Jump to content

Septimius Severus decennalia -- a puzzle


Recommended Posts

From CT, with some notes:

This is not my usual area of interest, I mostly consider myself a student of medieval and late Roman numismatics, but this was a cheap puzzle I just could not pass:



AE18mm 2g, copper quadrans(?) or fourree core, pseudo-Rome, ca. 202.
SEVERVS PIVS AVG; laureate head right
PR - IM / DE - CE / S - C flanking Hercules club, all inside wreath.
cf. Cohen 501 (Mionnet) for Caracalla, cf. RIC IV p. 279 note


This is a very enigmatic issue, recorded now for both Severus and Caracalla, likely occasioned by the celebration of Severus decennalia (started in 202) at Rome. The SC indicates a copper denomination -- possibly a celebratory 'quadrans' used for the donatives of 202 in Rome.

There are very few recorded specimens: 3 for Severus (including this one, see here and here for the other 2), all in copper and 2 for Caracalla (Ric p. 279 note and here, which looks like a fourree denarius, a "limes falsa"). If the coinage was originally a silver alloy denarius, the presence of the SC is rather anachronistic. But the CNG specimen for Caracalla could well be a silver-washed copper necessity issue "limes falsa" imitating rare and very rare issues of the period, sometimes pairing unlikely combinations of dies etc.

More hints towards it being a 'limes' coinage, and thus later than 202, from B. Murphy, who notes that the portrait with 4 beard curls is not the regular Rome mint representation in 202.

Edited by seth77
  • Like 9
  • Mind blown 1
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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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.

  • Create New...