seth77 Posted December 13, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 13, 2022 (edited) 1. The Koinon of Macedonia, Macedonia province. This is one of the scarcer and most interesting coins minted at Veroia for the Koinon of Macedonia in the Roman age. And the pairing of Severus Alexander with an Alexander commemorative is no coincidence as you'll see below: AE27mm 11g bronze (copper) assarion(?), minted at Veroia, ca. 231. ΑΥ Κ Μ Α ϹE ΑΛEXΑΝΔΡΟϹ; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander (youthful), r. seen from rear KOINON MAKEΔONΩN NEΩKO; Alexander the Great riding Bucephalus galloping r., his mantle floating behind him, holding couched lance RPC VI 411, AMNG 308 The reverse type and legend dates this issue to around 231 (confirmation of the first neokoriate) -- the regular series being civic issues celebrating Alexander the Great. This type with the emperor effigy is rather rare (3specs of this variation in RPC and very few specs of each variation which has the Imperial effigy instead of Alexander the Great), especially when compared to the civic issues minted between 231 and 235. There was no Imperial bust of Severus Alexander in the coins dated to his reign from the Seres hoard (M. Antoniadou - The 'Seres 1966' Hoard: A Contribution to the Coinage of the Macedonian Koinon during the Roman Imperial Period, 2020) but the reverse is well represented in the coinage of the period. It is possible that an issue was struck for the emperor using the regular Alexander the Great on Bucephalus reverse in 231, while Severus Alexander was in Macedonia at the beginning of his Persian campaign (Antoniadou p. 26) which would account for the scarcity of the type: a combination of Severus Alexander obverse with the Alexander the Great reverse to mark the emperor's profectio to the East to fight the Persians. Very fitting and flattering towards Severus Alexander, who by this time had already started the official parallel between himself and the Greatest Alexander - useful for boosting troop morale in a war in the East. Another point of interest is the reverse legend that shows a potentially filled up letter B in the die, which would have referenced the second neokoriate, the situation instated by Elagabal in 218, but revoked under Alexander when Elagabal was damnatio memoriae. So it is possible that an earlier die was modified to fit the neokoriate situation in 231, when Alexander passed through Macedonia after gathering troops from Illyria on his way to the East (A.B. Ertel - Life of Severus Alexander, BA thesis, 1984, p. 85). A similar specimen minted under Severus Alexander but before the revocation of the second neokoriate with a very similar style and reverse legend -- ending in NEΩKO rather than the more regular NEΩ -- here. So what actually happened to the status of neokoria of Veroia very schematically: 1. 96-98 Veroia receives the status of metropolis and also neokoros from Nerva 2. 218 Elagabal offers the privilege of a second neokoriate -- so another temple dedicated to the religious service for the Sebastoi (dedicated to the Imperial cult) 3. 222 Elagabal is overthrown and gets damnatio memoriae which includes his privilege bestowed to Veroia for the second neokoriate but that does not happen instantly as obvious from the Alexander the Great commemorative coinage under Severus Alexander still referencing the second neokoriate, perhaps even as late as 230(?) 4. 231 Alexander gathering his troops from Illyria passes through Macedonia, perhaps stationing at Veroia or setting camp close-by; with this occasion he confirms the first neokoriate and the metropolis statute of the city and the importance of the koinon 5. 239 Gordian offers a new second neokoria privilege The Serres hoard has no coin in the name of the emperor despite much of it being from the reign of Alexander. As a very likely random assortment of coinage from 240+ it shows the scarcity of the 231 issue with the Imperial effigy and/or the fact that these coins did not last long into circulation, unlike the regular commemoratives. For the denomination, Antoniadou (p.31) suggests that it was the assarion, following the pattern of minting that was common in Macedonia in the 3rd century; at 10-12g a piece, this coin was likely the local equivalent of the Imperial as. Double die-match with this specimen in RPC. Edited December 15, 2022 by seth77 20 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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