrinus lacked the aristocratic connections and personal bravado that might have won him legitimacy. His short reign represented a brief interlude of Parthian success during what would prove the final decade of the Parthian empire.

Copyright (C) 1997, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors;http://www.roman-emperors.org/macrinus.htm. Used by permission.

Diadumenian
Much of what we know of Diadumenianus comes to us from the unreliable Scriptores Historiae Augustae. While it is true that Curtius does give the boy-Emperor some copy, suffice it to say that Diadumenian was the son of Macrinus and made Caesar at the age of nine in 217 A.D. and Augustus in 218. After his father's defeat he fled towards Parthia but was overtaken and executed.
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=573&pos=0

A very minor player in the history of Rome, Diadumenian is most conspicuous because of his impressive issue of Greek Imperial (Roman Privincial) coinage, most notably in Moesia Inferior.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeverusAlexanderRIC70RSC325s.jpg
[1009a] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.83 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 70, RSC 325, S -, EF, Rome mint, 2.803g, 20.7mm, 0o, 227 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; Reverse: P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over a tripod, scroll in left; cameo-like obverse with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, details of head on reverse figure unstruck, slightly irregular flan. Ex FORVM.

In this year Ardashir invaded Parthia and established the Sassanid Dynasty, which claimed direct descent from Xerxes and Darius. The Eastern power grew stronger and the threat to the Romans immense.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
SevAl.jpg
[1009b] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.110 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 19, S -, aF, Rome, 2.806g, 20.0mm, 0o, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Jupiter standing left cloak over arms, holding long scepter and thunderbolt. Nice portrait. Ex FORVM.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).


De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV197unlistedvar.jpg
[1114a] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.58 viewsSilvered antoninianus, RIC V 197 var (pellet in exergue), aEF, 3.880g, 21.1mm, 0o, Antioch mint, 268 - 270 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, cornucopia in left, • in exergue; full silvering, bold strike, excellent centering and eastern style, rare this nice; rare variety. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV214.jpg
[1114b] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.53 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC V 214, VF, 2.930g, 20.3mm, 180o, Antioch mint; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate bust right; Reverse: NEPTVN AVG, Neptune standing left, dolphin in right, trident in left hand, • in exergue; excellent centering. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ClaudiusIIGothicusRIC34.jpg
[1114c] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.51 viewsAntoninianus. RIC 34. Weight, Size. F. Rome mint. Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, Radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, holding two standards. Ex Maridvnvm


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ArcadiusManusDei.jpg
[1601b] Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.63 viewsARCADIUS AE2. Struck at Constantinople, 378-383 AD. Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath; Reverse - GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, holding standard & resting shield at side, bound captive seated on ground to left, head right, CONG in exergue. RIC 53b. Scarce. Extremely Fine, some roughness and corrosion.


De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

Introduction and Early Life
The ineffectual life and reign of Flavius Arcadius are of considerably less importance than the quite significant developments that occurred during his reign. Born either in 377 or 378 to then general Theodosius and Aelia Flavia Flacilla, he and his younger brother, Honorius, ruled the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire respectively from 395.

Shortly after his birth, his father was raised to the imperial purple in 379. Events in Illyricum with the massive influx of Ostrogothic and Visigothic peoples had resulted in the defeat of the Roman army and the death of the emperor, Valens. Theodosius' first task was to confront the Visigoths who had been ravaging the Balkans. Perhaps in the wake of this difficult and almost insurmountable task, the emperor wanted to insure that his infant son would bear some legitimacy should he die on campaign. Whatever the reason, Arcadius was proclaimed Augustus in January of 383 at the age of five or six. In the following year, his younger brother was born and it seems as if Theodosius initially had been interested in preserving the theoretical position of his elder son. While Arcadius enjoyed the status of Augustus, Honorius only achieved the office of consul posterior in 386. Perhaps the eastern emperor had wanted to avoid the possible conflicts that arose earlier in the century with the family of Constantine. Recent events in the west with the assassination of Gratian by Magnus Maximus may have also played a part: Theodosius initially had to leave the murder of his imperial colleague unavenged and leave the boy- emperor, Valentinian II, largely undefended. The profusion of emperors may well have been seen by Theodosius as kindling for civil war. His own autocratic tendencies may have also meant that he saw only one possible successor for himself.

