Jump to content

Happy Birthday Severus Alexander!!!


Recommended Posts

Severus Alexander was born on Oct. 1, 208* (according to Herodian, Dio, as well as the Historia Augusta) to Julia Mamaea and Gessius Marcianus in Arca Caesarea (also known as Caesarea ad Libanum), a town in Syria about 20km north east of Tripoli (see the map below). His given name at birth was Gessius Alexianus Bassianus.  It seems that SA's father was probably himself from Arca, which would explain the family's presence there for the birth. As Marcianus died not long after, we don't know much about him except that held several positions as procurator and was admitted to the Senate.  

SA's mother, Julia Mamaea, was of course much more important, as the daughter of Julia Maesa (Julia Domna's sister) and therefore closely attached to the inner circle of the imperial court, even back in the day of Septimius Severus. The family was descended from the Kings of Emesa.  The final ruler, King Sohaemus, supported Vespasian in his bid for the throne, and the family never looked back. While the kingdom itself was absorbed into the Empire, the family kept their hereditary priesthood serving the Emesan sun god Elagabal.

image.jpeg.e8f2e96d3451e151daf2fd064726b318.jpeg

Severus Alexander is sometimes regarded as one of the more boring rulers.  Far from it!  I think this impression comes more from neglect by historians and historical fiction writers than from the actual facts.  

Consider: After the downfall of Caracalla, the family was in extreme danger, and participated in the revolution that put his wacky cousin Elagabalus on the throne.  Then Elagabalus tried to have Sev killed multiple times, until his mother and grandmother orchestrated his cousin's downfall at the hands of the Praetorians, making Sev emperor at only 13 years old.  Subsequently he had to walk the fine line of maintaining his family loyalty to Syria (and the Emesan sun god) while at he same time appeasing the core Roman populace in the west.  

His court was a centre for philosophy and legal scholarship, including the famous jurist Ulpian, for example, who served as Praetorian Prefect... until he was assassinated right in front of the emperor!  Many such troubles attended the reign, not to mention his love-hate relationship with his mother, whom he respected, but who also banished his beloved wife Orbiana (due to her father's alleged treason).

The final third of Sev's reign was dominated by massive military conflicts on the two frontiers that would dominate Imperial affairs for centuries.  In 229, Sev began what was to become one of the largest military expeditions the Empire had yet seen against the upstart Sassanid Ardashir I, who had overthrown his Parthian overlords and attacked the Roman east (especially Mesopotamia).  Representing himself as a new Alexander the Great (thus dropping "Severus" from the coins), he achieved a rather dramatic draw against the Persians. This was actually quite a feat, given the military prowess of Ardashir and his lieutenants, severe illness in the ranks, plus the Roman army's complete lack of familiarity with Sassanid cataphracts and tactics.  In the meantime, the troop withdrawals from the Rhine/Danube frontier caused various Germanic peoples to raid across the border to devastating effect, and Sev had to return west to solve that problem.  During which time the giant Maximinus conspired against him, eventually having poor Sev murdered in Mainz so Max Thrax himself could be declared emperor.

Even that quick skate over the surface indicates what an interesting life and reign it was, don't you think?

But I had no inkling of all this when, as a teenager, I bought the following coin in an antique shop in Stratford-upon-Avon:

image.jpeg.baeb1eddb6a72d5bd11aeafd9f5a7347.jpeg

It was my first Roman coin, and I was hooked.  I mean, Canadian pennies (or even "large bust" quarters!) didn't compare to this, not even close!  

Since my first Roman coin turned out to be a Severus Alexander As (and quite scarce, actually), I understandably became attached to both the emperor and the middle bronze denominations.  Somewhere along the line, I decided to build a broad-brush type set of his middle bronzes.  This is a tall order, and some types I'll never get: like his unattainable Coliseum As.  (I took a shot at a Nymphaeum As once, but the hammer went a couple thousand beyond my max, as I recall!)  But of the obtainable main types, I think I have only 8 left to get, plus what I regard as 6 minor variations.  Considering that most of them are scarce to rare, I'm pretty pleased with how I've done so far.  Here are the core items in the sub-collection so far.  (Apologies for the lack of ID text, please feel free to ask about any of these.  Three are actually medallions!)

image.jpeg.88d641444ee6024b1899afa217794729.jpegimage.jpeg.6063de2dd6b75638eb6f91ddd0da01fd.jpegimage.jpeg.f7d8457b6441a278a5f3f43883e4efc2.jpegimage.jpeg.6caa242ac412e38cf7bcec3eff253ace.jpegimage.jpeg.c90267e6b34e33325697a4405a82592e.jpeg

 

I hope you enjoyed that array of middle-bronziness.  Please celebrate Severus Alexander's birthday with me by posting your own SA coins.  Of course I'd be especially interested in seeing your middle bronzes... in particular types I'm lacking!  (Includes: Jupiter advancing left, Justitia, Mars with branch and spear, Moneta, Nobilitas, Roma seated, Romulus advancing right, SA standing with spear and globe, and Virtus standing on helmet with parazonium.)

