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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|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||dupondius|
In 213, Caracalla left Rome to expel some German marauders from Gaul, then defended the northern Rhine frontier against the Alamanni and the Chatti. After his victory over the German tribes on the banks of the River Main, he gave himself the title "Germanicus." It is probably while campaigning in Germania that he took a liking to the caracalla, a Celtic or German tunic from which he acquired the name by which he is known today. His mother, Julia Domna, stayed behind and ruled the Empire.
RB98433. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC IV 514 (S), BMCRE V 254, Cohen IV 534, SRCV II 6973, Hunter III 81 var. (slight drapery), aVF, excellent portrait, dark green and red patina, reverse legend partially unstruck, weight 8.190 g, maximum diameter 251 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, radiate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM (to the foresight of the gods), Providentia standing left, baton held over globe in right hand, long scepter in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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

|Sardes|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Sardes,| |Lydia
||AE| |27|
In Greek and Roman Provincial Coins Lydia (GRPC Lydia), Dane Kurth attributes this type to Elagabalus. The only specimen known to her at the time of publication was quite worn. We believe this fierce, cruel looking portrait better resembles Caracalla and other portraits from Sardis identified as Caracalla.
RP110459. Bronze AE 27, GRPC Lydia IV p. 76, 585 corr. (Elagabalus, 1 spec., refs. only Winterthur); Winterthur 3940; RPC Online -, Choice VF, centered on a broad flan, dark green patina, marks, porosity, weight 8.453 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI M AYP ANTΩNEINO C, radiate head right; reverse CAP∆IANΩN B NEΩKORΩN, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond upright in left hand; perhaps only the second known, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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

|Hadrianopolis|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Hadrianopolis,| |Thrace
||AE| |27|
Hadrian refounded a Thracian tribal capital, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, developed it, adorned it with monuments, and made it the capital of the Roman province. The city is Edirne, Turkey today. From ancient times, the area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges. Military historian John Keegan identifies it as "the most contested spot on the globe" and attributes this to its geographical location. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Valens was killed by the Goths during the Battle of Adrianople in 378.
RP99994. Bronze AE 27, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 369/2 (V186/R358); Varbanov II 3512 (same dies) (R6); cf. Moushmov 2634 (l.d.c.); SNG Hunterian -; BMC Thrace -, VF, near centered, green patina, earthen deposits, bumps, scratches, central depressions, weight 12.891 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, c. 210 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AYP CEVH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Caracalla on horse rearing right, preparing to hurl spear at fallen enemy to lower right, soldier behind horse standing right; $160.00 SALE PRICE $128.00 ON RESERVE


|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. Septimius Severus was of African origin and, favoring the land of his birth, conferred benefits (including the jus Italicum) on Carthage and Utica. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.
RS110131. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a; RSC III 97; BMCRE V p. 208, 280; Hunter III 38; SRCV II 6806, gVF, dark toning, flow lines, tight flan, rev. off center, reverse center weak, weight 4.278 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis riding lion right over water gushing from rock, thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Pisidia||AE| |23|
The end of the reverse die legend has CAES re-cut to CA, though a shadow of the earlier letters remains.
RP110425. Bronze AE 23, Krzyzanowska pl. XVI, X/18; SNGvA 4934 (bust type); BMC Lycia -; SNG BnF -, gVF, bold centered strike, green patina, some earthen encrustation, scratches, weight 5.086 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse PIVS AVG ANTONINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse ANTIOCH GENI COL C A (Genius of Antioch, Colonia Caesarea Antiochia), female Genius of Antioch standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, wearing long chiton and peplos, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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|NEW
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 SALE PRICE $90.00


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; $100.00 SALE PRICE $80.00


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

|Stobi|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Stobi,| |Macedonia||AE| |23|
Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia, conquered by Macedonia, and later made the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia Salutaris. Stobi prospered under Rome and in 69 A.D. was designated a municipium. Citizens of Stobi enjoyed Ius Italicum and were citizens of Rome. Theodosius I stayed in Stobi in 388. In 479, Stobi was sacked by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric. The town was rebuilt, but in 518 was struck by a powerful earthquake. Avaro-Slavic invasions in the 6th century ruined the city's economy and infrastructure. Stobi is perhaps the most important archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia.
RP97766. Bronze AE 23, Josifovski Stobi 445 (V106/R141); Varbanov III 4054 (R3); BMC Macedonia p. 105, 11 var. (same, no globe); SNG Cop 334 var. (same), gF, dark green patina, corrosion, scratches, light deposits, reverse a little off center, central depressions, weight 5.313 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Stobi (Gradsko, Macedonia) mint, 209 - 211 A.D.; obverse M AVRE ANTONI, laureate head right; reverse MVNICIP STOBE, Victory standing right on globe, wreath extended in right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00







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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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