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

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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.

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

|Parium|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Parium,| |Mysia|, |AE| |22|
Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
MA95457. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online VI T3878 (6 spec.), SNG Canakkale 226, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG BnF -, BMC Mysia -, VF, weight 5.406 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧEV ALEXANDER, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, cuirass with Gorgoneion; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) retrograde below (the entire reverse is retrograde - the normal type is Capricorn right); rare; $22.65 (20.84)


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Alexander's reign was characterized by a significant breakdown of military discipline. In 223 the Praetorian Guard murdered their prefect, Ulpian, and did so in Alexander's presence and despite the teenage emperor's pleas. The soldiers then fought a three-day battle against the populace of Rome, and this battle ended after several parts of the city were set on fire.
MA95653. Silver denarius, RIC IV 291 (S), RSC III 183b, BMCRE VI -, SRCV II -, Hunter III -, F, well centered, frosty surfaces, marks, edge crack, weight 2.563 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PAX AETERNA AVG (eternal peace of the emperor), Pax standing facing, head left, branch in right hand, long scepter vertical in left; scarce; $24.50 (22.54)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia|, |AE| |20|
Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
MA95426. Bronze AE 20, cf. Rec Gen II.3 p. 477, 617; BMC Pontus p. 168, 101; SNG Cop 520; SNGvA 623, VF, excellent portrait, well centered, light corrosion, edge ragged with splits, weight 4.191 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CEV AΛEΞA∆POC AVΓ (VΓ ligate), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse three standards, each topped with a wreath, NI-K-AI-E/ΩN in two lines, the first divided by the standards, the last two letters in exergue; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $23.50


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia|, |AE| |34|
Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP92553. Bronze AE 34, Krzyzanowska p. 175, X/-; SNG BnF 1186; SNG Cop 55; SNGvA 4948; SNG Pfalz 81; SNG Leypold 2002; BMC Lycia p. 186, 63, F, well centered, obverse legend weak / part unstruck, highlighting earthen deposits on the reverse, weight 23.03 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES SEVER ALEXANDER, laureate head right; reverse COL CAES ANTIOCH, she-wolf right suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, fig tree behind, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia|, |AE| |27|
Mount Erciyes (Argaios to the Greeks, Argaeus to the Romans) is a massive stratovolcano 25 km to the south of Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) in Turkey. The highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit reaching 3,916 meters (12,848 ft). It may have erupted as recently as 253 B.C., as may be depicted on Roman era coins. Strabo wrote that the summit was never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky.
RP91359. Bronze AE 27, Sydenham Caesarea 557, BMC Cappadocia -, SNG Cop -, F, porous, weight 12.812 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea mint, 225 - 226 A.D.; obverse AVK CEOVH AΛEΞAN, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTPOΠ KAICAPIA, agalma of Mount Argaeus on altar, ET∆ (year 4) in exergue; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types to indicate his care for the grain supply despite his distance from Rome.
RB92606. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 548, BMCRE V 346, Cohen IV 35, SRCV II 7962, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, attractive style, die wear, edge crack, weight 21.085 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 222 - 231 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI, Annona standing left, veiled, holding stalks of grain in right hand over modius at feet, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Koinon of Macedonia, Portrait of Alexander the Great, 231 - 235 A.D.

|Koinon| |of| |Macedonia|, |Koinon| |of| |Macedonia,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |231| |-| |235| |A.D.|, |triassarion|
The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year. The high point of the year was celebrations and matches in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria) located about 75 km. west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
GB92396. Bronze triassarion, AMNG III 341, RPC Online -, BMC Macedonia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Saroglos -, McClean -, Lindgren -, VF/F, near black patina, high points a bit flatly struck, light corrosion heavier at edge, central depressions, weight 9.353 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, reign of Severus Alexander, 231 - 235; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY clockwise on right, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ ONΩN NE (NE ligate), Zeus standing half left, head left, nude, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; very rare; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

|Nicomedia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia|, |assarion|
Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey today) city of Bithynia on the Black Sea in Anatolia. It is described by ancient writers as a place of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings; and was one which Diocletian studied to make the equal of Rome itself.
RP89882. Bronze assarion, RPC VI T3370 (same dies), SNGvA 7114, SNG Cop 576, Rec Gn 326, BMC Pontus -, F/VF, a little rough, tight flan, weight 3.704 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC AVΓ, laureate head right; reverse NIKO/MH-∆-E/Ω-N / TRPIC NEΩ/K (MH ligate), octastyle temple, pellet on pediment; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Thyatira, Lydia

|Thyatira|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Thyatira,| |Lydia|, |AE| |24|
Thyateira (also Thyatira) is the ancient name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). It lies in the far west of Turkey, south of Istanbul and almost due east of Athens. It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Aegean Sea.
RP92867. Bronze AE 24, BMC Lydia p. 316, 128; RPC VI online T4384; SNG Munchen 675; SNG Cop 624; SNGvA -, F, green patina, earthen encrustations, porous, weight 6.605 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thyatira (Akhisar, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K CE - AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate head right; reverse ΘYATEIPH,NΩN (last three letters in exergue), she wolf right suckling twins Romulus and Remus; rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RB91022. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 538d, BMCRE VI 593, Hunter III 154, SRCV II 8004, Cohen IV 449 var. (bust), VF, well centered, green and red patina, earthen deposits, light marks, flow lines, weight 18.944 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 234 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P XIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand, S - C across field below center; from a New England dealer, ex Eric J. Engstrom Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00




  






OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVOALEXANDRO
MAVRALEXANDERCAES
MAVRELALEXANDERCAES
IMPALEXANDERPIVSAVG
IMPCAEMARAVSEVALX
IMPCAESMAVRSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPCAESMAVRSEVALEXANDERAVG
IMPCAESMAVRELALEXANDERPIVSFELAVG
IMPCAESMAVRELALEXANDERPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPCMAVRSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPCMAVRSEVALEXANDERAVG
IMPMARCOAVRSEVALAV
IMPSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPSEVALEXANDERAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, 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 frappes 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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