Nevertheless, Theodosius gave Arcadius very little independence in early life. When he went to campaign against Magnus in the late 380's, he placed his son under the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Tatian, who was the de facto emperor in Theodosius' absence. This began a long series of regencies for Arcadius. The strength of Tatian's position with the eastern governing class made the office of Praetorian Prefect all the more powerful in Constantinople, which in turn made it easier to dominate future emperors. When Theodosius replaced Tatian with the more malleable and more ambitious Rufinus in 392, he had appointed a minister who would centralize even greater authority under the prefecture.

By 393, the emperor's situation had changed radically. When events in the west demanded his attention again, Theodosius was in a much stronger position. The ascendancy of the general, Arbogast, and his own puppet emperor, Eugenius, in the west provided Theodosius an opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to take full control of the Empire. The chance for having his own two sons ruling both halves of Rome not only seemed practical and feasible, but such an arrangement would establish himself as the head of a new dynasty. With thoughts in that direction, Honorius was made Augustus in 393 and accompanied his father west in the summer of 394. Arcadius, although near his majority, was nevertheless placed again under the guardianship (epitropos) of the Prefect of the East. In January of 395, Theodosius the Great died and his two sons took theoretical control of the two halves of the Roman Empire.

Early Reign and the Dominance of Rufinus and Eutropius (395-399)
Arcadius was eighteen when he assumed the throne in the east. We do not know whether or not he was ready for the responsibilities. During the mid-380's, the young emperor had been educated in part by Themistius, a famous pagan statesman, philosopher, and speaker. In what way he affected Arcadius is impossible to say, but surely his teachings must have included statecraft. Perhaps because of this influence, the new emperor's attempt to establish himself as an independent force can be seen in a series of laws passed at his accession. In contrast to trying to create a military image for himself, which would not be allowed either by Rufinus or by the eastern court, he attempted to portray himself as a pious Christian emperor. He enacted several comprehensive laws against heresy and paganism.

This was not necessarily an ineffectual strategy. By celebrating his religious piety, he expressed his power in the only way available to an emperor largely controlled by his ministers. He also perhaps sought to gain support and power from the local governing and religious hierarchies in Constantinople. Arcadius also perhaps thought that he was carrying on in the tradition of his father and so, by extension, might share in some of his glory. Rufinus in contrast wanted to tie himself to the emperor through a marriage connection to his daughter. But in April of 395, Arcadius had taken advantage of the Prefect's temporary absence to marry Aelia Eudoxia, whose guardian, the general, Promotus, had been a bitter enemy of Rufinus. Arcadius had been aided in this move by his own grand chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi), Eutropius, and it perhaps indicated the degree to which he wanted to be free of any regent.

But in reality, Arcadius gained little if any power. Rufinus assumed full control of the east, and the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius' closest advisor and general, took control of Honorius in the west. The tension between east and west quickly grew when Stilicho, in command of all the eastern and western armies, tried to press his guardianship over Arcadius as well. Moreover, there was considerable resentment against Rufinus in the east for using his office to greatly enrich himself and perhaps, too, because he was a westerner. Rufinus, understanding the perils around him, acted quickly. He had Arcadius demand the return of the eastern armies at once. Stilicho acquiesced, perhaps because the general was basing his claim of guardianship on his own legitimacy: to have taken control of the east and Arcadius by force would have undermined his position there and perhaps in the west. The soldiers returned under the command of the Gothic general, Gainas. With the control of the field army, it seemed as if Rufinus was going to be more thoroughly in control of the east and over Arcadius.

He did not long enjoy his victory. When Arcadius and Rufinus came to greet the armies at Hebdoman near Constantinople in November of 395, the soldiers turned on the Praetorian Prefect and cut him down in front of the emperor. Whether Stilicho instigated the assassination is a matter of some debate, but if he did, he received no benefit from it. The armies remained and Arcadius soon fell under the sway of other ministers. Nevertheless, despite the shock and fear Arcadius may have felt at witnessing such a brutal murder, he probably missed Rufinus' presence not at all and even thought it might provide an opportunity to assert his own authority. For the bureaucracy, the death meant that maintaining civilian control over the army was paramount to their own survival.

