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Uranius Antoninus

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Uranius Antoninus (Lucius Julius Aurelius Sulpicius) a usurper in the East under Severus Alexander (AD 223-235). According to Zosimus two usurpers took up arms in the East against Severus Alexander, one named Antoninus, the other Uranius; whilst A. Victor states that a certainTaurinus, having been proclaimed Augustus, was so horrified that he threw himself into the Euphrates. There is not much difficulty in identifying the Uranius of Zosimus with the Taurinus of Victor, as the two names Uranius and Antoninus occur on the same coins it is evident that Zosimus has made two persons out of one usurper. Some Greek Imperial coins struck a Emesa which have been attributed to a usurper at the time of Valerian I, as well as a coin struck at Antioch, all bearing the legend AYTOK COYLP ANTWNINOC CEB, most probably belong to Sulpicius Uranius Antoninus, whose Latin coins are described below, and that these should be assigned to the time of Severus Alexander is proved by their style which is that of the Syrian fabric of the coins of Elagabalus. The coins of this usurper are of great rarity.

1. Obverse: L IVL AVR SVLP VRA ANTONINVS, laurate bust to right, with paludamentum and cuirass. Reverse: CONSERVATOR AVG, a conical sacred stone, eveloped in a shawl, the ends of which are fastened in front with a brooch (?), on either side a parasol; gold. The conical stone represents the god "Elagabal," or the Sun, to whom the emperor Elagabalus was priest and high priest, as testified by his coins: INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG; SANCT DEO SOLI ELAGABAL; SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGABAL; SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG.

2. Obverse: L IVL AVR SVLP ANTONINVS, same bust to left. Reverse: CONSERVATOR AVG, quadriga to left, on which the conical sacred stone of Elagabal, ornamented with an eagle; on either side a parasol; gold.

3. Obverse: Same legend and type as number 1. Reverse: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecundity standing to left, holding a rudder and cornucopiae; gold.

4. Obverse: Same legend and type as number 1. Reverse: MINERVA VICTRIX, Minerva standing to left, holding spear and shield; gold.

The following colonial coins of Uranius Antoninus were struck at AElia Capitolina:

1. Obverse: IMP ANTONIN, laureate bust to right, with paludamentum ans cuirass. Reverse: COL A C C P F, quadriga facing, on which is placed the conical stone of the god "Elagabal;" in the exergue, uncertain object; bronze AE 2.

2. Obverse: .... P M AVG ANT (?), laureate head to right. Reverse: COL A C C P F, Jupiter in a quadriga; bronze AE 2.

The existance of coins of Uranius Antoninus struck at AElia Capitolina will probably explain the great rarity of those of Severus Alexander struck in this colonia. The name Commodiana was given to the colony by Commodus.

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