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12 Roman Rulers! I Finally Made it!


LONGINUS
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Posted (edited)

If you were expecting to see the 12 Caesars, I apologize for the clickbait.

 

I  wanted to show you my 12 Severan denarii. I was inspired by @Severus Alexander’s kind words on my "Roman Teenagers" post: Really great posters, @LONGINUS!!Would love to see one of Severus Alexander too.  He was 13 when he ascended the throne.  (And married the teenaged Orbiana five years later, though a coin for her will be more difficult!”) I decided to find and purchase an Orbiana denarius and was fortunate. The one below was listed under the “New Items” category by one of my favorite dealers.

 

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My 12 Severans

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Feel free to post any ancient coin related comments and/or images about clickbait, the Severans, or the number 12.

Edited by LONGINUS
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Absolutely wonderful collection of The Severans Ray! All are of great quality. 🙂 

Here are a few relevant additions.

Caracalla 

6C8EA9EF-B749-47C4-B782-3414D3DDA580.jpeg.f58730bec1503e5c48bb4bfd1972b492.jpeg

Roman Empire
Caracalla
AR denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 206
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 3.18 g
Obv.: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG; Laureate head right
Rev.: PONTIF TR P VIIII COS II; Mars in military dress standing left, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding spear
Ref.: RIC IV 83
Ex Otto Helbing Nachf. 86 (Nov. 25, 1942); Ex Gorney & Mosch Auction 241, lot 3068 (Oct. 12, 2016); Ex arnoldoe Collection

Geta

55CCD92C-1DD0-4D22-8576-4CF7FDE8351A.jpeg.4b071fa623b0b580ff9ff7bfbf549ca1.jpeg

Roman Empire
Geta as Caesar
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 198-200
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 2.33 g
Obv.: L SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES. Bareheaded and draped bust right.
Rev.: FELICITAS TEMPOR. Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia.
Ref.: RIC IVa 2
Ex AMCC 1 (Dec. 1, 2018)

Elagabalus 

0E2385A8-AF4F-4AE4-9B39-CEA4CD5FDAF7.jpeg.6eb4595785a1f0916f88f53aa8b39e0f.jpeg

Roman Empire
Elagalabus (218-222) 
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 221.
Dia.: 19 mm
Wt.: 2.84 g
Obv.: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG; draped and “horned” bust right
Rev.: Rev. emperor standing left, sacrificing over altar, standard on either side 
Ref.: RIC IVB 51
Ex Shea19 collection, Ex CNG E-Auction 465, Lot 722 (part of), Ex Mike Vosper FPL 112 (11 March 2000), no. 35a

Severus Alexander 

C7226CC2-01AC-40DF-A70E-565EB87DD9CA.jpeg.22a36ac7c15663f6c04bca1ee4cd2d6e.jpeg

Roman Empire
Severus Alexander
AR Denarius, Antioch mint, struck ca. AD 222-235
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 3.35 g
Obv.: IMP C AVR ALEXAND AVG; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: PROVID DEORVM; Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe and sceptre
Ref.: RIC 294
Ex arnoldoe Collection, Ex Otto Helbing Nachfolger 86, Lot 1585 (Nov. 25, 1942)

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image.jpeg.80dab4f23d01e28ff2216bc24a935ac8.jpeg

Septimius Severus, 193-211 A.D. AR Denarius (19 mm, 3.3 g) SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right. RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Roma seated left holding palladium & spear, round shield below. RIC 288, RSC 606.

Ex. Arete Coins

 

image.jpeg.32854d112569664b115e899216711a92.jpeg

RIC 130a, Very Fine+, 19.6mm, 3.61 grams, Struck Circa. 201 - 206 C.E., Rome Mint Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG around laureate and draped, youthful bust of Caracalla to right Reverse: Dea Caelestis riding on lion to right over waters gushing from rock, thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, INDVLGENTIA AVGG around, IN CARTH in exergue

Ex. Zuzim

 

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Elagabalus 218-222 AD AR Denarius 18 x 19 mm, 3.01 g Laureate, draped bust rt / FIDES MILITVM, Legionary Aquila (eagle) between two signa (standards) RIC IV 78

Ex. Glenn Terry 

 

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Nice set! 😄

Quick shot, because im packing bags for holiday but could not resist making this picture! With a bunch of Caracalla, ones of my favs. 

