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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., 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 Gén 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 München 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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


|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; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, sestertius
In 228 A.D., Shah Ardashir I, four years after establishing the Sassanian Persian Empire, completed his conquest of Parthia.
RB91375. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 626, Cohen IV 591, BMCRE VI 524, SRCV II 8023, Hunter III -, aF, green patina, tight irregularly shaped flan, rough with bumps and corrosion, weight 14.333 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 228 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate bust right with slight draper on far shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Severus Alexander as Romulus advancing right, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, denarius
Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RS91592. Silver denarius, RSC III 208a, BMCRE VI 27, Hunter III 5, RIC IV 7, cf. SRCV 7890 (Antioch, star rev. field), gVF, attractive old collection toning, flow lines, off center, light marks, edge cracks, weight 2.499 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P COS P P, Mars standing facing, head left, olive branch in extended right hand, reversed spear in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


|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.
RB91830. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE VI 766, SRCV II 8000, RIC IV 520, Cohen IV 424, Hunter III -, F, dark fields with high points of types and legends rubbed brighter (old collection toning), attractive portrait for the grade, weight 14.649 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse P M TR P X COS III P P (Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate X, Consul III, Pater Patri), Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain in right hand held over Modius at feet, anchor in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided low across field; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50
 


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

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, sestertius
In 231, Severus Alexander accompanied his mother Julia Mamaea to Syria and campaigned against the Persians. Military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. The Romans were defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed accepting the status quo. In 233, Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to commemorate his "victory."
RB89054. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 635, BMCRE VI 843, Cohen IV 163, Hunter III 163, SRCV II 7979, VF, dark patina, centered on an oval flan, small edge cracks, slight double strike, weight 20.911 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate,draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARS VLTOR (Mars the avenger), Mars advancing right in military garb, spear transverse in right hand, shield in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex John Jencek; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 




  






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).
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).

Catalog current as of Friday, February 21, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Severus Alexander