Soon thereafter, Eutropius assumed Rufinus' place in dominating Arcadius. Since the grand chamberlain could control access to the emperor and commanded the powerful palace bureaucracy, he was well-placed to dictate what and whom the emperor saw and heard. Military officers--frequently Germanic--who dominated the western government, were held suspect by fearful and jealous civil administrators in Constantinople. Eutropius used that fear to his advantage and froze out any access they may have had to the circles of power. His decision to effectively eliminate the military's input in decision-making would eventually lead to his demise.

It is difficult to determine how popular Eutropius was either with Arcadius or with the wider population. As a eunuch and a former slave, the sources generally portray him very negatively. He nevertheless seems to have enjoyed some support from the emperor, likely aided by Eudoxia with whom the grand chamberlain had close ties. The emperor happily took annual vacations in Galatia, apparently upon the Eutropius' suggestion. Moreover, the chamberlain showed great personal courage and talent in leading a campaign against invading Huns in 397/8, for which he won the consulship and the rank of patrician in the following year of 399. He also seems to have gained considerable support from the local clergy by procuring the patriarchate of Constantinople in 398 for John Chrysostom.

Despite Eutropius' rise to power, however, eastern policy changed little. The religious policies of Theodosius and Arcadius continued, including the forced closure of pagan temples in Gaza. More significantly, tension between the two halves of the empire persisted as Stilicho continued to press for his position as guardian. Although Stilicho led periodic raids into Greece and Thrace to attack the new Visigothic king, Alaric, his victories were incomplete and were more likely meant to keep the Germanic people out of western territory. This meant, among other things, that the Visigoths were an enduring problem for the east. Eutropius in turn supported the revolt of the Count Gildo in Africa, which was under western control, in an attempt to destabilize Stilicho's control and further eastern domains.

The failure of the revolt in 398 was the first step in Eutropius' downfall. The decision to exclude the military men of the period, particularly among the growing importance of Germanic officers, created a dangerous situation. By 399, the dissatisfaction with east-west affairs and the Gildo fiasco resulted in a revolt by the Gothic count, Tribigild. He was apparently in collusion with Gainas, who had taken advantage of the crisis to be named chief general in the east (magister utriusque militiae). Gainas quickly reached an agreement with the rebel and part of the settlement was the dismissal of Eutropius, to which Arcadius--at Eudoxia's urging--agreed. The chamberlain took refuge in the Hagia Sophia, and was exiled to Cyprus. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 399, Eutropius was recalled, tried and executed in Chalcedon.

The Age of Eudoxia (400-404)
The death of Eutropius precipitated a serious crisis. Gainas, who had wanted high office for years, now tried to force the hand of Arcadius. Having come to a quick resolution with Tribigild, he moved from Thrace towards Constantinople in 400. With the Germanic troops supporting him, Gainas tried for six months to initiate his own primacy-- including seizing the imperial palace--but which failed. He was forced to withdraw personally from the city to regroup and planned to use his troops remaining there to seize the entire city. But they were slaughtered by the inhabitiants and he fled first to Thrace and then to Asia. Eventually Gainas was killed by the Huns later in that year. His attempted coup ensured that Germanic officers would never again be trusted by the eastern government and would forever be kept out of any important decision-making roles.

The likely successor to Eutropius had been the anti-Germanic leader, Aurelianus, who had succeeded to the Prefecture of the East in 399. But Gainas had exiled him, having forced Arcadius to hand him over, and although Aurelianus returned triumphantly after Gainas' departure, he appears to have lost his hold over the emperor. In the meantime, Aelia Eudoxia had done much to forward her own place in the government. In January of 400, she had been named Augusta, a singular distinction offered to only three other women in the previous century. Her position thus gained a semi-official legitimacy afforded to very few Roman empresses. It has been assumed that because of her beauty, her intelligence, and her fecundity (she bore Arcadius five children), she was able to assert her influence to a point where she was the new power behind the throne.

