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Dynastic issues: a new Trajan and Severan dynastic issue


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Dynastic issues are interesting issues, and the issues served several puproses. E.g., for emperors these coins were a way to show the start of a new dynastic era, by promoting family members or adoptive family members as emperors-to-be. Another reason to issue dynastic coins was to honor family members that passed away and giving them divine status, or to boost your own image by honoring a notable and famous ancestor. The practice was already present in the times of the Republic (e.g., Brutus honoring his ancestor), and continued in Imperial times. 

Below you mag find two issues I added to my collection this year. Please show me your dynastic issues! 


Trajan's father, M. Ulpius Traianus, came from Italica in Baetica (souther Spain)  and commanded Legio X Fretensis under Vespasian during the Jewish War. He was later granted patrician rank by the Emperor Vespasian and honoured with a consulship, probably in 70 AD. Governor of Syria for several years in the mid-70s, the highly successful public career of Trajan senior culminated with the prestigious proconsulship of Asia during the reign of Titus. His death probably occurred around 100 AD, but his deification and appearance on the Imperial coinage did not occur until late in the reign of his son, Emperor Trajan. Philip Hill argues that, similar to various other coin types of Trajan, the reverse of this coin was copied from a statue. 


The reign of Severus was unique for the production of an extensive series of coins combining the portraits of various members of the Imperial family in a variety of combinations - many of great beauty and exceptional iconographic interest. Issued mostly in the middle years of the reign, the aurei and denarii feature effigies of Severus himself, his wife Julia Domna, their sons Caracalla and Geta and Caracalla's wife Plautilla. All are rare to vary rare today. 
After the death of Septimius Severus at York, in Britain, on 4 February 211 AD, his sons Caracalla and Geta succeeded him. The joint rule would prove ill-fated however. After their fathers death, both Caracalla and Geta returned to Rome where they lived seperatly and talked about dividing the empire. Their relationship was marked by hatred and envy towards each other, but their mother, Julia Domna, exerted a great effort to mediate their differences. Her efforts would prove futile, as Caracalla on February 1, 212 AD, had Geta murdered in the arms of his mother by a deputation of centurions. Following Geta's murder, Caracalla ordered the proscription of Geta's supporters; by some accounts some 20.000 were executed. 

This coin also replaces my older Dynastic issue, shown below. It will be offered for sale soon next year. 



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Those are some terrific dynastic issues @limes.  

Here is a dynastic coin I just got - it took me a while to attribute it because I thought the obverse portrait was Marcus Aurelius, with Marcus and Lucius Verus on the reverse.  Nope.  It's Septimius Severus with Caracalla and Geta faking a handshake on the reverse - three for one imperial from Heliopolis:


Septimius Severus Æ 19 Heliopolis, Syria, Coele-Syria  (c. 209-211 A.D.) [IMP L SEPT SEV PERT?] AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / GET CAE ANT | AV, Geta and Caracalla standing facing each other clasping hands, CH | L in field. (11.24 grams / 26 x 25 mm) eBay Nov. 2022      Lot @ $4.99

Attribution:  Several variations of this type, with attributions all over the place in auctions, etc. Obverse auction is confusing, not enough left to be sure.  Sawaya is the main reference: Triskeles Auctions die-match: Sawaya 136-9 (D34/R55).  CNG, Inc. obv. die-match: Sawaya 147-54  Wildwinds: Lindgren III 1274

Die-Match Characteristics: Obv.: Fine portrait; AV at top. Rev.: CAE curves around; AV shifted to left in exergue.

Die-Match Obv. & Rev.: Triskeles Auctions Sale 21; Lot 311; 29.09.2017 Ref.: Sawaya 136-9 (D34/R55).

Die-Match Obverse: CNG, Inc. Elec. Auction 325; Lot 436; 23.04.2014 Ref.:  Sawaya 147-54

Another Severan, but this is not authentic - I bought it a few years back from my local dealer, thinking it was a Provincial issue (I knew nothing about provincials then, obviously).  It is very thick (8 grams), copper, corresponding to nothing ancient as far as I can tell:


Draped bust of Julia Domna right JVLIA PIA FELIX AVG / Draped childhood bust of Geta right P SEPT GETA CAES PONT   About 8 grams, 19 mm. diameter, 3 mm thick


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Very nice new pickups!  I especially like the dynastic issue of Julia Domna and her boys…those don’t come up for sale very often, and not easy to find one with such clear portraits on the reverse.  Congrats on a GREAT new addition!  I also really like the Trajan, that’s a beauty.  

I can share this provincial bronze of Caracalla and his beloved little brother.


Caracalla, Moesia, Marcianopolis, (AE, 26.5mm., 10.33g). Laureate, draped and cuirassed busts of Caracalla and Geta facing each another/ Rev. Homonoia standing l., wearing kalathos, holding patera and cornucopia;in l. field, Є.

Edited by Shea19
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