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Severus Departing (Rome or Laodicea?)


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I am hoping that a Severan expert (e.g. @dougsmit or @maridvnvm ) can help me with this coin - which I purchased as Laodicea (RIC 494) but I am not confident that it is not Rome mint (RIC 106).  How can I tell the difference?  Looking at many other attributed examples, it is the hair on the back of the neck that has me guessing Rome:

image.png.8c865061211aaa62ecd6aaf71d499812.png (Rome - wavy/does not work per Doug's example below)


image.png.54fa237d8e349958a40530020c710991.png (Laodicea - round)


Roman Imperial Coins, Septimius Severus (AD 193-211), AR denarius (3.21g, 17mm) 197 AD

Obv: L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIIII, laureate head right.

Rev: PROFECTIO AVG, Septimius Severus on horseback walking right, holding spear.

Ref: RIC 494 (Laodicea mint - how it was listed in auction)  or RIC 106 (I think this coin is Rome mint)

I liked this coin as the oppositve of ADVENTVS (arrival of the emperor) - this coin is a PROFECTIO (departure of the emperor). Heading East in 197 on a campaign against Parthia.


Thanks in advance for any advice.

Edited by Sulla80
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42 minutes ago, maridvnvm said:

This is what a Laodicea example looks like


no question about the identity of the rider on the reverse - very clearly a Septimius Severus!  Thanks for sharing your excellent example!

Edited by Sulla80
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The fact is that I will never be frequenting these pages often enough to be first with the best information again but, since my name was mentioned, I will post 100% agreement with the Rome ID.  I discover that I do not have one of these from Rome.  Later period, Rome mint coins were never as much an interest to me but most of the common ones came by accident over the years.  My 'Laodicea' example came to me in 1995 from Freeman and Sear's first mail bid sale lot 499.  It was then graded as VF which I consider appropriate and hammered for $90 plus fluff totaling $100.10 on an estimate of $140 which I (and the competition) considered ridiculous.  Despite the wear, I bought it for the style and strike.  



I spent a good deal of my life between 1997 and 2003 trying to help various people learn the differences between the mints for Septimius.  In large, I failed.  Today, most of the big dealers seem to have caught on but we still see too many  'professional' sellers who neither can or care to look them up.  I have no easy and complete answer to how to tell that might not be fooled by some errant coins and we have to allow for the fact that there are some unofficial coins out there that copy one of the other making a few 'none of the above' specimens.  My second coin is low grade silver (or AE with a bit of silver) and less than certainly official Laodicea.  Was it 'Friday night at the mint' or just a copy based on having seen a Laodicea or Rome coin?   I'll never know. The longer I have been looking at these coins, the less I think I 'know' for certain.  What do you see here?  I see a less pleasing coin of less skilled style with lower grade metal that I bought for $11 from Matt Kreuzer in 1997 as Laodicea.  Was that correct? Is it official?  Where was it made?  I have opinions but none that I want attached to my name.  A few weeks after I bought that coin, I started my website and too many people started quoting what I had to say as if it were truth.  Everything there was my opinion of the truth at that time but it was not 'fact' in the most strict meaning of that word.  I  no longer believe in truth in history or in numismatics.  What we 'know' is what someone reports having seen or interpreted from reports of others.  I will continue to have opinions and be happy to listen to those from 'higher authorities' but I will remain in possession of several coins that no longer make me willing to suggest anyone listen to my opinions on the subject in question.  


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14 hours ago, dougsmit said:


Your example debunks my "curly" vs. "wavy" hair theory on the back of the neck and leaves me still wishing for some element of style that I can anchor too e.g. the loop on Domna's neckline.   On the line of thought that there is no truth in history or numismatics, I could further confuse the question by asking was "Laodicea mint" "Antioch" or "unknown Syrian mint"?  I find it too far to say "no truth", but certainly many areas where "speculation and hearsay" are all we have.

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