That assessment, while held by many scholars, is not entirely accurate. While there were several events in which she played a crucial part, they were not terribly important moments during Arcadius' reign. But because Eudoxia was enormously wealthy, because she delivered a male heir in 401, and because she was involved in a highly publicized and drawn out political fight with John Chrysostom, this belief that there was an assumption of power is based more on the notoriety of her acts than on actual control. The fact that there was no one clearly dominating the government nor the emperor during this time implies perhaps that Arcadius had more power during these five years of his reign than at any other time.

There are several indications that he did try to improve and assert his own position. The emperor and his court immediately came to some understanding with the west. The east at the very least gave Honorius and Stilicho moral support in their increasing problems with Alaric. In 402, the feeling of goodwill was sealed by a joint consulship between Arcadius and his brother. The emperor also sought to establish his own military prowess and Christian piety with the erection of a column set up in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 402/3. The column depicted his military victory over Gainas, crowned with a capital emblazoned with the Greek letters chi-rho, symbolizing his devotion to Christ. Arcadius' son, Theodosius II, was born in 401, and was quickly made Augustus at the age of eight months. The eastern ruler was thus interested in assuring his own dynasty.

In all these things, the emperor was largely successful, but they were largely overshadowed by the feud between his empress and the bishop of Constantinople. Eudoxia had already shown herself able in pushing her interests during the baptism of her son. The Bishop of Constantinople, however, was a much tougher opponent than her husband. John Chrysostom, a strong believer in social justice, had boorishly attacked Eudoxia and many of her friends for the conspicuous luxury in which they lived and displayed themselves. At the height of these attacks, John compared the empress to Jezebel. Eudoxia in turn used her considerable influence to inflame hostility among the clergy against the bishop. Working through Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, in 403 Chrysostom was deposed and forced into exile at a Church council convened by the emperor (the Synod of the Oak at Chalcedon). However, there was soon such turmoil and uproar in the imperial city that the bishop was recalled a few days later. But the public feuding between Eudoxia and Chrysostom continued until at last she had him banished again in 404, this time permanently. Among other things, it caused a breach between Arcadius and his brother, who had, with Pope Innocent I, tried to support Chrysostom.

Eudoxia's victory was short-lived, however. In October of 404, the Augusta died of a miscarriage. Her death was seen by some as retribution for dismissing John. Whatever the reason, her end also signaled a complete retreat into the background by the emperor and no further initiatives seem to have been pushed by the 27-year-old Augustus.

The Final Years: Anthemius and Death (404-408)
The last years of Arcadius' reign were completely dominated by his Praetorian Prefect of the East, Anthemius. It was perhaps fitting that when the emperor seems to have been most retiring, the most able and energetic of his high ministers came to power. Anthemius worked hard to solve a series of governmental abuses, continue to push for Christianization, and secure the east from attack.

Anthemius first seems to have tried to reconcile with the west, so much so that there was a joint consulship between Anthemius and Stilicho in 405. This might have also been meant to symbolize the Prefect's new dominance, however. Additionally, a number of new laws were passed, curtailing paganism, Judaism and heresy. He tried to make use of the continuing problem of incoming Germanic peoples to combat the Isaurian tribes which had been plaguing Asia Minor since 403. While it failed to halt either group's incursions, it was nevertheless a practical and intelligent strategy. As a means of protecting the imperial capital, Anthemius also strengthened the walls around Constantinople. Our records for the last years of Arcadius' rule are quite spotty, but the emperor himself seems to have completely vanished, even symbolically, from the political scene.

In May of 408, Flavius Arcadius died at the age of 31 of unknown causes. Our only physical description of Arcadius is heavily influenced by the generally low regard in which he was held. The emperor was supposedly short, thin and dark-complected. A more kindly correspondent described him as good-natured and temperate. His son succeeded him without any controversy and the government remained unchanged. Arcadius thus left the world much as he entered it: without much significance and overshadowed by more powerful forces.

Assessment
Despite the ineffectual nature of Arcadius and his rule, a number of significant changes occurred during his stewardship of the eastern empire. His inability to forcefully or at least effectively govern meant that there were few consistent or long-range goals of his administration. With the exception of trying to emphasize the emperor's piety, an important development in the history of the Byzantine monarchy, Arcadius and his ministers were for the most part simply reacting to events.