* Yes, I'm a day late.  I think Sev will let me off, though, as I had an emergency trip to the hospital last week, which kinda threw a wrench in my posting plans!

  • Like 33
  • Thanks 1
  • Cookie 1
  • Cool Think 1
  • Gasp 1
  • Clap 2
  • Mind blown 1
  • Heart Eyes 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You asked for a middle bronze! Here you go!

2143105924_SeverusAlexanderRESTITVTORMONdupondius.jpg.670fc9d57cd802eda1127df24df5dca6.jpg
Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman orichalchum dupondius, 10.47 g, 24.7 mm, 12 h.
Rome, special issue, AD 228.
Obv: IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, radiate bust, right, with slight drapery on left shoulder.
Rev: RESTITVTOR MON S C, Emperor in military dress, standing front, head left, extending right hand and holding vertical reversed spear in left hand.
Refs: RIC 601; BMCRE 546-550; Cohen 517; RCV 8052.

  • Like 28
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Severus Alexander. AD 222-235. Æ Sestertius (30mm, 19.79g, 12h). Rome mint. 16th emission, AD 233. Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Sol advancing left, raising hand and holding whip. Ref: RIC IV 535; BMCRE 937 corr. (bust type); Banti 119. 

image.jpeg.44a59845ffb543514800cf836617c482.jpeg

  • Like 29
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy birthday Sev 

Severus Alexander Ae Sestertius 230 AD eleventh emission Obv Head right laureate. Rv Justitia seated left holding scepter and patera  RIC 563 22.42 grms 28 mm Photo by W. Hansen

sevalexs3.jpg.98e4adefd62212c56f23665e30ecfa0b.jpg

During the later half of his reign there appears to be  concerted effort to improve at least the appearance of the Roman coinage. 

  • Like 28
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

You asked for a middle bronze! Here you go!

2143105924_SeverusAlexanderRESTITVTORMONdupondius.jpg.670fc9d57cd802eda1127df24df5dca6.jpg
Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman orichalchum dupondius, 10.47 g, 24.7 mm, 12 h.
Rome, special issue, AD 228.
Obv: IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, radiate bust, right, with slight drapery on left shoulder.
Rev: RESTITVTOR MON S C, Emperor in military dress, standing front, head left, extending right hand and holding vertical reversed spear in left hand.
Refs: RIC 601; BMCRE 546-550; Cohen 517; RCV 8052.

Thanks, @Roman Collector!  This of course is one of Sev's most interesting middle bronzes.  It's obviously celebrating some kind of restoration of the money, but it's controversial exactly which improvement is meant.  Do you have an opinion on this?

One possibility is an increase in the fineness of the denarius.  But then why celebrate it only on a dupondius?  I think it's actually more likely it's commenting on an improvement in the quality of the orichalcum in both dupondii and sestertii.  It does seem that this had deteriorated significantly since the beginning of the third century, perhaps reflected in the top two coins in my long black display.  Contrast those two with the fourth row dupondius on the left, and also the third last row dupondius on the left.  The orichalchum seems much purer and more yellow.

Of course that's impressionistic and anecdotal.  I'd love to see an analysis of the metal on dupondii and sestertii of the first half of the third century!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Edessa said:

Severus Alexander. AD 222-235. Æ Sestertius (30mm, 19.79g, 12h). Rome mint. 16th emission, AD 233. Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Sol advancing left, raising hand and holding whip. Ref: RIC IV 535; BMCRE 937 corr. (bust type); Banti 119. 

image.jpeg.44a59845ffb543514800cf836617c482.jpeg

What a fabulous sestertius, Edessa!  Did you realize that your portrait sports the aegis?  This is quite rare, I believe, certainly on the middle bronzes (aside from a subtle one on many RESTITVTOR MON dupondii).  That's why I include the seventh row coin on the right, which duplicates the type next to it.  The right hand coin has the aegis-wearing portrait though.  Your aegis is much nicer, of course, one of the best I've seen!