My whole Severan set, including the wifes, except for Faustina, third wife of Elagabalus. 
 

Also includes Clodius Abinus, Macrinus and Dia. F104046E-FE03-4EE8-BD56-D87BD21B91EA.jpeg.49af49e29e416cf0cb5636bba7f02720.jpeg

Edited by Pantoffel
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Congratulations, Ray. Very nice set and I admire your exigency in regards to condition. 

Of course the set can be extended to other Elegabalus ladies but I am sure you will make it 🙂

I am not at home and I can't post pics of my coins, however my last addition is the same type of Orbiana denarius (in a modest condition, but even this common type is not exactly the cheapest). The only one from your set missing from the party in my collection is a Geta imperial, I couldn't find one I really liked. I intend to get one with him as a child and as an adult. 

What I really like in this area in my collection are the bronzes - I have sestertii from Domna, Mamaea and Severus Alexander and I intend to develop further. 

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WOW!!!  I'm honoured to have inspired these purchases and another set of wonderful posters!  That is a great portrait of Sev Alex, from the period where my favourite portraits come from.  But what really blows me away is the portrait of Orbiana.  I think that is literally my favourite Orbiana portrait style I've ever seen!  Just a little bit unusual (in an attractive way), and her large eyes looking skyward are as charming as it gets.  I will now be looking for an example from this very die!

I've long had an As of Orbiana, but only recently acquired my first denarius (more of a budget model than yours!), from our new friend @Prieure de Sion.  I also got a lovely Sev Alex from him too.  I hadn't yet taken photos of those two so scrambled just now to do so... but alas I've run out of time and need to get to bed.  I do have some raw photo files and will process them in the morning!

Anyway, just wanted to post my appreciation.  Absolutely first rate, @LONGINUS!!  In honour of your triumph, I'll post my triumphal As:

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(This was in anticipation of the Roman army's first clash with the Sasanian Persians and Ardashir.  They had no idea what they were going to face, and how much more formidable the foe was than the Parthians.  The war didn't quite turn out as planned.  Basically a draw, I would say.)

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My new Orbiana and Sev Alex (ex @Prieure de Sion), as promised:

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The Perpuitas reverse is one of his less common ones.  I really like the SA portrait style from around this time, i.e. from about 226 to 231.  Yours is from that era also.

Here's another sculptural depiction of Orbiana, the one in the Louvre:

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Almost a unibrow going on there!  I'm not sure how secure the attribution is.

@Roman Collector wrote a nice post on Orbiana on CoinTalk.  Re-reading it made me realize I made a mistake in the post you reference, @LONGINUS. Here you quote me:

19 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

He was 13 when he ascended the throne.  (And married the teenaged Orbiana five years later, though a coin for her will be more difficult!”)

Oops!  He married her 3 years later, not five... the marriage lasted from 225 to 227 at which point it was allegedly dissolved by "a jealous Mamaea."  Though I expect it may have had something to do with the fact that her father, Seius Sallustius, who had possibly been named Caesar by SA, made an attempt on the emperor's life!  (I wonder if SA pined after her during her permanent exile to Libya?)  Our sources tend to be down on Mamaea.  Just ancient misogyny, perhaps?

18 hours ago, Jeremy said:

It's crazy to think of imperial power being placed in the hands of teenagers.

In SA's case, government was in the hands of his mother, Julia Mamaea and an advisory council of 20 aristocrats.  This council included the famous jurist Ulpian and probably (at some point or other) the future emperors Balbinus and Pupienus.  By all accounts they did a pretty bang up job and the government was generally well liked by both ordinary citizens and the elite.  SA gradually became more influential, of course – by all accounts he was unusually intelligent, even as a lad – and by the time of the Sassanid invasion he was very actively participating in government.  We're told he was "beloved by the people."