The emperor became an even more remote figure to the general public. Even in the capital city itself, he was rarely seen: we read in one account that people came running to see the emperor for the first time when he happened to be praying in a local church. A series of "orientalizing" court practices no doubt continued in order to emphasize the symbolic separation of the emperor from the rest of society. The hieratic, almost semi- divine nature of the imperial person, also became a feature of the eastern ruler.

Perhaps of greatest importance was the political and cultural split between east and west. With the death of Theodosius, the two halves of the Roman Empire increasingly went their separate ways. For the most part, the west was thrown back upon its own resources, unable to deal with the problems of the fifth century. The east proved more compact and more resilient: it largely weathered the political storms from without and within.

Moreover, Constantinople fully became the imperial capital of the east, a Roma nova. The emperor rarely left the city and the palace officials became more influential than many of the more theoretically important ministers outside the city. Constantinople was also made an archepiscopate and Chrysostom and others started to push strongly for its primacy in the east. Both public and private building projects beautified and enlarged the city. Under Arcadius' reign, it truly became the second city of the Roman Empire.
Finally, the hard stance against Germanic officers in Roman government became a central feature in the east. While the reasons for this development were inspired largely out of fear and perhaps racism, the eastern Roman Empire did manage to avoid the largely detrimental succession of Germanic generalissimos who controlled the west in the fifth century. It also encouraged the eastern rulers in the following century to take hard lines against other peoples, including the Isaurians, the Huns and the Persians. Taken in all, the era of Arcadius was far more important than Arcadius himself. He perhaps had his father's pretensions, but none of the skills or powers necessary to leave his mark on the Empire.

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
HeracliusAE.jpg
[1616b] Heraclius, 5 Oct 610 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.53 viewsBYZANTINE EMPIRE. Heraclius AD 610-641. AE.Follis. Ref:Sear 833; 12.91g. VF; Nicomedia mint. Obverse: Facing bust of Heracliu, holding cross in right hand. Reverse: Incial letter M, ANNO to left, II to right ( Year 2 AD 611/612), officia letter A betweem limbs of M, above cross; mint-signature NIKO in exergue . Very fine, earthern deposit in fields-not as yellow as picture suggest. Ex Pavlos S Pavlou.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Heraclius (October 5, 610 - February 641 A.D.)

R. Scott Moore
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Accession
The last years of Phocas' reign were troubled ones with many foreign threats, such as the Slavic incursions, and internal threats, such as violent religious conflicts and even unsuccessful rebellions. In 608, the exarch of Carthage revolted and dispatched a fleet under the command of his son, Heraclius, to Constantinople. Along the way, in Egypt, Heraclius joined forces with his cousin Nicetas who was able to capture Cyrenaica and Egypt from Phocas' general Bonosos. Heraclius' fleet continued on to Constantinople where he entered into secret negotiations with one of Phocas' top military leaders, Priscus. He was married to Phocas' daughter Domentzia. With the support of Priscus, the patriarch Sergius I, and the faction of the Greens, Heraclius was able to seize the city, have Phocas beheaded and became emperor on October 5, 610 AD.

Private Life
Heraclius, the son of the exarch of Carthage, Heraclius, and Epiphania was born around the year 575. When he was crowned as emperor in 610 AD, he married Fabia, who then took the name Eudocia. From this marriage, Heraclius had a daughter, Eudocia, and a son Heraclius Constantine, who was proclaimed as co-emperor in 613. Suffering from epilepsy, Fabia died in 612 and Heraclius married his niece Martina in 613. With Martina, Heraclius had nine children of which four died in infancy. Heraclius' marriage to Martina was never received favorably by either the people of Constantinople or the Church.

Foreign Affairs
When Heraclius first came to the throne in 610, the Byzantine Empire was being attacked from numerous sides. In the west, the Avars and Slavs were expanding into the northern Balkans. The Slavs controlled the Danube regions, Thrace, Macedonia, and were soon invading Central Greece and the Peloponnesus. In the east, meanwhile, the Persians under the rule of Chosroes had begun a series of successful attacks on the empire resulting in the loss of Damascus in 613, Jerusalem in 614 (destroying the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the Holy Cross) and Egypt in 619. Recognizing the difficulty in fighting on two opposing fronts at the same time, Heraclius signed a peace treaty with the Avars in 619, and focused on the eastern half of the empire. In the spring of 622, Heraclius left Constantinople for Asia Minor and began training his troops over the summer, focusing on a more involved role for the Byantine cavalry.

