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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Coins: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1335134

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Rome Mint; 202-210 CE

Obverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG. Laureate head of Septimius Severus facing right.

Reverse: FVNDATOR PACIS. Septimius, veiled, standing left holding branch and roll.

Weight: 2.87g; Diameter: 19.6 mm


RIC 4a, 265


Rome Mint, 196-211 CE

Obverse: IVLIA AVGVSTA. Draped bust of Julia Domna facing right.

Reverse: IVNO. Juno, veiled, standing left, holding patera and sceptre. Peacock at feet.

Weight: 3.38 g; Diameter: 19.4 mm


RIC 4a, 559


Rome Mint; 203-208 CE

Obverse: P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES. Draped bust of Geta facing right.

Reverse: PONTIF COS. Minerva standing left, holding sceptre and leaning of shield.

Weight:3.18 g; Diameter: 19.1 mm


RIC 4a, 34b


Rome Mint; 209 CE

Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG. Laureate head of Caracalla facing right.

Reverse: PONTIF TR P XII COS III. Concordia seated left, holding patera and double cornucopiae.

Weight: 2.96 g; Diameter: 19.1 mm


RIC 4a, 111


Rome Mint; 202-205 CE

Obverse: PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA. Draped bust of Plautilla facing right, hair firmly waved and drawn down on neck.

Reverse: CONCORDIA FELIX. Caracalla facing left, clasping hands of Plautilla, facing right.

Weight: 3.30 g; Diameter: 18 mm


RIC 4a, 365a

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The Severan Dynasty was founded by Septimius Severus in 193 CE and includes all rulers until 235 CE. This set includes coins of Septimius Severus (c. 193-211 CE), his wife Julia Domna (c. 193-217 CE), their two children Caracalla (c. 198-217 CE) and Geta (c. 209-211 CE) and Caracalla's wife Plautilla (c.202-205 CE).

Septimius Severus was born in 145/146 CE in what is modern day Libya to a well-established Roman family. He entered public service from an early age and rose to the rank of Consul in 190 CE. Prior to this appointment he married a Syrian noblewoman named Julia Domna in 187/188 CE. By all accounts this marriage was a happy one with Julia Domna being a trusted adviser to Severus. This marriage produced two sons, Caracalla (b. 188 CE) and Geta (b. 189 CE).

In 193 CE, Septimius Severus rose to the role of Emperor during the tumultuous “Year of Five Emperors”. After the assassination of the insane Commodus, Pertinax was appointed emperor only to be assassinated in short order by the Praetorian Guard. Septimius Severus, meanwhile was appointed Emperor of Rome in the field by his troops on April 13th, 193 CE. He successfully marched on the city, subdued other contenders for the throne and proceeded to disband the Praetorian Guard. Following this he presented himself as the avenger of Pertinax and the successor of Marcus Aurelius, thereby making him the rightful heir to Rome. Septimius Severus ruled solely from 193-198 CE when he appointed his son Caracalla his co-ruler and heir. He raised his other son, Geta, to the role of Augustus as well in 209 CE. Severus died in 211 CE in what is now York, England leaving his sons to inherit the empire. Although Severus no doubt meant for his sons to rule together, the nature of his children, primarily Caracalla, made this arrangement impossible and Caracalla had Geta assassinated the same year his father died.

Caracalla's wife, Plautilla, suffered a similar fate, being killed on Caracalla's orders in early 212 CE after being exiled to Sicily in 205 CE. A pawn in Roman politics, Plautilla was born in the mid to late 180s CE and was married to Caracalla in 202 CE through an arrangement made by Septimius Severus and her father Gaius Fulvius Plautianus. A thoroughly unhappy marriage combined with Caracalla's infamous murderous streak make this conclusion tragic, but not at all surprising.