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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, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |36|
See this type online:
RPC Online VI
Asia Minor Coins
ANS Mantis (No photo on ANS, but photo of this specimen is available on RPC Online.)
SH87621. Bronze AE 36, Karwiese MvE 5.2 p. 164, 750b (O3/R3, only 1 spec. of this variety); RPC Online VI T4956 (5 spec.); ANS Mantis 1972.185.5, Choice EF, excellent centering, olive green patina, some legend weak, small flaw/punch on reverse, porous, weight 25.344 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEB AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse M-ONΩN - ΠPΩTΩN - ACIAC, on left: cult statue of Artemis standing facing, wearing ornate kalathos, flanked on each side by a stag, arms with supports; on right: Demeter enthroned left, wreathed in grain, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand; EΦECIΩN in exergue; only the second known of this variety with stags flanking Artemis, fantastic HUGE 36mm provincial bronze!; $2350.00 (€2162.00)
 


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

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Akmonia,| |Phrygia||AE| |25|
Akmonia (Acmonea) was an important city of central Phrygia, located on a tributary of the river Senaros. Akmon was the founder of Akmonia, the first king of the region, and the father of Mygdon. His son Mygdon led a force of Phrygians against the Amazons, alongside Otreus (another Phrygian leader) and King Priam of Troy, one generation before the Trojan War. Priam mentions this to Helen of Troy in Book 3 of The Iliad.
RP92643. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online VI T5584 (8 spec.), Waddington 5514, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Mün -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Leypold -, SNG Hunt -, BMC Phrygia -, Lindgren -, aVF, choice obverse, green patina, light earthen deposits, reverse slightly off center with full legend on flan, weight 7449 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Akmonia (Ahat Koyu, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AV AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse AKMONEΩN (NE ligate), Zeus seated left on throne without back, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection, zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS96928. Silver denarius, RIC IV 298 var. (star rev. left), RSC III 535c var. (same), BMCRE VI 1014 var. (same); SRCV II 7926 var. (same), Hunter III -, VF, superb portrait, light toning, flow lines, spotty dark deposits, die wear, off center, flan split/cracks, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus seated left on throne, feeding snake coiling up from altar from patera in right hand, left elbow resting on throne; Salus without star from Antioch (limited 223 A.D. issue) is missing from all the primary references but we know of a few other specimens from auctions; very rare; $170.00 (€156.40)
 


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

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||sestertius|
In 231, Severus Alexander accompanied his mother Julia Mamaea to Syria and campaigned against the Persians. Military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. The Romans were defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed accepting the status quo. In 233, Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to commemorate his "victory."
RB89054. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 635, BMCRE VI 843, Cohen IV 163, Hunter III 163, SRCV II 7979, VF, dark patina, centered on an oval flan, small edge cracks, slight double strike, weight 20.911 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate,draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARS VLTOR (Mars the avenger), Mars advancing right in military garb, spear transverse in right hand, shield in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex John Jencek; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


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

|Troas|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Alexandreia| |Troas,| |Troas||as|NEW
Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP93129. Bronze as, SNG Canakkale 341 (same dies), Bellinger Troy A339, RPC Online VI 4016 var. (obv. legend), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, Weber -, BMC Troas -, VF, nice style for the type, well centered on a tight flan, scratches/scrapes on reverse, small pit below horse, central depression on rev., weight 7.976 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse M AVR SEVERV ALEXANDRO IMP, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL ALEX, AVG (clockwise above, ending in exergue), horse grazing right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare variety; $130.00 (€119.60) ON RESERVE


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
Dikaiosyne is the Greek personification of justice and fair dealing. One of the most common reverse types of Alexandria, she always holds scales and a cornucopia.
RX96896. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online T10298; Geissen 2429; Dattari 4292; Milne 2951; Curtis 1059; SNG Cop 628; BMC Alexandria p. 208, 1617; Emmett 3096/5 (R1), Choice aVF, nice portrait, porosity, slightly off center, spots of corrosion on reverse edge, tiny edge cracks, weight 12.728 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 225 - 28 Aug 226 A.D.; obverse A KAI MAP AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆POC EV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse Dikaiosyne (Aequitas) standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, L E (year 5) upper left; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RB92605. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 513, BMCRE VI 771, SRCV II 7999, Cohen IV 415, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, brown tone, edge cracks, weight 19.847 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 231 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right from behind right shoulder; reverse P M TR P X COS III P P, Sol advancing slightly left, head left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand, S - C across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00 ON RESERVE


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

|Pella|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Pella,| |Macedonia||AE| |24|
Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RB79934. Bronze AE 24, Varbanov III 3735 (R4), SNG ANS 633, Moushmov 6479, SNG Cop -, F, superb portrait, attractive green patina, tight flan, weight 11.112 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, city-goddess seated left, kalathos on head, right hand raised to shoulder; $72.00 (€66.24)
 


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

|Nicomedia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia||assarion|
Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey today) city of Bithynia on the Black Sea in Anatolia. It is described by ancient writers as a place of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings; and was one which Diocletian studied to make the equal of Rome itself.
RP89882. Bronze assarion, RPC VI T3370 (same dies), SNGvA 7114, SNG Cop 576, Rec Gén 326, BMC Pontus -, F/VF, a little rough, tight flan, weight 3.704 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC AVΓ, laureate head right; reverse NIKO/MH-∆-E/Ω-N / TRPIC NEΩ/K (MH ligate), octastyle temple, pellet on pediment; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||as|
Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after his cousin Elagabalus was murdered. He was dominated by his mother, but his reign brought economic prosperity and military success against the barbarians. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered him and his mother.
RB94231. Copper as, RIC IV 530, Cohen IV 431, BMCRE VI 860, SRCV II 8088, Hunter III -, F, well centered, dark brown tone with highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, scrapes, spots of corrosion, weight 9.578 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XI COS III P P (high priest, holder of tribunitian power 11 years, consul 3 times, father of the country), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; $70.00 (€64.40)
 




  






OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVOALEXANDRO
MAVRALEXANDERCAES
MAVRELALEXANDERCAES
IMPALEXANDERPIVSAVG
IMPCAEMARAVSEVALX
IMPCAESMAVRSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPCAESMAVRSEVALEXANDERAVG
IMPCAESMAVRELALEXANDERPIVSFELAVG
IMPCAESMAVRELALEXANDERPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPCMAVRSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPCMAVRSEVALEXANDERAVG
IMPMARCOAVRSEVALAV
IMPSEVALEXANDAVG
IMPSEVALEXANDERAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, 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 frappées 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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