In the autumn, Heraclius' army invaded Armenia and soon won several victories over the Persians. The Avars, in the meantime, became restless and Heraclius was forced to renegotiate the peace treaty with them at a much higher tribute level. Heraclius then returned to the army and for the next several years unsuccessfully attempted to break through the Persian army and into Persia. In August of 626 while Heraclius and his army were in Lazica away from Constantinople, a Persian army attacked the city from the east while an army of Avars, Slavs, and Bulgars attacked from the west and from the sea. On August 10, the Byzantine navy was able to defeat the opposing fleet and then rout the combined Slav and Avar land force. With the defeat of their allies, the Persians retreated to Syria.

In the autumn of 627, Heraclius began to work his way into Persian territory winning an important battle in December at Nineveh during which most of the Persian army was destroyed. As Heraclius continued to move further into Persian territory, Chosroes was deposed and succeeded by his son Kavadh-Siroe whose first act was to secure a treaty with Heraclius. The treaty was very favorable to the Byzantines and returned all the former Byzantine territories to the empire. Within a few short months, Kavadh-Siroe fell ill and died after naming Heraclius as guardian of his son, Chosroes II. For all practical purposes, the Persian Empire no longer existed. In 630 Heraclius traveled to Jerusalem where he returned the Holy Cross to the city among much acclaim.

The defeat of the Persians created a larger problem for the Byzantine empire. The struggle between the Byzantines and the Persians had worn down both sides and the defeat of the Persians allowed the Arabs to quickly absorb what remained of the Persian empire. It also removed the buffer between the Arabs and the Byzantines allowing the two empires to come into contact and conflict. In 634 the Arab armies invaded Syria and defeated Theodore, the emperor's brother, in a string of battles. Heraclius raised a large army that attacked the Arabs near the Yarmuk, a tributary of the Jordan, in the fall of 636. After a successful beginning, the larger Byzantine army was defeated allowing the conquest of Syria. The Byzantine defeat also led to the Arabs quickly taking Mesopotamia, Armenia and eventually Egypt.

Internal Affairs
While Heraclius enjoyed military success, major changes occurred internally under his rule. Greek replaced Latin as the official language of the empire and Heraclius adopted the Greek title of in place of the Latin Caesar, Augustus, or Imperator. The recovery of the eastern areas of the Byzantine Empire from the Persians once again raised the problem of religious unity, centering around the understanding of the true nature of Christ. The eastern areas, particularly Armenia, Syria, and Egypt believed in monophysitism, Christ having one nature composed of both divine and human elements. The other areas of the empire followed the orthodox view expressed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 that decreed Christ had two natures united in one person. In an effort to bridge the gap between the two views and bring them back together, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, promoted the concept of monoenergism which proposed that the two natures of Christ had one energy. While this was received favorably at first, monoenergism soon had vocal opponents, among them the monk Sophronius who became patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 AD. The opposition to monoenergism led Sergius to propose a new doctrine that of monotheletism, the belief in a single will in Christ. Heraclius supported the new doctrine of Sergius and put it forth in an edict known as the Ekthesis, and posted it in the narthex of Hagia Sophia in 638. This failed to settle the controversy as it was rejected by the Orthodox, the Monophysites, and even the Church of Rome.

Succession
During the last years of Heraclius' life, it became evident that a struggle was taking place between Heraclius' son from his first marriage, Heraclius Constantine, and his second wife Martina who was trying to position her son Heraclonas in line for the throne. On the 11th of February 641, Heraclius died and in his will left the empire to both Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas to rule jointly with Martina as Empress and mother of both.

