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

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, better known as Caracalla, was the son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, born in 188 A.D. He was named Caesar in 196 and Augustus in 198. Shortly before his death, Severus advised his sons, "Agree with each other, give money to the soldiers and scorn all other men." But the brothers hated each other and soon Caracalla had Geta murdered and massacred thousands suspected of supporting him. Although a capable military commander, the actual running of the government was left to his mother. He gradually slipped more and more into paranoia and delusions of grandeur before being murdered on his way to an Eastern campaign aimed at fulfilling his belief that he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great.

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Emesa, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Emesa,| |Syria||AE| |23|NEW
Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshiped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was the birthplace of the Roman emperor Elagabalus and four Roman empresses, Julia Domna, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea, and Julia Soaemias.
RP111034. Bronze AE 23, Mantis ANSCD 1944.100.66180, SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -, BMC Galatia -, Lindgren -, VF, near centered, flaw on Caracalla's jaw, weight 11.075 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 216 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate head of Caracalla right; reverse IOVΛIA ∆OMNA CEB, draped bust of Julia Domna right, H-K/Φ ([year] 528) across field; Coin Archives records only two specimens of the type at auction in the last two decades; this is the finest specimen of the four known to FORVM; very rare; $350.00 (353.50)


|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
There is no sign of the monster Caracalla would become in this cute portrait.
RS111000. Silver denarius, RIC IV 54b; BMCRE V p. 204, 262; SRCV II 6853; Hunter III 18; RSC III 175, Choice VF, attractive portrait, well centered, flow lines, light tone, frosty surfaces, weight 3.479 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 165o, Rome mint, 201 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PART MAX PONT TR P IIII (victor over the Parthians, priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 4 years), two captives seated back to back at the foot of a trophy of captured arms; ex Solidus Numismatik auction 106 (11 Oct 2022), lot 1575; $150.00 (151.50)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |17|NEW
At the beginning of the third century, Ephesus asked to build temples to Caracalla and Geta, brother-emperors and sworn enemies. Both agreed, but on separate temples. Caracalla allowed the honor of his to go to Ephesus' patron goddess Artemis. A new temple was to be built for Geta. Caracalla killed Geta and eradicated any sign of worship for the dead brother.
RP110650. Bronze AE 17, Karwiese MvE 5 465 (O9/R6); BMC Ionia p. 87, 280; SNG Mnchen 167; SNG Cop 424; SNG Leypold 580 , gVF, dark patina, light earthen deposits, weight 2.453 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, as caesar, 196 - 197 A.D.; obverse AYP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse EΦEC-I,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), boar running right, pierced by spear; $140.00 (141.40)


|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RS110999. Silver denarius, RIC IV 144b (S); RSC III 658; BMCRE V p. 211, 296; Hunter III 42; SRCV II 6895, Choice VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, light marks, frosty surfaces, weight 2.705 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, 204 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse VICT PART MAX (great victory over the Parthians), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik auction 106 (11 Oct 2022), lot 1574; scarce; $135.00 (136.35)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |33|
There is some debate as to who is represented on the coin, Caracalla or Elagabalus. Krzyzanowska attributed the coins to Caracalla, while SNG France, based on the portrait, attributes them to Elagabalus. Auction and sales listings seem to consistently attribute the type to Caracalla. We think the portrait could be either emperor but have gone with the crowd.
RP99684. Bronze AE 33, Kryzanowska XXIV/42; SNGvA 4935; SNG BnF 1175 (Elagabalus); SNG Cop -; BMC Lycia -, Choice aVF, very thick heavy flan, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, light scratches, central dimples, weight 29.677 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse PIVS AVG ANTONINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GE-NIVS CO-L ANTIOCH, Genius standing left, kalathos on head, extending branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - R (Senatus Romanum) across fields; $130.00 (131.30)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

