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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Severan Period| ▸ |Julia Domna||View Options:  |  |  |   

Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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.

Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |22|
Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP93151. Bronze AE 22, Krzyzanowska XVII/-; SNG BnF 1127 var. (same obv. die, rev. leg. var.); SNG PfPs 47 var. (same); BMC Lycia p. 181, 34 var. (rev. leg.), VF, dark green patina, minor earthen deposits, small edge splits, weight 6.118 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse ANTIOCH GEN CL CA, Tyche (Genius of the colony) standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, wearing long chiton and peplos, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Mamaea,| |Augusta| |13| |March| |222| |-| |February| |or| |March| |235| |A.D.||sestertius|
Hera (Juno to the Romans) is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion. Hera's mother is Rhea and her father Cronus. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. The cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her. Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the kalathos. Hera was known for her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus' lovers and offspring, but also against mortals who crossed her. Paris earned Hera's hatred by choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess.
RB92608. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV SA683, BMCRE VI SA759, Hunter III 38, Cohen IV 33, SRCV II 8230, VF, rough green patina, patina flaking, porosity, earthen deposits, edge cracks, weight 21.460 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 231 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse IVNO AVGVSTAE, Juno seated left, flower in right hand, swathed infant in crook of left arm, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||drachm|
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.
RP93139. Silver drachm, Ganschow 468 (1 spec.), Sydenham Caesarea -, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, gF, well centered, light marks, light deposits, slight porosity, dig mark on reverse, weight 2.937 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 197 A.D.; obverse IOVΛIA ∆OMNA CEBACTH··, draped bust right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛ KAICAPIAC, Tyche standing left, kalathos on her head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand ET E (year 5) across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
This type is not listed in the major references because, when they were published it was not yet recognized the type was also struck at Alexandria. All the Alexandria mint specimens, distinguished from other specimens only by their style, were confused with the similar denarii struck at Rome. Roger Bickford-Smith identifies this style as struck at Alexandria. He dates this reverse type to the first months of 195 A.D. and notes this obverse legend, IVLIA DOMNA AVG was used only briefly before it was replaced with IVLIA AVGVSTA.
RS96912. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 56 & pl. 1, 10 (plate spec. has IVLIA AVGVSTA obv. legend); RIC IV -; BMCRE V -; RSC III -; Reka Devnia -; OCRE -; BPM Collection -, VF, excellent portrait, light golden toning, flow lines, Venus' head flatly struck, edge splits and cracks, weight 2.812 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. Jan 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing half-left, apple in extended right hand, drawing drapery from shoulder with left hand; extremely rare; $400.00 (€368.00)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Mamaea,| |Augusta| |13| |March| |222| |-| |February| |or| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
The palladium, a small figure of Minerva (Pallas Athena) holding a spear and shield, had a mythological origin from Troy. Troy was believed to be safe from foreign enemies as long as the palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon after the Greeks took the city. The palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. In Late Antiquity, it was rumored that Constantine had taken the palladium to Constantinople and buried it under the Column of Constantine.
RS97472. Silver denarius, RIC IV 360; RSC III 81; BMCRE VI p. 152, 381; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 8217, VF, well centered and struck, flow lines, dark spots, punch on obverse below chin, weight 3.295 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 226 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VESTA, Vesta standing half-left, veiled head left, palladium in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 96 (01 Nov 2020), lot 864 (part of); $120.00 (€110.40)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
This type is not listed in the major references because, when they were published it was not yet recognized the type was also struck at Alexandria. All the Alexandria mint specimens, distinguished from other specimens only by their style, were confused with the similar denarii struck at Rome. Roger Bickford-Smith identifies this style as struck at Alexandria. He dates this reverse type to the first months of 195 A.D. and notes this obverse legend, IVLIA DOMNA AVG was used only briefly before it was replaced with IVLIA AVGVSTA.
RS96910. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 56 & pl. 1, 10; RIC IV -; BMCRE V -; RSC III -; Reka Devnia -, VF, toned, flow lines, small edge cracks, legends weak, weight 2.680 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. Feb 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing half-left, apple in extended right hand, drawing drapery from shoulder with left hand; rare; $280.00 (€257.60)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta,| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Coins struck by the imperial mint at Emesa are crude and legends are often blundered, but this coin is exceedingly crude and the reverse legend is nearly nonsense. Perhaps it is an ancient counterfeit.
RS92843. Silver denarius, unofficial(?); cf. RIC IV S632 (S); RSC III 194; BMCRE V p. 105, S423; Hunter III -; SRCV II -, F, crude portrait, porous, weight 2.440 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, Emesa (Homs, Syria)(?) mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG (blundered), draped bust right, hair in waved horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse VENERI VICTR (severely blundered), Venus standing right with back turned facing, nude to below the buttocks, resting left elbow on waist high column, transverse palm frond in left hand, apple in extended right hand; scarce; $100.00 (€92.00)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |26|
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.
RP96501. Bronze AE 26, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.17.15.1 (R6), AMNG I/I 1455, Varbanov I 2900 (R7), Moushmov 1029, SNG Cop -, aF, etched surfaces, edge crack, central depressions, weight 9.936 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Aurelius Gallus, 201 - 203 A.D.; obverse IVΛIA ∆OMNA CEBA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse UΠ AYP ΓAΛΛOY - NIKOΠOΛITΩNOC, ΠPOC IC (ending in exergue), Aphrodite Pudica, nude, standing facing, covering her private parts with her hands, Eros stands at her left, wreath in right hand, torch downward in right hand; rare; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Julia Domna was born in Emesa (now Homs), Syria in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshiped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.
RS92345. Silver denarius, RIC IV S627 (S); RSC III 103; BMCRE V p. 104, 418; SRCV II 6591, F, off center, minor encrustations, edge cracks, weight 3.225 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse LIBERAL • AVG, Liberalitas standing slightly left, polos or kalathos on head, counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; only one sale in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives (an ex Forum coin!); rare; $240.00 (€220.80)
 


|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta,| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $216.00 (€198.72)
 




  






OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVAIVLIAAVGVSTA
IVLADOMNAAVG
IVLIAAVGVSTA
IVLIADOMINAAVG
IVLIADOMNAAVG
IVLIADOMNAAVGVSTA
IVLIAPIAFELIXAVG
IVLIAPIAMATERCASTR


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
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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