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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., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
Dikaiosyne is the Greek personification of justice and fair dealing. One of the most common reverse types of Alexandria, she always holds scales and a cornucopia.
RX96896. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online T10298; Geissen 2429; Dattari 4292; Milne 2951; Curtis 1059; SNG Cop 628; BMC Alexandria p. 208, 1617; Emmett 3096/5 (R1), Choice aVF, nice portrait, porosity, slightly off center, spots of corrosion on reverse edge, tiny edge cracks, weight 12.728 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 225 - 28 Aug 226 A.D.; obverse A KAI MAP AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆POC EV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse Dikaiosyne (Aequitas) standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, L E (year 5) upper left; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
In 230, King Ardashir I, ruler of the Persia, invaded the Roman province of Mesopotamia and unsuccessfully besieged the fortress town of Nisibis. His army threatened the border outposts of Syria and Cappadocia. Severus Alexander marched the Roman army and established his headquarters at Antioch. He made an attempt for diplomatic solutions, but the Sassanid Persians declined and chose war. Alexander increased taxes in order to maintain the war and strengthen the defenses of the Empire.
RX92522. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2491; Milne 3166; Dattari 4404; BMC Alexandria p. 217, 1701; RPC Online VI T10618; Kampmann 62.205; Emmett 3138/13 (R1), VF, centered on a tight flan, rough areas, spot of corrosion on obverse at 2:30, tiny edge cracks, weight 11.157 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 229 - 28 Aug 230 A.D.; obverse A KAI MAP AVP CEV AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse trophy of helmet with cheek pieces, cuirass, four shields, and four javelins, two captives seated back to back at base, their hands bound behind their backs, palm frond left, L IΓ (year 13) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RX92523. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online VI T10247 (22 spec.); Dattari 4344; Milne 2893; BMC Alexandria p. 211, 1649; Kampmann 62.32; Emmett 3133/2 (R1); Geissen -, VF, attractive style, well centered, spot of corrosion, light marks, small edge split, weight 12.983 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 13 Mar - 28 Aug 222 A.D.; obverse A KAI MAP AYP CEYHP AΛEΞAN∆EPOC EVCEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse bust of Serapis right wearing kalathos decorated with lotus, L - A (year 1) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Hieropolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Hieropolis,| |Cyrrhestica,| |Syria||AE| |26|
Atargatis was the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical Antiquity. Ctesias also used the name Derceto for her, and the Romans called her Dea Syriae ("Syrian goddess"). Primarily she was a goddess of fertility, but, as the baalat ("mistress") of her city and people, she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, Syria.
RP92557. Bronze AE 26, Butcher CRS 60a; SNG Hunterian II 2695 var. (laur. head r.); SNG Cop -; BMC Syria -; Lindgren-Kovacs -, aVF, dark brown tone with highlighting red earthen deposits, centered on a tight flan cutting off parts of legends, porosity, weight 13.513 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Hieropolis (Manbij, Syria) mint mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI MAP AYP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘEAC CYPIAC - IEPAΠO-ΛITΩN, Atargatis riding lion walking left, she is seated slightly right, head left, wearing tall headdress, chiton and peplos, drum in right hand, scepter in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; only one specimen on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
This coin was dedicated to Jupiter, the defender, probably to ask for protection the emperor in his war against the Persians. As Jupiter was the king of the gods, he took more interest in kings and emperors than the common man.
RS95277. Silver denarius, RIC IV 235, RSC III 76, BMCRE VI 790, Hunter III 70, SRCV II 7870, Choice EF, bold well centered strike, sharp portrait, flow lines, light tone on mint luster, weight 3.231 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, with a short neatly trimmed beard, seen from the front; reverse IOVI PROPVGNATORI, Jupiter standing left in fighting attitude, head right, nude but for chlamys on left arm and billowing behind, hurling thunderbolt in right hand; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00 ON RESERVE


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||as|
Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after his cousin Elagabalus was murdered. He was dominated by his mother, but his reign brought economic prosperity and military success against the barbarians. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered him and his mother.
RB94231. Copper as, RIC IV 530, Cohen IV 431, BMCRE VI 860, SRCV II 8088, Hunter III -, F, well centered, dark brown tone with highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, scrapes, spots of corrosion, weight 9.578 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XI COS III P P (high priest, holder of tribunitian power 11 years, consul 3 times, father of the country), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|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
 


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 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, 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).

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