|Serdica|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace||AE| |29|
Serdica prospered under Rome. Turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica and a large amphitheater were built. When Diocletian divided Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. The city was destroyed by the Huns in 447, but was rebuilt by Justinian and surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today. Although also often destroyed by the Slavs, the town remained under Byzantine dominion until 809. Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP110548. Bronze AE 29, H-J Serdica 12.18.35.10, Varbanov III -, BMC Thrace -, attractive F, nice portrait for the grade, weight 15.998 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP CEV ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse OVΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Dikaiosyne/Nemesis standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, wheel at feet behind left; ex R. Basler International Numismatics (Irvine, CA); $110.00 (111.10)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |37|
The reverse is copied from Judaea Capta types struck under the Flavian Dynasty. It may not refer to Judaea on this coin, but in ancient times the date palm was a symbol of Judaea. Date cultivation declined in Judea after the Roman period, especially during the Crusades, and completely collapsed due to climate change around the 14th century. The Judean Date Palm fell extinct. Excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in 1963-1965 uncovered a cache of date palm seeds preserved in an ancient jar. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the seeds were from 155 B.C. to 64 A.D. In 2005, three of the seeds were planted. Eight weeks later one of the seeds sprouted. The palm, a male, named Methuselah, was grown from the oldest known successfully germinated tree seed. After that success, additional palms from were sprouted from the seeds found at Masada. A female, Hannah, was pollinated by Methuselah and the Judean Date Palm has been recovered.
RP110621. Bronze AE 37, Karwiese 5 p. 117, 513; Mionnet III p. 107, 349; BMC Ionia - ; SNG Cop - ; SNGvA -; RPC Online -, aF, well centered on a very large flan, weight 21.089 g, maximum diameter 36.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, Laureate and cuirassed bust right, medusa on cuirass, paludamentum on left shoulder; reverse EΦECIΩN TPIC NEΩKOPΩN (Ephesos three neokorie), Nike standing right, affixing shield to trunk of palm tree; first specimen of this BIG 36.8 mm type handled by FORVM; rare; $110.00 (111.10)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Attaea, Mysia

|Other| |Mysia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Attaea,| |Mysia||AE| |26|
Attaea appears to be known only from its coinage. Its site is uncertain but, based on coin finds, may be Dikeliky, Turkey.
RP110211. Bronze AE 26, SNG BnF 154; SNGvA 1083; BMC Mysia p. 17, 12; AMNG IV 407; SNG Cop -, F, near centered, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, mild porosity, weight 10.071 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Attaea (Dikeliky, Turkey?) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI M AYP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTP POY AN∆PONOC ATTAITΩN, Youthful male figure on left, standing right, nude, left foot resting on large rock, both arms resting on left knee, bearded male figure (Zeus or Demos), on right, standing facing, wearing himation, left hand reaching toward youth, long scepter vertical in left hand; $100.00 (101.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Petra, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Petra,| |Arabia||AE| |24|
Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabatean Kingdom, is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. UNESCO describes Petra as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." The BBC selected Petra as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die." Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. After the last Nabataean king, Rabbel II, died in 106 A.D., Trajan incorporated Nabataea into the Roman province Arabia Petraea. One of the latest known Nabataean language inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "...This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in which Arabs destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.Treasury
RY94944. Bronze AE 24, Sofaer 45, Spijkerman 42; Rosenberger IV -, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, BMC Arabia -, aF, near black patina, orange earthen fill, weight 7.676 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse K M AVP ANTWN CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse A∆PI ΠETPA MHT, Tyche seated left on pile of rocks, wearing turreted crown, extending right hand, trophy in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $90.00 (90.90)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |23|NEW
St. Paul the Apostle and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia on his first missionary journey. Paul's sermon in the Jewish synagogue there caused a great stir among the citizens, but the ensuing conflict with the Jews led to the expulsion of the two Christian missionaries from the city. They returned later and appointed elders for the Christian community there. Paul also visited the region in both his second and his third journeys. Paul's "persecutions and sufferings" at Antioch are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:11. One of the most important building complexes of Antioch is the Great Basilica identified as the "Church of St. Paul" by an altar which was found in Yalvac market place. The foundations at the south side of the basilica are thought to belong to the synagogue where St. Paul first preached to the Gentiles. The altar is dated to the 6th century and the inscription reads AΓIOΣ ΠAYΛOΣ. It is not clear if the basilica was used for another purpose in its earlier levels. Conservation and lifting of the mosaics will shed further light on this important building.St Pauls of Antioch
RP110696. Bronze AE 23, Krzyzanowska XVIII/35; SNG BnF 1182 (Elagabalus); BMC Lycia -, aVF, near centered, brown tone, weight 5.227 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, c. 205 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS A, laureate head right, bare right shoulder seen from behind; reverse ANTIOCH GEN COL CAE, Genius of the colony standing left, branch downward in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; scarce; $90.00 (90.90)




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

ANTONINVSAVGVSTV
ANTONINVSAVGVSTVS
ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY ELAGABALUS)
DIVOANTONINOMAGNO
IMPCAEMAVRANTAVGPTRP
IMPCAESMAVRELANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINETGETACAESAVGFIL
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSPONTAVG
IMPMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXIII
MAVRANTCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONINVSCAES
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVG
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM


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.
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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