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

Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

Publius Septimius Geta was the younger son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. No love was lost between him and his older brother Caracalla, and although at their father's deathbed they pledged to remain united, within months each had their own rival factions and vied with each for supremacy. Pretending reconciliation, Caracalla scheduled a meeting at their mother's house where instead Geta was ambushed and murdered. Geta died in his mother's arms.


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Between 209 and their father's death in February 211, both brothers were shown as equally mature young men with a short full beard. Both sons were presented as equally suitable heirs to the throne, showing thus more "depth" to the dynasty. Between the death of Septimius Severus and the assassination of Geta, Caracalla's portraits did not change, while Geta was depicted with a long beard with hanging hairs much like his father, a strong indication of Geta's efforts to be seen as the "true" successor of his father.
RS86671. Silver denarius, RIC IV 88, RSC III 68, BMCRE V 65, SRCV II -, Choice EF, nearly as struck except for light toning, fantastic portrait, luster in recesses, perfect centering on a broad flan, some legend just a little weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.250 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 212 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG V (the 5th liberality [distribution of gifts to the people] by the Emperor), Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $240.00 (€211.20)
 


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The description of the aegis varies but most often it is a goat skin, furnished with golden tassels, sometimes worn as a cloak and sometimes stretched on a shield, bearing the Gorgoneion (Medusa's head) in the central boss. The aegis was, according to the Iliad, "borne by Athena in battle...and among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis which is ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, and each the worth of a hundred oxen." Virgil imagines the Cyclopes in Hephaestus' forge, "busily burnished the aegis Athena wears in her angry moods—a fearsome thing with a surface of gold like scaly snake-skin, and the linked serpents and the Gorgon herself upon the goddess's breast—a severed head rolling its eyes." Roman Emperors often appear, in their statues and on their coins, with their chests covered with the Aegis as a cuirass, sometimes with the head of Medusa affixed as part of the body armor.
RS89454. Silver denarius, RIC IV 34b; RSC III 104a; BMCRE V p. 244, 446; Hunter III 20; SRCV II 7186, Choice gVF, excellent centering, flow lines, some die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 205 - 208 A.D.; obverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, older boy's bare-headed and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PONTIF COS (priest, consul), Minerva standing left, helmeted, resting right hand on grounded aegis shield, spear vertical behind in left hand; $135.00 (€118.80)
 


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

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Minerva, equated with the Greek Athena, was the Roman virgin warrior goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She was worshiped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno.
RS89453. Silver denarius, RIC IV 34b; RSC III 104a; BMCRE V p. 244, 446; Hunter III 20; SRCV II 7186, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, minor edge cracks, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 205 - 208 A.D.; obverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, older boy's bare-headed and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PONTIF COS (priest, consul), Minerva standing left, helmeted, resting right hand on grounded shield, spear vertical behind in left hand; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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A star or stars within a crescent with horns up probably represents a solar eclipse.
RP92884. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.22.48.4 (R2), Varbanov I 3214 (R4), AMNG I/I 1646, Moushmov 1195, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, green patina, edge crack, reverse slightly off center, edge a little ragged, weight 3.056 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse Λ AYP KAI ΓETAC, draped bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, five stars and crescent with horns up, three stars above, one star within, one star below; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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A star or stars within a crescent with horns up probably represents a solar eclipse.
RP92022. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.22.48.4 (R2), Varbanov I 3218 (R3) var. (obv. leg.), AMNG I/I 1646 var. (another star below the crescent), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, tight oval flan, small edge splits, weight 3.018 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse Λ AYP KAI ΓETAC, draped bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, four stars and crescent with horns up, three stars above, one within, no star below; ex FORVM (2010); $32.00 (€28.16)
 










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

GETACAESPONTCOS
GETACAESPONTIF
IMPCAESPSEPTGETAPIVSAVG
LSEPTIMIVSGETACAES
LSEPTGETACAESPONT
PSEPTGETACAESPONT
PSEPTIMGETACAESAR
PSEPTGETAPIVSAVGBRIT
PSEPTIMIVSGETACAES
PSEPTIMIVSGETAPIVSAVGBRIT


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
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 Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Geta