Here's a bimetallic medallion with an impressive aegis (not my coin!):

image.jpeg.f7cc4b766df01d42e31e0f6a193a0f64.jpeg

Edited by Severus Alexander
  • Like 22
  • Cookie 1
  • Cool Think 1
  • Shock 1
  • Mind blown 1
  • Heart Eyes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, kapphnwn said:

Happy birthday Sev 

Severus Alexander Ae Sestertius 230 AD eleventh emission Obv Head right laureate. Rv Justitia seated left holding scepter and patera  RIC 563 22.42 grms 28 mm Photo by W. Hansen

sevalexs3.jpg.98e4adefd62212c56f23665e30ecfa0b.jpg

During the later half of his reign there appears to be  concerted effort to improve at least the appearance of the Roman coinage. 

Thanks, Terence!!  What a beautiful sestertius... perfectly struck with an amazing portrait.  I agree that the latter half (at least) of his reign saw an improvement in production values.  I don't know the story behind this... surely there was an intentional effort, though?  And this comes earlier than the military buildup starting in 229, so must have had some other motivation.  (Possibly related to the RESTITVTOR MON issues that RC drew our attention to, as well.)  Definitely worth some further research.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

Thanks, @Roman Collector!  This of course is one of Sev's most interesting middle bronzes.  It's obviously celebrating some kind of restoration of the money, but it's controversial exactly which improvement is meant.  Do you have an opinion on this?

One possibility is an increase in the fineness of the denarius.  But then why celebrate it only on a dupondius?  I think it's actually more likely it's commenting on an improvement in the quality of the orichalcum in both dupondii and sestertii.  It does seem that this had deteriorated significantly since the beginning of the third century, perhaps reflected in the top two coins in my long black display.  Contrast those two with the fourth row dupondius on the left, and also the third last row dupondius on the left.  The orichalchum seems much purer and more yellow.

Of course that's impressionistic and anecdotal.  I'd love to see an analysis of the metal on dupondii and sestertii of the first half of the third century!

I think it was a return to the use of orichalcum for the dupondius. I have written about this elsewhere. In that thread, @curtislclay offered some very important insights into the chronology of the RESTITVTOR MON dupondius and the dupondii of Mamaea with the crescents under the bust, calling Carson's chronology into question. We need actual metallurgical data about the dupondii of this period.

  • Like 4
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted · Supporter

Happy birthday SA! I don't have a Severus Alexander coin, so I will celebrate by posting a photo of a coin I ALMOST bought. While I was vacillating, someone else nipped in and got it. Congrats to whoever it was!

SADLY, NOT MY COIN

Screenshot_2022-08-12-10-53-44.png.55ea7b92e6747419f9943ac7036b3dd9.png

 

  • Like 15
  • Cry 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Loads of love @Severus Alexander!!!

Thanks so much for your, "Quick skate" through and over the reign of the last of the Severan die nasty;)😘

Yours are always some of my very favorite posts and tonight you still blew me away!

My favorite Severan Up bronze featuring a strutting Mars:

Screenshot_20211126-124654_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.799f93fd986dbca6400369ab291b806a.png

 

 

  • Like 19
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy belated B'day Severus Alexander, and thanks for the write up @Severus Alexander

No middle bronze in my collection, but a couple of coins you might like nonetheless

911bbff099f44b39bb296869b65cb1d9.jpg

Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, AD 225
IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate head of Severus Alexander right
IOVI VLTORI, Jupiter seated left holding victory and spear
3.26 gr
Ref : RCV #7873 (75), Cohen #97

 

0706f86854184d07abdc452bc8766509.jpg

Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, AD 232
IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate head right
PROVIDENTIA AVG, Providentia standing left, holding cornucopia and branch, modius at feet
3.67 gr
Ref : RIC # 250, Cohen # 501, RCV # 7922 (75)

 

91d40795211244a8b15d73988c04f8ed.jpg

Severus Alexander, Sestertius - Rome mint, 231 CE
IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, Laureate bust of Severus Alexander righ, with light drapery on left shoulder
IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, with a small figure of the emperor at his feet, SC in field
14.75 gr
Ref : RCV #7966, Cohen # 74

 

