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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Severan Period| ▸ |Septimius Severus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome's most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus policies, played a significant role in Rome's long-term decline. In 208 A.D., he traveled to Britain to defeat a disastrous barbarian invasion. He died in York in 211 A.D and was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The flattering appellation "the restorer of the city" was doubtless given not for either rebuilding or embellishing Rome, but rather for restoring the honor of the "Eternal City" by avenging the death of Pertinax, securing domestic tranquility to the empire, and reestablishing respect for the Roman name by victories over the Parthians.
RS98682. Silver denarius, RIC IV 288; RSC III 606; BMCRE V p. 221, 359; Hunter III 98; SRCV II 6358, gF, centered, light toning, edge cracks, struck with a worn reverse died, weight 2.397 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 202 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Roma seated left on shield, helmeted, palladium in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; $100.00 (€82.00)
 


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare||denarius|NEW
In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RL98395. Silver denarius, RSC III 22a; RIC IV 500 var. (head right); BMCRE V p. 285, 650 var. (same); SRCV 6259 var. (same); Hunter III 197 var. (same), aVF/F, well centered, toned, scratches, some legend unstruck, flan crack, weight 2.57 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 315o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, late 198 - 202 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITATI AVGG, Aequitas standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare bust variant; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RP96856. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.14.19 (R2), Varbanov I 2359 (R3), AMNG I/I 1387, Moushmov 1013 var. (Herakles' head right), SNG Cop 267 var., BMC Thrace -, VF, nice green patina, light marks, encrustations, ragged edge, weight 3.890 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV Λ C CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠO−ΛIT ΠPOC IC, Herakles standing slightly left, head left, nude, leaning on grounded club in right hand, skin of the Nemean lion draped over left arm; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |14|
The first ecumenical council of the Christian church was held in Nicaea by Constantine in 325.
RP97244. Bronze AE 14, Burrell p. 208, type 1; BMC Pontus -; Rec Gen II.3 -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Weber -, aVF, rough, corrosion, weight 1.427 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse CEOVHPOC AVΓOVCTOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKAIEΩN, temple with four columns; very rare; $70.00 (€57.40)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
The figure on the reverse is most often identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP97238. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.16.16 (R3), Moushmov 926, AMNG I/I 1367 (R3) var. (leg.), Varbanov I 2481 (R3) var. (obv. leg., bust), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, F, rough, edge ragged, part of reverse legend not struck, weight 3.040 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 30o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CEVHP, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, winged Thanatos standing right, legs crossed legs, leaning on reversed torch on right set on low base; scarce; $60.00 (€49.20)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Rabbathmoba-Areopolis, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Rabbathmoba-Areopolis,| |Arabia||AE| |27|
Rabbathmoba (also called Areopolis or Aresopolis), on the Karak plateau, was probably the Biblical Ir-Moab conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan. Rabbath-Moba minted coins during the reigns of the Severan emperors between 193 and 222 A.D.
RY94947. Bronze AE 27, cf. SNG ANS 1414, Sofaer 6, Spijkerman 8, Rosenberger IV -, Meshorer City-Coins -, F, light earthen deposits, parts of legends off flan/unstruck, reverse off center, small edge split, weight 8.132 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rabbathmoba (near Kerak, Jordan) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse [AVT KAI Λ CEΠ - CE]OV ΠEB (or similar), laureate head right; reverse RABBAΘM-[WBWN APHC] (or similar), cult statue of Ares standing facing on platform with four legs set on base, wearing military dress, sword erect in right hand, spear and round shield in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Petra, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Petra,| |Arabia||AE| |23|
Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. The area was subject to flash floods, but archaeological evidence shows that the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. These innovations stored this flood water for prolonged periods of drought and enabled the city to prosper in the desert.The Decapolis
RY94940. Bronze AE 23, cf. SNG ANS 1369, Sofaer 14, Spijkerman 34, Rosenberger IV 21, BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, F, dark green patina with earthen deposit highlighting, scratches, weight 6.896 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠT CEOVHPOC (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse A∆PI ΠETPA MHTP (or similar), Tyche seated left on rocks inside distyle temple, stele extended in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RP97502. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.54.9 (R3), Varbanov I 2349 (R3), AMNG I 1447 var. (rev. ends / IC), Moushmov 975 var. (leg. in 3 lines), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, slight double strike on the obverse, minor porosity, off center on an irregularly shaped flan, weight 2.956 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 195o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ C CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKO/ΠOΛIT / ΠPOC / I in four lines within laurel wreath; from the Michael Arslan Collection; scarce; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||AE| |28|
Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazaca. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RP96759. Bronze AE 28, Sydenham Caesarea 428; BMC Galatia p. 77, 245; SNG Cop 263; SNG Tüb -, aVF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 16.328 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 205 - 206 A.D.; obverse AV KAI Λ CEΠ CEOVHPOC A, laureate head right; reverse MHTPOΠO KAICAPIAC, Model of Mount Argaeus on top of garlanded altar, ET IΓ (year 13 of Septimius Severus) in exergue; from a New England dealer; $50.00 (€41.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Juliopolis, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Juliopolis,| |Bithynia||AE| |27|
Nemesis holds a lorum, a scarf similar to an ecclesiastical stole, worn as a badge by Roman magistrates to indicate authority to judge. The wheel of fate, which Nemesis controls, rests against her side.
SH67768. Bronze AE 27, Rec Gen I.2 p. 387, 14; Posnansky 144; BMC Pontus -, SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, scratches, nice turquoise-green patina, weight 10.863 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Juliopolis mint, obverse AY K Λ CEΠTI CEYOHPOC Π, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOYΛIOΠOΛEITΩN, Nemesis standing left, pulling drapery at neck with right, lorum in left, wheel at her feet; rare; SOLD










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVOSEPTIMIOSEVEROPIO
DIVOSEVERO
DIVOSEVEROPIO
FELICITASPVBLICA
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSAVG
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAV
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAVG
IMPCLSEPTISEVERVSPPAVG
IMPCALSESEVERAGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERTAVGOCS
IMPCAELSEPPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOIII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSI
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIICO
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTIAVGIIII
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVGNC
IMPCAESLSEPSEVERVSPERTAVG
IMPCAESLSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAESSEVEPERTINAXAVG
IMPLCAESSEPTSEVPERTAVGTRPVI
IMPPINVICTPIIAVGG
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPVIMPXIPARPM
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXIPARDN
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXI
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPV
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPX
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPRTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVERPERETIMPI
LSEPTSEVERPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPIVIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVG
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPERTINAXAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXCOSIII
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXICOSIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAX
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPX
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXI
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGVSTVS


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
The Barry P. Murphy Collection of Severan Denarii - http://bpmurphy.ancients.info/severan/severanhome.htm
Bickford-Smith, R. "The imperial mints in the east for Septimius Severus: it is time to begin a thorough reconsideration" in RIN XCVI (1994/1995), pp. 53-71.
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) - http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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