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

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome's most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus policies, played a significant role in Rome's long-term decline. In 208 A.D., he traveled to Britain to defeat a disastrous barbarian invasion. He died in York in 211 A.D and was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|
The flattering appellation "the restorer of the city" was doubtless given not for either rebuilding or embellishing Rome, but rather for restoring the honor of the "Eternal City" by avenging the death of Pertinax, securing domestic tranquility to the empire, and reestablishing respect for the Roman name by victories over the Parthians.
RS97469. Silver denarius, RIC IV 167a, BMCRE V 194, RSC III 599; Hunter III 41; SRCV II 6357, Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, nice portrait, light toning, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse RESTITVTOR VRBIS (the restorer of the city), Severus standing left in military attire, sacrificing over flaming tripod altar from patera in right hand, inverted spear vertical behind in left hand; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 89 (07 Nov 2020), lot 1287; $170.00 (€156.40)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Pellene, Peloponnesos, Greece

|Peloponnesos|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Pellene,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece||diassarion|
Pellene sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, then joined the Achaean League until that League was dissolved by Alexander the Great. In the fourth century it was ruled for some time by a tyrant. In the third century, Pellene was garrisoned by the Aetolian League until the garrison was expelled by Aratus of Sicyon and the Achaeans in the 240s B.C. Pellene then joined the revived Achaean League until the League was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 146 B.C.
SH95334. Bronze diassarion, BCD Peloponnesos 607; BMC Peloponnesus p. 32, 15; Imhoof-Blumer NCP p. 92 (pl. S, XI); SNG Cop -, Dura -, aF, brown patina, legends obscure, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pellene mint, c. 198 - 205 A.D.; obverse L CEΠ CEV EPROC ΠE, laureate head right; reverse ΠEΛΛHNEΩN, Dionysus Lampter standing left, nude, pouring from kantharos in right hand, filleted thyrsus in left hand; ex J. S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|
Providence is most often depicted clothed in a matron’s gown, holding a cornucopia in her left hand and in her right a short wand, which she points to a globe. She holds this globe in her right hand or it lies at her feet. The type is intended to mark the power and wisdom of the emperor, who ruled the Roman world. On this coin the plural AVGG indicates two Augusti, Severus and his son Caracalla.
RS97451. Silver denarius, RIC IV 166, RSC III 586, BMCRE V 197, SRCV II 6354, Hunter III -, aEF, excellent portrait, nice toning, small scratch in beard, edge a little ragged, weight 3.184 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 200 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse PROVID AVGG (the foresight of the two emperors), Providentia standing left, wand in right hand held over globe at feet on left, long grounded scepter vertical in left hand; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||AE| |27|
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.
RP92651. Bronze AE 27, cf. Sydenham Caesarea 412 (ET B); BMC Galatia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; Weber -; Lindgren -, gF, dark patina, light deposits, weight 15.320 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 195 A.D.; obverse ΛCETTΠ CEOVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse MHTPOTTO KAICAPIAC, model of Mt. Argaeus on alter, ET R (sic, year 2) on altar; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare variant; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |24|
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.
RP93141. Bronze AE 24, cf. SNG BnF 1120 (likely legend variations); Mionnet Supp. 7, 30 (same); Krzyzanowska -/- (neither die listed); BMC Lycia -, VF, black patina thick earthen deposits, scratches, small flan crack and edge split, weight 5.203 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IX, radiate head right; reverse ANTIOCH FORTVNA COLO (or similar), Tyche-Fortuna (city goddess) standing facing, looking left, wearing kalathos, long chiton and peplos, branch pointed downward in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||AE| |28|
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.
RP96759. Bronze AE 28, Sydenham Caesarea 428; BMC Galatia p. 77, 245; SNG Cop 263; SNG Tüb -, aVF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 16.328 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 205 - 206 A.D.; obverse AV KAI Λ CEΠ CEOVHPOC A, laureate head right; reverse MHTPOΠO KAICAPIAC, Model of Mount Argaeus on top of garlanded altar, ET IΓ (year 13 of Septimius Severus) in exergue; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D. "Limes" Denarius

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.| |"Limes"| |Denarius||limes| |denarius|
The origin and purpose of the bronze "limes" denarii is uncertain. They may have been a token currency used only along the borders of the Empire.
RS97497. Bronze limes denarius, cf. RIC IV 150, RSC III 454, BMCRE V p. 189, 175; Hunter III 39, SRCV II 6333 (silver, Rome mint), F, nice dark green patina, scratches, some light corrosion, weight 2.716 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 198 - 200 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P VIII COS II P P, Victory flying left, holding open wreath with both hands, shield set on low base lower left; $50.00 (€46.00)
 







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVOSEPTIMIOSEVEROPIO
DIVOSEVERO
DIVOSEVEROPIO
FELICITASPVBLICA
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSAVG
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAV
IMPCLSEPSEVERVSPAVG
IMPCLSEPTISEVERVSPPAVG
IMPCALSESEVERAGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCALSEPSEVPERTAVGOCS
IMPCAELSEPPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOIII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSI
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGCOSII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGII
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIIC
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTAVGIICO
IMPCAELSEPSEVPERTIAVGIIII
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAELSEPTSEVPERTAVGNC
IMPCAESLSEPSEVERVSPERTAVG
IMPCAESLSEPTSEVPERTAVG
IMPCAESSEVEPERTINAXAVG
IMPLCAESSEPTSEVPERTAVGTRPVI
IMPPINVICTPIIAVGG
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPVIMPXIPARPM
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXIPARDN
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXI
LSEPTSEVAVGIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERETAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPV
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVI
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPVIIII
LSEPTSEVPERTAVGIMPX
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMP
LSEPTSEVPERTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVPRTEAVGIMPII
LSEPTSEVERPERETIMPI
LSEPTSEVERPERTAVGIMPVIII
LSEPTSEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPIVIMPXIPARTMAX
LSEPTSEVERVSPERAVGPMIMPXI
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVG
LSEPTSEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPERTINAXAVGIMPIIII
LSEPTIMIVSSEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXCOSIII
SEVERPAVGPMTRPXICOSIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAX
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIII
SEVERVSAVGPARTMAXPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVG
SEVERVSPIVSAVGBRIT
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPVIIII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPX
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXI
SEVERVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXII
SEVERVSPIVSAVGVSTVS


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
Bickford-Smith, R. "The imperial mints in the east for Septimius Severus: it is time to begin a thorough reconsideration" in RIN XCVI (1994/1995), pp. 53-71.
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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