And of course the two antoninianii taken from Trajan Decius' Divi series (please note both are from the same obverse die 🙂 )

 

f51f3b66478f48a3b9772c2f8f93c8e1.jpg

Severus Alexander, Antoninianus - Rome mint AD 250/251
DIVO ALEXANDRO Radiate head right
CONSECRATIO Eagle facing
3.38 gr
Ref : RIC IV # 97, Cohen # 599, RCV # 9484
 

a6d59a4abb8d401fa909d5410f010f2d.jpg

Severus Alexander, Antoninianus - Rome mint AD 250/251
DIVO ALEXANDRO Radiate head right
CONSECRATIO Large altar
3.84 gr
Ref : RIC IV # 98, Cohen # 598, RCV # 9485

Q

  • Like 29
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@CPK, I can see a tear falling down Sev's cheek on that coin because he didn't come to you!  BUT I'm sure you'll find another one you like even better.  That portrait style is among his later ones, post-230.  I don't actually have than many SA denarii, but here's one I have with a similar style, and which desperately needs a new photo:

image.jpeg.c174b435c49bcef3126d1a12ebbe3431.jpeg

(it also has the newly infamous "DERP" legend!  See my quinarius thread, starting with @Ryro's observation here...)

@Ryro, thanks for the tunes and the coin, buddy!  That Mars type is one of my faves too!  (See my second last row!)

@Qcumbor, I know and love all the coins you posted, your keen eye certainly hasn't failed when it comes to SA's reign (and I'm gratified you have so many examples of his coins).  However, I hadn't noticed (or hadn't remembered) that your Consecratio coins shared an obverse die.  How cool is that!?  I still need one of these.  VERY high on my want list, but each one I track in an auction ends up going too high.  Perhaps I need to get less picky about the portrait on them.

  • Like 23
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two from Alexandria

 

normal_Severus_Alexander_R683_fac.jpg.05d4a1bc760cfae9706582a4f56fa6e7.jpg

Severus Alexander
Alexandria
Billon-Tetradrachm
Obv.: A KAI MAP AYP CEY AΛEΞANΔPOC, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
Rev.: LB (year 2 = 222/223), Eagle standing left, head turned right, holding wreath in beak
Billon, 14.22g, 23mm
Ref.: Dattari 4407 var. (legend)

 

normal_Severus_Alexander_1.jpg.26abea973b3ccbb03f9c6cf77e0e3823.jpg

Severus Alexander
Alexandria
Billon-Tetradrachm
Obv.: A KAI MAP AYP CЄY AΛЄΞANΔPOC, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust
Rev.: LIΓ (year 13 = 233/234), Nike advancing left, holding palm and wreath; palm to outer left, date to inner left
Billon, 24.5mm, 15.56g

 

  • Like 21
  • Cookie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Severus Alexander...Great write up and wonderful looking bronzes!

I only have 2 coins of S.A. and both are in silver..

normal_severus_antioch.jpg.0d3de9727e329041e842cd8bd96c66fd.jpg

Severus Alexander. 222-235 AD. AR Denarius (3.12 gm, 20mm). Antioch mint. Struck 222 AD.
Obv.: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right.
Rev.: P M TR P COS P P, Fortuna standing left holding rudder on globe and cornucopiae; star in left field.
RIC #267. gVF.

sev4.jpg.5113478202284cb0b8e53359c07f34ee.jpg

Severus Alexander. 222-235 AD. AR Denarius (2.89 gm, 20mm). Rome mint. Struck 228 AD.
Obv.: IMP SEV ALE-XAND AVG, laureate head right.
Rev.: PM TRPVII COSII PP , Mars standing right, holding shield and spear.
RIC IV 83; BMCRE 503; RSC 337. aEF.

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy Birthday Moms Favorite...

image.jpeg.ce6fb0eb84c444e95a60dc908938e63c.jpeg

 

 

 

Happy birthday (belatedly) from me too to the mama's boy of history.
Is he allowed to celebrate alone? Did mum choose the guests?
 

I would like to "honour" him with a white-gold stater from the Bosporus. 