The army was another matter, though.  They didn't feel they were getting paid enough, for one, although they tended to blame that on SA's mother.  IMO this is just misogyny, mostly.  She was prudently watching the empire's pursestrings.  However the difficulty of the campaign in Persia coupled with a coordinated invasion across the Rhine and Danube caused this disaffection to grow, and eventually end in open revolt led by Big Bad Max Thrax.  Who discovered, to his chagrin, that running an empire wasn't so easy after all...

SA's reign marked the start of the third century crisis, which can't be understood without having a grasp of this important beginning.  I think people tend to think of SA's reign as kinda boring (like Antoninus Pius, eh, @Prieure de Sion😆) but in fact it was anything but!  It's just that it's not a favourite subject for historical or fictional depictions of ancient Rome.  It should be done more!

A final little tidbit: Severus Alexander really enjoyed swimming. 😄

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33 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

My new Orbiana and Sev Alex (ex @Prieure de Sion), as promised:

Ah my Ex-Orbiana Coin... I hope you enjoy the Orbiana Denarius 😉 I'm going to miss her a bit.

 

35 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

SA's reign marked the start of the third century crisis, which can't be understood without having a grasp of this important beginning.  I think people tend to think of SA's reign as kinda boring (like Antoninus Pius, eh, @Prieure de Sion😆) but in fact it was anything but!  It's just that it's not a favourite subject for historical or fictional depictions of ancient Rome.  It should be done more!

You might laugh. But Severus Alexander is on the same level as Antoninus Pius for me. But he's even worse. He let his mother tell him everything. Probably the separation from Orbiana is also Mamaea's fault and Alexander didn't even have the guts to defend himself against it. 

But hey - it's all a matter of taste 😉 ... and that's a good thing! Because otherwise we would all collect the same things. And that would be stupid. 

PS: For this, Severus Alexander is - in my opinion - a very grateful collecting area. And not overpriced in the meantime like the Julian-Claudians, the Flavians or the Severan family from Septimius to Elagabal. With Alexander you still get very beautiful coins at fair prices. If you like the mummy's boy 😄 you will find a great collecting area with great specimens and affordable money. 

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54 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Ah my Ex-Orbiana Coin... I hope you enjoy the Orbiana Denarius 😉 I'm going to miss her a bit.

 

You might laugh. But Severus Alexander is on the same level as Antoninus Pius for me. But he's even worse. He let his mother tell him everything. Probably the separation from Orbiana is also Mamaea's fault and Alexander didn't even have the guts to defend himself against it. 

But hey - it's all a matter of taste 😉 ... and that's a good thing! Because otherwise we would all collect the same things. And that would be stupid. 

PS: For this, Severus Alexander is - in my opinion - a very grateful collecting area. And not overpriced in the meantime like the Julian-Claudians, the Flavians or the Severan family from Septimius to Elagabal. With Alexander you still get very beautiful coins at fair prices. If you like the mummy's boy 😄 you will find a great collecting area with great specimens and affordable money. 

Mummy's boy, eh? Them's fightin' words!! 💪🥊 😆

IMO you're taking Herodian et al. too much at face value.  There are other ways to read the facts into what we have as historical record.  I might add that 1) some of the traits attributed to Elagabalus were grafted onto SA by Max Thrax and the rebels at the end of his reign, and 2) everything we have was written by men at at a time when women were deemed inferior beings.  So if SA took his mother exactly as seriously as he should have (which means as an intelligent woman much older than him) they would inevitably have seen this as weakness on his part.