Copyright (C) 1997, R. Scott Moore. Published: De Imperatoribu Romanis, http://www.roman-emperors.org/heraclis.htm Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
PontiusPilate29BCHendin648.jpg
[18H648] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 29 BC48 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, "SIMPULUM;" Hendin 648, AVF/VF, 15.3mm, 2.20 grams, struck 29 C.E. Nice round, good weight Pontius Pilate Prutah.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate30BCHendin649.jpg
[18H649] Pontius Pilate Prefect under Tiberius Prutah, "LIZ", 30 BC70 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, 'LIZ;' Hendin 649, VF, 15.5mm, 1.90 grams. Struck 30 C.E. Nice historic coin.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
PontiusPilate31BCHendin650.jpg
[18H650] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 31 BC68 viewsPONTIUS PILATUS PRUTAH. Hendin 650, aVF, 14.3mm, 1.94 grams. Minted 31 C.E. FULL "LIH" Date, (H partially hidden behind pretty patina can be revealed.)

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
HadrianAequitasAR_denarius.jpg
[903a] Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.93 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II 228 var (bust type), gVF, Rome, 2.849g, 17.8mm, 180o, 134 A.D.; Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, head right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, scepter in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy of FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Hadrian (A.D. 117-138)
Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

So Edward Gibbon concluded the first paragraph of his massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to a period which he also styled the happiest of mankind's history. Hadrian was the central figure of these "five good emperors," the one most responsible for changing the character and nature of the empire. He was also one of the most remarkable and talented individuals Rome ever produced.

The sources for a study of Hadrian are varied. There is no major historian for his reign, such as Tacitus or Livy. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, the first surviving life in a series intended to continue Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. The most convincing view is that which sees the whole as the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the most wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for the Hadrianic period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Contemporaries or near-contemporaries of Hadrian, such as Arrian, Fronto, Pausanias, and Plutarch, are also useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, and legal writings are extremely important. Archaeology in all its aspects contributes mightily to any attempt to probe the character of a man and emperor whose personality and thoughts defy close analysis and understanding.

Early Life and Career
Hadrian was born on January 24, 76. Where he saw the light of day was, even in antiquity, matter for debate. Italica, in Hispania Baetica, was the birthplace of Trajan and was also considered that of Hadrian. But the HA reports that he was born in Rome, and that seems the more likely choice, since it is the more unexpected. The actual place of one's birth was, however, unimportant, since it was one's patria which was crucial. Hadrian's ancestors had come to Spain generations before, from the town of Hadria in Picenum, at the end of the Second Punic War. Italica's tribus, to which Hadrian belonged, was the Sergia. His father, P. Aelius Afer, had reached the praetorship by the time of his death in 85/86, his mother, Domitia Paulina, came from a distinguished family of Gades, one of the wealthiest cities in the empire. His sister Paulina married Servianus, who played a significant role in Hadrian's career. Trajan was the father's cousin; when Afer died, Trajan and P. Acilius Attianus, likewise of Italica, became Hadrian's guardians.

At the age of about ten, Hadrian went to Italica for the first time (or returned, if he had been there earlier in his childhood), where he remained for only a brief time. He then returned to the capital and soon began a rapid rise through the cursus honorum; he was a military tribune of three different legions in consecutive years, a series of appointments which clearly marked him for a military career, and reached the consulate as a suffect at the age of 32, the earliest possible under the principate. At Trajan's death, he was legate of the province of Syria, with responsibility for the security of the east in the aftermath of Trajan's Parthian War.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of Hadrian's reign please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/hadrian.htm])

Literary and artistic achievements
Hadrian was a man of extraordinary talents, certainly one of the most gifted that Rome ever produced. He became a fine public speaker, he was a student of philosophy and other subjects, who could hold his own with the luminaries in their fields, he wrote both an autobiography and poetry, and he was a superb architect. It was in this last area that he left his greatest mark, with several of the empire's most extraordinary buildings and complexes stemming from his fertile mind. The anonymous author of the Historia Augusta described Hadrian as Fuit enim poematum et litterarum nimium studiosissimus. Arithmeticae, geometriae, picturae peritissimus.

He rebuilt Agrippa's Pantheon into the remarkable building that survives today, reconstructing the accustomed temple facade, with columns and pediment, but attaching it to a drum which was surmounted by a coffered dome. The latter was pierced by an oculus nine meters in diameter, which was the main source of illumination. Height and diameter were identical, 43.3 meters. The dome remained the largest in the world until the twentieth century. As was his custom, he replaced the original inscription of Agrippa on the architrave; seldom did he put his own name on a monument.