 

image.jpeg.8f8358197788a779ebcf4ec3af1579b1.jpeg

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander, Stater of the Cimmerian Bosporus Empire Period 228/229 AD, Material: Silver-Gold Elektron (Whitegold), Diameter:20mm, Weight: 6.86g, Mint: Pantikapaion, Kingdom of the Bosporus, Reference: MacDonald 583, Provenance: Ex Naumann Vienna Collection. Obverse: Draped bust of Divus Rhescuporis II or III with diadema to the right. In front of it two characters ΘЄ. Inscription: ΒΑϹΙΛƐΩϹ · ΡΗϹΚΟΥΠΟΡΙΔΟϹ · ΘƐ for Basileos Rheskouporis Theos (θεός) means Basileus (King) Rhescuporis God (deity). Reverse: Bust of Severus Alexander with laurel wreath to the right. In front of it a globe. Inscription: ƐΚΦ for Epsilon (5) + Kappa (20) + Phi (500) = 525 (Dated year 525 of the Bosporan era = 228/229 AD).

 

 

And as a respectful guest of the party - I also brought a gift for the young emperor 🙂 

image.jpeg.d04b37804e9c673f9015a165cf1f1adc.jpeg

 

 

 

PS: I just like to tease @Severus Alexander a bit 😜😇😂

 

PPS: A friend wants me to ask if he can come to the birthday party too? 😂
He said he was a personal and trusted friend of the Emperor.

image.png.7d0f5acabd14bd8e3b224650ca6d3a60.png

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
  • Like 17
  • Laugh 3
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Severus Alexander was born on Oct. 1, 208* (according to Herodian, Dio, as well as the Historia Augusta) to Julia Mamaea and Gessius Marcianus in Arca Caesarea (also known as Caesarea ad Libanum), a town in Syria about 20km north east of Tripoli (see the map below). His given name at birth was Gessius Alexianus Bassianus.  It seems that SA's father was probably himself from Arca, which would explain the family's presence there for the birth. As Marcianus died not long after, we don't know much about him except that held several positions as procurator and was admitted to the Senate.  

SA's mother, Julia Mamaea, was of course much more important, as the daughter of Julia Maesa (Julia Domna's sister) and therefore closely attached to the inner circle of the imperial court, even back in the day of Septimius Severus. The family was descended from the Kings of Emesa.  The final ruler, King Sohaemus, supported Vespasian in his bid for the throne, and the family never looked back. While the kingdom itself was absorbed into the Empire, the family kept their hereditary priesthood serving the Emesan sun god Elagabal.

image.jpeg.e8f2e96d3451e151daf2fd064726b318.jpeg

Severus Alexander is sometimes regarded as one of the more boring rulers.  Far from it!  I think this impression comes more from neglect by historians and historical fiction writers than from the actual facts.  

Consider: After the downfall of Caracalla, the family was in extreme danger, and participated in the revolution that put his wacky cousin Elagabalus on the throne.  Then Elagabalus tried to have Sev killed multiple times, until his mother and grandmother orchestrated his cousin's downfall at the hands of the Praetorians, making Sev emperor at only 13 years old.  Subsequently he had to walk the fine line of maintaining his family loyalty to Syria (and the Emesan sun god) while at he same time appeasing the core Roman populace in the west.  

His court was a centre for philosophy and legal scholarship, including the famous jurist Ulpian, for example, who served as Praetorian Prefect... until he was assassinated right in front of the emperor!  Many such troubles attended the reign, not to mention his love-hate relationship with his mother, whom he respected, but who also banished his beloved wife Orbiana (due to her father's alleged treason).

The final third of Sev's reign was dominated by massive military conflicts on the two frontiers that would dominate Imperial affairs for centuries.  In 229, Sev began what was to become one of the largest military expeditions the Empire had yet seen against the upstart Sassanid Ardashir I, who had overthrown his Parthian overlords and attacked the Roman east (especially Mesopotamia).  Representing himself as a new Alexander the Great (thus dropping "Severus" from the coins), he achieved a rather dramatic draw against the Persians. This was actually quite a feat, given the military prowess of Ardashir and his lieutenants, severe illness in the ranks, plus the Roman army's complete lack of familiarity with Sassanid cataphracts and tactics.  In the meantime, the troop withdrawals from the Rhine/Danube frontier caused various Germanic peoples to raid across the border to devastating effect, and Sev had to return west to solve that problem.  During which time the giant Maximinus conspired against him, eventually having poor Sev murdered in Mainz so Max Thrax himself could be declared emperor.

Even that quick skate over the surface indicates what an interesting life and reign it was, don't you think?

But I had no inkling of all this when, as a teenager, I bought the following coin in an antique shop in Stratford-upon-Avon:

image.jpeg.baeb1eddb6a72d5bd11aeafd9f5a7347.jpeg

It was my first Roman coin, and I was hooked.  I mean, Canadian pennies (or even "large bust" quarters!) didn't compare to this, not even close!  

