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193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in Rome SH86628. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC VI 14 (R), BMCRE V 20, Hunter III 8, Cohen III 3, Cayon III 1, SRCV II 6075, nice F, attractive portrait for grade, legends not fully struck, encrustations on reverse, edge crack, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverseCONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signumstandard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; rare; $1350.00 SALE PRICE $1215.00
Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.
Didius Julianus was born in 133 A.D. and followed a military career. He rose to the rank of legion commander, then Consul and Proconsul of Africa. After Pertinax was murdered, the Praetorian Guard (the emperor's personal bodyguard force) advertised that they were offering the throne to the highest bidder. If not the richest, Didius Julianus was one the richest men in Rome and offered 25,000 sestertii for each man! The Roman people were incensed by the auction and several provincial governors rose up against him. As Septimius Severus approached Rome, only 66 days into his reign, Didius Julianus was betrayed and beheaded by the Praetorians. Coins of Didius Julianus are very rare due to his short reign. SH86629. Silver denarius, RIC IV 1 (R3), RSC III 2, BMCRE V 2, SRCV II 6072, Hunter III -, F, toned, centered on a tight flan, marks, tiny edge cracks, minor flan flaws on reverse, weight 2.608 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - late May 193 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES M DID IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverseCONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia standing half-left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signumstandard in left hand; very rare; $1100.00 SALE PRICE $990.00
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