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Severus Alexander on a dated Anazarbus coinage


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Slowly and patiently offering the time they deserve to coins that were likely overlooked by others:


ALEXANDER AE29mm 11.82g copper-based alloy multiple denomination, struck c. 231 (ΕΤ ΘΜϹ = 249 of local era)
ΑΥΤ Κ ΜA ΑΥ ϹΕ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟϹ ϹΕΒ; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander, right, seen from front.
ΑΝΑΖΑΡ[ΒΟΥ] ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟ / ΕΤ / ΘΜ/Ϲ [Β Γ]; Nike standing on globe, left, holding wreath and trophy.
RPC VI 7388

Between 229-231 the mint of Anazarbus strikes a large number of AE coinage, very likely in anticipation of Severus Alexander's eastern campaign against Ardashir. This type might refer to a Roman victorious campaign as it was just beginning, struck possibly as Alexander was in the city or in its vicinity: he departed Rome very early in the spring of 231 and was in Antioch that summer. His presence at Anazarbus for local games (the coinage also attests these games, possibly given by the local elite in honor of the emperor) is certainly possible and the vast monetary output, employing different types and denominations, could suggest a special occasion such as the Imperial presence in the city.

Anazarbus more generally has possibly 3 general periods of striking for Alexander:
1. for him as Caesar and during his early rule
2. briefly c. 223-4
3. heavily 229-31 involving Imperial victory, local celebrations and local games.

The coinage for Severus Alexander at Anazarbus ends before the local year 249 (230-1) ends and it is not resumed in 232 after the campaign, raising the distinct possibility that the city was visited by the Emperor prior to the actual military conflict and not during the Emperor's return to the West.

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Nice research! I had a Severus Alexander from Anazarbus that was in a similar shape as your coin that went unidentified for years. I found another example in an auction and in much better shape that led to it's identification.


Cilicia, Anazarbus. Severus Alexander AE22.

Obv: ΑΥΤ Κ Μ ΑΥ ϹƐΔ (sic) ΑΛƐΞΑΝΔΡΟϹ; radiate head of Severus Alexander, r.
Rev: ΑΝΑΖ ƐΝΔΟΞ ΜΗΤΡΟ ƐΤ (retrograde) ΗΜϹ Β Γ; diademed head of Zeus, r.
ΕΤ ΗΜϹ=248(229/230). Ziegler 503, RPC 7358.

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