Since my first Roman coin turned out to be a Severus Alexander As (and quite scarce, actually), I understandably became attached to both the emperor and the middle bronze denominations.  Somewhere along the line, I decided to build a broad-brush type set of his middle bronzes.  This is a tall order, and some types I'll never get: like his unattainable Coliseum As.  (I took a shot at a Nymphaeum As once, but the hammer went a couple thousand beyond my max, as I recall!)  But of the obtainable main types, I think I have only 8 left to get, plus what I regard as 6 minor variations.  Considering that most of them are scarce to rare, I'm pretty pleased with how I've done so far.  Here are the core items in the sub-collection so far.  (Apologies for the lack of ID text, please feel free to ask about any of these.  Three are actually medallions!)

image.jpeg.88d641444ee6024b1899afa217794729.jpegimage.jpeg.6063de2dd6b75638eb6f91ddd0da01fd.jpegimage.jpeg.f7d8457b6441a278a5f3f43883e4efc2.jpegimage.jpeg.6caa242ac412e38cf7bcec3eff253ace.jpegimage.jpeg.c90267e6b34e33325697a4405a82592e.jpeg

 

I hope you enjoyed that array of middle-bronziness.  Please celebrate Severus Alexander's birthday with me by posting your own SA coins.  Of course I'd be especially interested in seeing your middle bronzes... in particular types I'm lacking!  (Includes: Jupiter advancing left, Justitia, Mars with branch and spear, Moneta, Nobilitas, Roma seated, Romulus advancing right, SA standing with spear and globe, and Virtus standing on helmet with parazonium.)

* Yes, I'm a day late.  I think Sev will let me off, though, as I had an emergency trip to the hospital last week, which kinda threw a wrench in my posting plans!

S.A., That's a wonderful collection of Severus Alexander coinage ☺️! His mother, Julia Avita Mamaea, was responsible for his education & was his chief advisor throughout his reign as emperor. The Roman army didn't like Julia's domination of her son & considered him a mama's boy, & he was often mockingly called Julia Alexander 🤣. Both son & mother were finally murdered by the Rhine legions under the instigation of Maximinus Tharx. 612863210_JuliaMamaeaFelicitasSestertiusAWK.jpg.71ae391517d987b576d15067ab3e4723.jpg

  • Like 16
  • Cookie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't usually post 'not my' coins but I'll make an exception here since this one has not shown up here yet.  I traded away this Alexandria tetradrachm from the group attributed to Rome mint rather than Alexandria.  I am unclear whether the coins were minted in Rome and shipped to Alexandria or if the dies were shipped and the coins made locally.  

pa1896xx2461.jpg.ecb382d1ac8953df1ed2ba771b3daac5.jpg

  • Like 17
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's an interesting and lovely subcollection @Severus Alexander! Whats going on, on the reverse of the left coin at row 6; emperor on platform receiving a citizen, or giving out cash? 

I have no middle bronzes of SA, but I do have this peculiar sesterius, which is about the weight and diameter of a big AE AS. Makes me think, perhaps it is a AS? 

35.2.png.5c2c089de6f64a7ed4fbb6e062df08a9.png

2 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

Great post, @Severus Alexanderand excellent coins!

 

image.jpeg.7ead42eff9d18fe108a8ef33c942eda6.jpeg

Man, I wish I had a beard like that at age 13 between 26.... (and I was slow when it comes to facial hair)

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two provincial coins:

 

normal_Severus_Alexander_04.jpg.82071ef9cf25a0be34df015260146327.jpg

Severus Alexander
Mysia, Parium
Obv.: IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧE ALEXANDER, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: DEO AEƧ VB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right, holding raised foreleg of bull standing left, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue.
Æ, 19mm, 5.27g
Ref.: SNG Cop - , BMC - , SNG BN - , SNG von Aulock -, ISEGRIM-, RPC VI temp 3871

 

normal_R797_Severus_Alexander.jpg.81a52e913e201dca74754100a024b66e.jpg

Severus Alexander, AD 222 - 235
Asia Minor, Pisida, Selge
Obv: ΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ ΣΕΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, ΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ ΣΕΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: ΣΕΛΓΕΩΝ, Artemis drawing arrow, stag and tree left
AE, 18mm, 4.18g
Ref.: BMC 79; SNG PfPS 460
Ex Collection E.L. (Erwin Link, Stuttgart)
Ex Gorny&Mosch, Auction 271, Lot 729

