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Septimius severus legionary denarius.


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I've been on the lookout a while for a legionary Denarius of Septimius Severus but they can be quite expensive and difficult to find with readable legends. I managed to snag this one recently with imo a nicely balanced ob/rev. This is my last purchase this year and will be in my top 10..

The legionary coins of Septimius Severus were minted to pay tribute to the legions that assisted his rise to the purple. The op coin was minted in Rome 193AD in honour of Septimius's own legion LEG XIIII GEMMV (Legio XIV Gemina Martia Vitrix) being stationed at Carnuntum. The Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix legions symbol was capricorn. In 117-118 AD, Carnuntum became the permanent quarters of Legio XIV Gemina where it stayed for three centuries until the frontier collapsed in 430AD.

Obverse..Laureate head of Septimius Severus, facing right.
Legend: IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG...Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax Augustus.
Supreme commander (Imperator), Caesar, Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax, emperor (Augustus).

Reverse..Legionary eagle facing left, between two standards.
Legend: LEG XIIII GEM M V TR P COS...Legio Quarta Decima Gemina Martia Victrix. Tribunicia Potestate, Consul.
14th martial and victorious twin legion. Holder of tribunician power, consul.

Septimius Severus. 193-211 AD. AR Denarius (3.26 gm, 18mm). Rome mint. Struck 193 AD.
Obv.: IMP CAEL SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right.
Rev.: LEG XIIII GEM M V / TR P COS, legionary eagle between two standards. RIC 14; RSC 272; BMCRE 19. VF.


Feel free to post your Septimius Severus coins.....


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Septimius Severus Ar Denarius Emesa 194 AD Obv Head right laureate Rv Legionary eagle between two standards. RIC 397 3.26 grms 17 mm Photo by W. Hansen


This coin is very similar to the one posted by @Spaniardexcept this one is from the mint of Emesa. Septimius had legionary denarii minted at Alexandria as well  but honoring a different Legion the III Italica  Again the legion honored is the XIV Gemina and is the only legion so honored from this mint. The Capricorn probably indicates a connection with Augustus  and Gemina indicates that the unit was formed by amalgamating two older legions. Besides denarii the XIV Gemina was also featured on both Sestertii and Aurei from the mint of Rome 

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I don't have legionary coins from Septimius Severus (great coin btw). I was glad to win this one as I wanted a Neptune reverse


Septimius Severus. (193-211). Rome. Denarius. 19 mm, 2.8 g. Struck 209 AD. SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head of Septimius Severus right / P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Neptune standing left, leaning on raised right leg set on rocks and holding trident in left hand. BMC 3, RSC 529, RIC 228

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The legionary eagles are a fascinating sub-series to collect in their own right.

Here are a few other legions represented from Rome:-









Here is a COS II, LEG XIIII GEM M V from Emesa but nowhere near as nice as the one above


Here is on with an AVG II C obverse (ex HJ Berk)


This mint didn't just do LEG XIIII

Here is an AVG II CO with LEG VIII AVO (sic) (possibly only the 3rd known example)


Alexandria produced LEG III IT AVG


Though they sometimes mis spelled it as AVI


There are also babrbarous ones out there for those who are that way inclined. This one copies Rome LEG II ADIVT


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13 hours ago, maridvnvm said:

Here are a few other legions represented from Rome:-



 As with just about anything I have studied, there is more about these things to be learned.  LEG I ITAL and all the legionaries come in several dies and many specimens are imperfectly centered to the point we might assume readings that are not exactly correct.  I'll show a LEG I ITAL which seems normal which, like the maridvnvm coin, shows the I of ITAL directly above the eagle wing.  



...what do you see here?  Is the numeral I merged with the wing or is the correct reading of this die LEG ITAL with no number?  The more I learn, the less I 'know' as opposed to 'think'!  



We should point out that there are also coins from other numbered legions that used ITAL.  This is LEG II ITAL.  Can you see how an off centered, part legend coin might be hard to identify without comparing dies with other specimens? 


Yes, as a matter of fact there are LEG III ITAL coins as well.


Since I mentioned the possibility of using die matches with 'better' specimens, this might be a good place to point out that there are obverse dies that were used with more than one legion number reverse.  This coin of the common LEG XIIII GEMMV shares the obverse die with my LEG ITAL (without numeral?). 


 I have not made any effort to do a study on die overlapping.  That could show some interesting patterns of use or it might just show a lot of random use.  If one of you knows anything about which legions were involved in die sharing with which others or which never did (if any), I'd be happy to hear from you.  Is anyone out there shopping for a research project and have funding to travel the world (not to mention the Internet) attempting a die study of silver coins that are not terribly common but still a lot more complex than the gold and bronze coins that have been studied in the past?  Is there someone about ten years old (or yet unborn) that will devote their life to such a project?  I'll never know.   Obviously, I would love to see other specimens of my "numberless?" die (whether yours or online).  I'd be happy to correspond with anyone else who even cares about this series. I suspect there are a thousand people who like Antony legionaries for every one who is into Septimius.  

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