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

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham, and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother.

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 ALEXAN∆ER 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 CLAU∆IOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $225.00 (227.25)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||tetrassaria|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicareωn (Caesarea), and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis (525); but the old native name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.
RP110457. Bronze tetrassaria, apparently unpublished; Ziegler - (Vs6/Rs12), RPC Online VI -, VF, broad flan, green patina, some legend unstruck, a little rough, small edge cracks, weight 12.496 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 229 - 230 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AY CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOY MHTPO, saddled horse right, left foreleg raised, ΓB (holder of 3 neocorates) above, ET ΘMC (year 249) in exergue; perhaps unique; extremely rare; $200.00 (202.00)


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
This reverse type commemorates "the careful and vigorous attention, which characterized the proceedings of that excellent emperor [Severus Alexander], with respect to the provision of wheat to the people, brought to Rome, at his own expense, from abroad: the frumentarian funds having been left exhausted by his infamous predecessor." - Vaillant, Praest, Num. Impp. Rom. p. 280.
RS110991. Silver denarius, RIC IV 133, RSC III 23, BMCRE VI 341, SRCV II 7857, Choice gVF, well centered on an oval flan, light toning, flow lines, weight 3.152 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 226 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, cornucopia in left hand, two stalks of grain in right hand over modius at feet overflowing with stalks of grain; ex Solidus Numismatik auction 106 (11 Oct 2022), lot 1608; $130.00 (131.30)


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Severus Alexander, c. 231 - 235 A.D., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Koinon| |of| |Macedonia|, |Koinon| |of| |Macedonia,| |Reign| |of| |Severus| |Alexander,| |c.| |231| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||AE| |21|NEW
The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year. The high point of the year was celebrations and matches in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria) located about 75 km west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely DIC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
GB110701. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online VI T302 (3 spec.), AMNG -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, BMC Macedonia -, F, dark green patina, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 3.577 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Beroea (Verria, Greece) mint, c. 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, helmeted head of Alexander the Great right, griffin on helmet; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NE, bow, quiver with arrows, and club; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades, only four specimens known to FORVM; extremely rare; $120.00 (121.20)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Neapolis,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |20|
Neopolis was a popular name. There was a Neoplis in Campania, another in Crete, and another in Macedonia. This Neapolis was the biblical Shechemis and is now Nablus, Israel. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. Neapolis is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
RP98107. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer 128 (same dies), Rosenberger III 69; cf. BMC Palestine p. 63, 112 ff.; SNG ANS 1008 - 1009; SNG Cop -, VF, a little off center on a tight flan, earthen encrustations, scratches, weight 9.635 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Nablus, Israel) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse ...CE A-ΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse Φ NEACΠOΛEWC, Mt. Gerizim comprised of two masses separated by a ravine, arched colonnade below, stairway up the left mass to temple (in perspective) on peak, road up to altar on right peak, uncertain control symbol between two pellets in exergue; ex Menashe Landman Collection; very scarce; $100.00 (101.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Joppa, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Joppa,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |20|
Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Joppa, or Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges. Monotheistic traditions says that it is named for Yafet (Japheth), one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood.
RP98122. Bronze AE 20, cf. Sofaer pl. 44, 22; Rosenberger II p. 77, 12; BMC Palestine p. 44, 1 (Elagabalus); SNG ANS -, aF, tight flan, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 7.466 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Joppa (Jaffa, Israel) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AΛEΞAN∆ (or similar), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦΛA IOΠΠHC (Flavia Joppa), Athena standing facing, head left, wearing crested helmet, long chiton, and peplos, right hand resting on grounded shield, grounded spear vertical in left hand; this type is not known to exist in high grade or with full legends; very rare; $90.00 (90.90)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |20|
Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was founded by Herod the Great and named for Caesar Augustus. It was the seat of the Roman procurators and the Roman military headquarters in Judaea. The Pilate Stone, discovered here in 1961, is only archaeological find that names Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was crucified. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Caesarea was the provincial capital of the Judaea Province. Well into Byzantine times, Caesarea remained the capital. In the 630s, Arab Muslim armies took the region, but kept Caesarea as its administrative center until early 8th century. Caesarea's ruins are a national park on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
JD111106. Bronze AE 20, cf. Kadman Caesarea 96, Rosenberger 89; SNG ANS 807, gF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, porous, light corrosion, weight 9.543 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima (Keisaria, Israel) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C SEV ALEXAND (or similar), laureate and draped bust right; reverse C I F AV F C CAE METROP (Colonia Iulia Flavia Augusta Felix Caesarensis Caesarea Metropolis), S P Q R (Senatus Populusque Romanus - The Senate and the Roman People) within wreath supported by eagle; $70.00 (70.70)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

|Amphipolis|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Amphipolis,| |Macedonia||AE| |24|
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).
RP97773. Bronze AE 24, Varbanov III 3298 (R4); SNG Cop 118; BMC Macedonia p. 59, 133 var. (obv. leg.); SNG ANS 203 var. (same); AMNG III -, aVF, excellent portrait, green patina, light deposits, reverse off center, edge cracks, weight 6.894 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Amphipolis mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP CEV AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, turreted city goddess enthroned left, patera in extended right hand, fish left in exergue; $60.00 (60.60)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||AE| |20|
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.
RP110435. Bronze AE 20, Henseler 838b, 1272 (same dies); RPC Online VI T6848.3, Sydenham Caesarea 590a; SNG Hunt 2278 var. (legends); BMC Galatia p. 91, 332 var. (same), aVF, off center, porosity/pitting, weight 6.233 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 227 - 228 A.D.; obverse AY K CEOV - AΛEΞAN, laureate bare bust right, seen from behind; reverse MHT-P - K-AIC (Metropolis Caesarea), three stalks of grain tied together, ET - Z (year 7) divided across bottom; first ever specimen of year 7 of this type handled by FORVM; $60.00 (60.60)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |23|
Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP110609. Bronze AE 23, cf. Rec Gen II.3 p. 477, 617; RPC Online VI T3248; BMC Pontus p. 168, 101; SNG Cop 520; SNGvA 623, VF, green patina, centered, earthen deposits, scratches, edge crack, weight 5.565 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CEVH AΛEZA∆POC A, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse three standards, each topped with a wreath, NI-K-AI-E/ΩN in two lines, the first divided by the standards, the last two letters in exergue; $60.00 (60.60)




  



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IMPSEVALEXANDERAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
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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