In general their (i.e. Mamaea, SA, and the council) decisions were sensible.  Major needed building projects were completed, the coinage was restored (both silver and orichalcum), taxes were made more equitable, religious tolerance was promoted, as well as scholarship and learning; conspiracies were swiftly punished but they didn't go overboard.  Much salutary new legislation came in.  Everything was great, really, until Ardashir invaded.  At the time, nobody had any idea how big a deal that was, and SA's partial success (such as it was) in these circumstances was indeed quite an achievement when compared with later efforts.  That conflict would dominate Roman affairs in the east until the Sassanids were extinguished by the Muslim armies in the 7th century.

The beginning of basically a four century century war between two of the greatest empires in the world marshalling two of the largest forces ever seen until that time?  With SA present in person, insisting on putting himself in danger sometimes, despite the protests of his mother, and visibly trying to step into the shoes of Alexander the Great?  (He even dropped the "Severus" from his name at this time, which you can see on the coins.)  The first encounter between Romans and Persian cataphracts?  Illness in the ranks screwing up the battle plan, but swift movements later allowing the situation to be partially rescued?  Then, due to troops having been withdrawn from Europe, the first major orchestrated invasion across both the Rhine and Danube (the other major multiple-century conflict zone)?  Punctuated by multiple mutinies, rebellions, and finally assassination?  NOT BORING. 😄

The one major failure the government had was keeping the army in check.  One problem was the devastation the Antonine plague had wrought among those who could serve as officers.  Competence was thin on the ground.  Even so, they took sensible action here, for example by promoting Max Thrax to a very senior position (probably he was in charge of the entire Mesopotamian army in the strike back at Ardashir, for example, as dux ripae) despite his extremely "low" background.  Only to have him orchestrate the assassination!  (Again: NOT BORING!)

They did make one major error, I'd say.  The troops removed from Europe to the east were largely from the areas devastated by that Germanic/Steppe peoples incursion soon after.  Those troops were bent on revenge, and SA's decision to come to terms denied them this.  He should have allowed them to take some measure of revenge, or rather pseudo-revenge as actual revenge may have been impossible.  

What do I mean?  Probably it made sense, both economically and in terms of lives saved, to negotiate with the terms they did.  It's thought the aggressors came from far outside the limes, and it would have been a major undertaking to punish those actually responsible, requiring travel hundreds of miles past the border to find them.  Max Thrax, we've recently discovered, did actually do this.  And bankrupted the rest of the empire in the process, including melting down sacred treasure (gasp!), leading to rebellion, his ouster, and even assassination by his own troops.  So it's not clear there was a good option available to SA, Mamaea, and his council.  In fact maybe they picked the best one: allow Max to handle it, since he definitely had the troops' respect.  In which case, THAT was their big mistake.  I bet butter wouldn't have melted in Max's mouth when he assured SA he'd keep the army under control.

That Max Thrax, grrrrr. 😡 Never to be forgiven...

image.jpeg.a67b2fa45d69558d7b72af26c0636fef.jpeg

Edited by Severus Alexander
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3 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

Mummy's boy, eh? Them's fightin' words!! 💪🥊 😆

Oh holy shit... one moment I forgot your Nickname, when I answered you 🤭😂

4 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

That Max Thrax, grrrrr. 😡 Never to be forgiven...

image.jpeg.382f4c3dec788964725ada4fc1a108f3.jpeg

MAXIMINUS THRAX (235-238). Denarius. Rome. RIC 4.
Obv: MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: P M TR P II COS P P. Emperor standing left with spear, flanked by two standards.

 

 

I am from the Team Thrax! Go Thrax go! 😄 

 

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11 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Oh holy shit... one moment I forgot your Nickname, when I answered you 🤭😂

🤣

11 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

I am from the Team Thrax! Go Thrax go! 😄 

You're in good company... Kenneth Harl likes Max too! 😑🙃

That's a fabulous denarius.  Even looks like Max on the reverse!

My Max middle bronze (an As) with the spelling error (AVGVSIT):

image.jpeg.b84b0d6d57ed5c6d93c25b96e7221240.jpeg

Impressive dude, but he couldn't spell. 🤷‍♂️

Edited by Severus Alexander
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