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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Severan Period ▸ ElagabalusView Options:  |  |  | 

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

Elagabalus came to power through the scheming of his grandmother Julia Maesa. Elagabalus repeatedly shocked the population with increasingly bizarre behavior including cross-dressing and marrying a vestal virgin. Eventually, his grandmother replaced him on the throne with Severus Alexander, and Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome, and dumped into the Tiber.


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This reverse refers to Elagabalus' role as priest of the Syrian god from whom he took his nickname. Elagabalus came to power through the scheming of his grandmother Julia Maesa. Elagabalus repeatedly shocked the population with increasingly bizarre behavior including cross-dressing and marrying a vestal virgin. Eventually, his grandmother replaced him on the throne with Severus Alexander, and Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome, and dumped into the Tiber
SL89815. Silver denarius, RSC III 61, BMCRE V 212, Eauze 348 (31 spec.), Hunter III 69, RIC IV 88, SRCV II 7518, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (4282339-003), weight 2.80 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 220 - 222 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, horned, laureate, draped and bearded bust right; reverse INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG (invincible priest emperor), Elagabalus standing slightly left, branch in left, offering from patera in right hand over flaming altar, slain bull recumbent on far side of the altar, star upper left; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $220.00 (193.60)


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Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
RS88417. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23, RSC III 144, BMCRE V 102, Hunter III 25, SRCV II 7531, EF, excellent portrait, reverse slightly off center, edge cracks, weight 3.043 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PM T R P II COS II P P, Providentia standing facing, head left, legs crossed, leaning with left arm on column, rod in right hand held over globe at feet, cornucopia in left hand; $180.00 (158.40)


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The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS87267. Silver denarius, RSC III 195a, BMCRE V 251, RIC IV 45, SRCV II 7535, Hunter III -, Choice VF, fine sharp portrait, perfect centering, slightly frosty surfaces, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.992 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P, Victory flying left, holding open laurel diadem in both hands, a small shield on each side at feet, star right; $125.00 (110.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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Laodicea ad Mare prospered thanks to the excellent wine produced in the nearby hills and was also famous for its textiles, both of which were exported to all the empire. A sizable Jewish population lived in Laodicea during the first century. Under Septimius Severus the city was fortified and was made for a few years the capital of Roman Syria: in this period Laodicea grew to be a city of nearly 40,000 inhabitants and had even an hippodrome. Christianity was the main religion in the city after Constantine I and many bishops of Laodicea participated in ecumenical councils, mainly during Byzantine times. The heretic Apollinarius was bishop of Laodicea in the 4th century, when the city was fully Christian but with a few remaining Jews. An earthquake damaged the city in 494 A.D. Justinian I made Laodicea the capital of the Byzantine province of "Theodorias" in the early sixth century. Laodicea remained its capital for more than a century until the Arab conquest.
RP86245. Bronze AE 19, SNG Mnchen 944; SNG Hunterian 3226, SNG Cop 372 var. (bust); BMC Galatia p. 262, 105 var. (no clubs), VF, porous, reverse off center, weight 5.941 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVP - ANTONINVS - AVG, radiate bust right, bare shoulders seen from behind; reverse LAVDICEON, two naked wrestlers, standing confronted and grappling, wrestler on the left has his hand on his antagonist shoulder, clubs left and right, one behind each wrestler, ∆E exergue; scarce; $70.00 (61.60)


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RS88406. Silver denarius, RSC III 38a, RIC IV 73, BMCRE V 133, SRCV II 7512, Hunter III -, aVF, broad flan, small dark spots, edge splits/cracks, weight 3.417 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing facing, head right, grounded vexillum vertical in right hand, transverse standard in left hand; $70.00 (61.60)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP88228. Bronze AE 21, Varbanov III 3292 (R4); BMC Macedonia p. 60, 131; Moushmov 6117; SNG ANS 202 corr. (club in ex.); SNG Cop -, aVF, well centered, rough, earthen deposits, weight 5.434 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AY K M AVP CEY AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, Tyche seated left on throne, kalathos on head, patera in right hand, altar before her, fish left in exergue; $50.00 (44.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

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When the province of Cilicia was divided, Tarsus remained the civil and religious metropolis of Cilicia Prima, and was a grand city with palaces, marketplaces, roads and bridges, baths, fountains and waterworks, a gymnasium on the banks of the Cydnus, and a stadium. Tarsus was later eclipsed by nearby Adana, but remained important as a port and shipyard. Several Roman emperors were interred here: Tacitus, Maximinus II, and Julian the Apostate, who planned to move his capital here from Antioch if he returned from his Persian expedition.
RP88860. Bronze AE 31, SNG BnF 1566; Ziegler K 722, BMC Lycaonia p. 301, 207; SNG Levante 1078 var. (bust); SNGvA 6023 var. (same); Waddington 4646 corr. (Caracalla), F, well centered, rough, porosity, bumps, scratches, a few pits, weight 11.113 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI M AVP ANTWNEINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse TAPCOV THC MHTPOΠOΛE, demiourgos crown on garlanded alter to left, Kilikarch crown decorated with seven imperial heads and Γ B to right, A M K in exergue; $50.00 (44.00)


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In July 221, Elagabalus was forced to divorce his new bride, the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa. He then married Annia Faustina, his third wife. After five months he returned to Severa claiming the divorce was invalid. Meanwhile, according to the historian Cassius Dio, Elagabalus had a stable homosexual relationship with his chariot driver, the slave Hierocles.
RS86256. Silver denarius, RIC IV 46b; BMCRE V p. 570, 261 (seen from the back); RSC III 196 var. (horned); Hunter II 67 var. (same); SRCV II 7536 var. (same), F, dark natural uncleaned patina, weight 2.646 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from front; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P, Elagabalus standing left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over lit altar at feet on left, club or cypress branch in left hand and cradled in left arm, star in upper left field; will not improve with cleaning - should be left in this natural state; scarce without horn; $24.00 (21.12)







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

ANTONINVSFELPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPFELAVG ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSFEL
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY CARACALLA)
IMPANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSFELIX
IMPANTONINVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPCAESANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSPFAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRSEANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSPFAVG
IMP M AVR ANTONIN PIVS AVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
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).

Catalog current as of Monday, June 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Elagabalus