He also left his mark on almost every city and province to which he came. He paid particular attention to Athens, where he completed the great temple of Olympian Zeus, some six centuries after construction had begun, and made it the centerpiece of a new district of the city.

Hadrian's relationship with philosophers and other scholars was generally fractious. He often scorned their achievements while showing his own superiority. An anecdote about an argument which he had with the eminent philosopher and sophist Favorinus revealed the inequity of such disagreement. Although Favorinus was correct, he gave way to Hadrian, and when rebuked by friends, replied, "You advise me badly, friends, since you do not permit me to believe that he who commands thirty legions is the most learned of all."

Hadrian's literary taste inclined toward the archaic and the odd. He preferred Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Vergil, Coelius Antipater to Sallust, and disapproved of Homer and Plato as well. Indeed, the epic writer Antimachus of Colophon supplanted Homer in Hadrian's estimation. The biographer Suetonius held office under Hadrian but was discharged in 122 for disrespect to the empress. The historian Tacitus, who may have lived into Hadrian's reign, seems to have found no favor with the emperor.

His best known literary work is the short poem which he is said to have composed shortly before his death. These five lines have caused commentators much interpretative woe.

animula vagula blandula
hospes comesque corporis
quae nunc abibis in loca
pallidula rigida nudula
nec ut soles dabis iocos! (25.9)

"Little soul, wandering and pale, guest and companion of my body, you who will now go off to places pale, stiff, and barren, nor will you make jokes as has been your wont."
. . .

Reputation
Hadrian died invisus omnibus, according to the author of the Vita. But his deification placed him in the list of "good" emperors, a worthy successor to the optimus princes Trajan. Hadrian played a significant role both in developing the foreign policies of the empire and in its continuing centralization in administration. Few would disagree that he was one of the most remarkable men Rome ever produced, and that the empire was fortunate to have him as its head. When Aelius Aristides delivered his oration To Rome in 143, he had Hadrian's empire in mind when he said,

"But there is that which very decidedly deserves as much attention and admiration now as all the rest together. I mean your magnificent citizenship with its grand conception, because there is nothing like it in the records of all mankind. Dividing into two groups all those in your empire - and with this word I have indicated the entire civilized world - you have everywhere appointed to your citizenship, or even to kinship with you, the better part of the world's talent, courage, and leadership, while the rest you recognized as a league under your hegemony. Neither sea nor intervening continent are bars to citizenship, nor are Asia and Europe divided in their treatment here. In your empire all paths are open to all. No one worthy of rule or trust remains an alien, but a civil community of the World has been established as a Free Republic under one, the best, ruler and teacher of order; and all come together as into a common civic center, in order to receive each man his due.”

Scholarly work on the emperor, above all biographies, has been varied in quality. Much the best, as the most recent, is by A.R. Birley, who presents all that is known but underscores how much is conjecture, nay even guesswork. We still do not really know the man. An enigma he was to many while alive, and so he remains for us. Semper in omnibus varius; omnium curiositatum explorator; varius multiplex multiformis: these are descriptions of him from antiquity. They are still valid more than 1900 years after the emperor's death.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
2 commentsCleisthenes
AntoninusPiusAequitasSear4053.jpg
[904a] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.127 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138 to 161. Silver denarius. Sear-4053; gVF; Rome;16.4 x 17.9 mm, 3.61 g; issue of AD 138; Obverse : Head of Antoninus Pius right, with IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS around; Reverse : Aequitas standing left, holding scales and a cornucopiae, with AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II around. This is an interesting part of the Antoninus Pius series, struck in the first year of his reign, using his adoptive name of Hadrianus, and with the reverse inscription a continuation from the obverse.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



Cleisthenes
AntoPiusDenar.jpg
[904z] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.143 viewsAntoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D. Silver denarius, RIC 232, RSC 271, F, Rome, 1.699g, 17.3mm, 0o, 153 - 154 A.D. Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head right; Reverse: COS IIII, Fortuna standing right, cornucopia in left, long rudder on globe in right.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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