  • Like 18
  • Cookie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, shanxi said:

Two provincial coins:

 

normal_Severus_Alexander_04.jpg.82071ef9cf25a0be34df015260146327.jpg

Severus Alexander
Mysia, Parium
Obv.: IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧE ALEXANDER, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: DEO AEƧ VB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right, holding raised foreleg of bull standing left, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue.
Æ, 19mm, 5.27g
Ref.: SNG Cop - , BMC - , SNG BN - , SNG von Aulock -, ISEGRIM-, RPC VI temp 3871

 

normal_R797_Severus_Alexander.jpg.81a52e913e201dca74754100a024b66e.jpg

Severus Alexander, AD 222 - 235
Asia Minor, Pisida, Selge
Obv: ΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ ΣΕΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, ΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ ΣΕΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: ΣΕΛΓΕΩΝ, Artemis drawing arrow, stag and tree left
AE, 18mm, 4.18g
Ref.: BMC 79; SNG PfPS 460
Ex Collection E.L. (Erwin Link, Stuttgart)
Ex Gorny&Mosch, Auction 271, Lot 729

Great composition on the reverse of the first coin ☺️!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that is an impressive collection of middle bronzes @Severus Alexander - in my eBay scrounging experience, these are quite hard to find, but I have a couple of them. 

My most recent is this one, an as with Providentia, RIC 644b - it is very robust for an As of the period at 12.33 grams.  Or is it?  This is an upgrade for me.  Both of my RIC 644b's are a bit of a mystery to me - for a third century as, they are massive, almost the size of some of SA's sestertii that I have. 

687188914_SeverusAlex.-AsProvidentiaRIC644bSep2022(0aa).jpg.2f9355a103389ef19df8f57209a81ec1.jpg 

This led me to put together a photo group of all my Providentia AEs, below. 

801138609_SeverusAlex.-AEProvidentiaSep2022(0a).jpg.8ea815ce6b18808ef29e1dc0051e4186.jpg 

Top row: Left is a sestertius (Providentia holds cornucopiae) RIC 642b (heavy for a Severan at 24.00 grams); to the right is a sestertius (Providentia holds an anchor) RIC 645b (a typical 15.81 grams).

Bottom Row:  My new 644b As is in the middle (heavy at 12.33 grams).  Another 644b (black) is to the right (really heavy at 13.96 grams).  On the far left is a Providentia As RIC 416 (about what you'd expect at 8.90 grams). 

***************

I have one other heavy Severus Alexander As, this one featuring Liberalitas (or possibly Moneta - the reverse is in very poor knick).  It is very heavy at 14.70 grams; I posted it on Coin Talk for opinions and Curtis Clay says it is an As:

107996896_SeverusAlex.-AsLiberalitasRIC569Feb2020(0).jpg.6e96ea570c4a49919bdcef897539ca9a.jpgSeverus Alexander Æ As  (c. 222-231 A.D.) Rome Mint IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEX[ANDER AVG] laureate, draped, bust right / LIBERALITAS AVGVST SC, Liberalitas standing left, holding coin counter and cornucopiae. RIC 569.  (14.70 grams / 27 x 25 mm) eBay Feb. 2020  Attribution Note:  I posted this on CT 02/28/20, Curtis Clay confirmed it is an As.  Reverse is hard to determine, "AVGVST[I]" is visible to right, which leaves:

RIC 569 (Liberalitas) AVGVST

RIC 588 (Moneta) AVGVSTI

****************

In the realm of SA's coinage reforms, I also lucked into a Julia Mamaea on a crescent dupondius RIC 682 - noted by @Roman Collector above.  This one is rough, and has suffered a harsh cleaning, but the one benefit is that the golden color of the orichalcum is evident.  It weighs 7.90 grams: 

324688045_JuliaMamaea-DupondiusFelicitasApr2022(0).jpg.166e6a7c7724ae2ab713363527bf05fa.jpg

*****************

Back in May I added another SA As to my small accumulation - RIC 530 sol standing (9.90 grams).  Nothing noteworthy, just new for me, and fairly typical in fabric:

2000762761_SeverusAlexander-AsSolMay2022(0a).jpg.62b24801d60c9b87d0214f1c49473db9.jpg

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...