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A silver denarius of the emperor Severus Alexander with a reverse showing Spes Coin Type: Silver denarius of Severus Alexander, 222-235 CE
Mint and Date: Rome, 232-235 CE.
Size and Weight: 18mm x 21mm, 3.05g
Obverse: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG
Laureate, draped bust right.
Reverse: SPES PVBLICA
Spes advancing left, left leg forward, holding out a flower and raising the hem of her skirt.
Ref: RCV (2002) 7927, RIC IV 254c
Provenance: ancientauctionhouse.com (eBay), April 2003.
BW Ref: 001 019 005
Click on the picture for a larger scale view of the coin

Note: Curtis Clay wrote on the Forum Classical Numismatics Discussion Board on 7 October 2009:

"Alexander's large final issue of coins at Rome, lasting from 231 until his death in 235, is divided into two by a variation of the types in the course of 232.

Thus the dated Sol type changes in the course of TR P XI from Sol standing to Sol running;

IOVI PROPVGNATORI gets an eagle;

MARS VLTOR, originally "walking" (r. leg forward), changes to "running" (l. leg forward);

PROVIDENTIA AVG Annona exchanges her rudder for a cornucopia.

This is the significance of the variation of the Spes type that Moonmoth notes; the right-leg-forward type was struck in 231-2, then was replaced by the left-leg-forward type which lasted from mid 232 until 235.

This difference and its significance was pointed out for the first time in print by Francis Dieulafait in the publication of the Eauze Hoard, 1992, p. 237. I had "discovered" it myself earlier, in my manuscript diagram of the sequence of Alexander's coinage, dated August 1985."

("moonmoth" is me.)


The content of this page was last updated on 9 April 2009