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

Julia Maesa, Augusta, 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander

Julia Maesa was the sister of Julia Domna and grandmother of both Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. After her nephew Caracalla was murdered, Julia Maesa used her ample funds to successfully overthrow the usurper Macrinus and place her grandson Elagabalus on the throne. The teenager was a disaster as emperor, scorning Roman values with religious and sexual scandals. She cleverly convinced Elagabalus to adopt her other grandson Alexander as his heir. Shortly after Elagabalus and his mother were murdered by the Praetorian Guard, dragged through the streets and thrown into the Tiber. Through it all, Maesa held the power behind the throne.

|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS111525. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7756, Choice EF, well centered, flow lines, edge splits/cracks, weight 2.589 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right, flat chignon at back of head; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, veiled, drawing out veil with right hand, short transverse scepter in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 907 (part of); $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, 222 - 235 A.D., Ninica-Claudiopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander| |and| |Julia| |Maesa,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Ninica-Claudiopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|
Ammianus mentions Silifke and Claudiopolis as cities of Cilicia, or of the country drained by the Calycadnus; and Claudiopolis was a colony of Claudius Caesar. It is described by Theophanes of Byzantium as situated in a plain between the two Taurus Mountains, a description which exactly, corresponds to the position of the basin of the Calycadnus. Claudiopolis may therefore be represented by Mut, which is higher up the valley than Seleucia, and near the junction of the northern and western branches of the Calycadnus. It is also the place to which the pass over the northern Taurus leads from Laranda. The city received the Roman colony name Colonia Iulia Felix Augusta Ninica.
RB91011. Bronze AE 36, cf. asiaminorcoins.com 6551 (same obv. die & c/m), SNG Levante -, RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, BMC Cilicia -, c/m: Howgego 262, F, weak legends, porosity, edge cracks, weight 17.901 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ninica-Claudiopolis (Mut, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C SEVERUS ALEXANΔER AVΓ (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; c/m: Nike right in c. 5 x 8 mm oval punch (3 times); reverse IVL MAECA COL IVL FEL NINIO CLAUΔIOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS111519. Silver denarius, RIC IV 263; RSC III 29; BMCRE V p. 541, 73; Hunter III 7, SRCV II 7754, Choice EF, well centered, luster, flow lines, edge cracks, weight 3.236 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 222 - c. 223 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, older draped bust right, hair in slight nearly vertical waves, looped plait at back; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing half-left, veiled, dropping incense from right hand over lit and garlanded altar at feet, incense box in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 (part of); $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS111521. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7756, Choice EF, excellent portrait, well centered, some luster, flow lines, small edge cracks, weight 3.065 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, mature draped bust right, hair in nearly vertical waves, and flat chignon at the back; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, veiled, drawing out veil with right hand, short transverse scepter in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 part of; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVAMAESAAVG
DIVAMAESAAVGVSTA
IVLIAMAESAAVG
IVLIAMAESAAVGVST


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).
Mouchmov, N. Le Tresor Numismatique De Reka-Devnia (Marcianopolis). (Sofia, 1934).
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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