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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 RomeSH89752. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 14a; Woodward, Didius, p. 79 (dies 11/E); Banti 1, Nice F, excellent portrait, attractive dark brown patina, typical tight flan, weight 18.230 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signum standard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex CNG e-auction 276 (21 Mar 2012), lot 420 (sold for $2520 including buyer's fees); rare; $2200.00 (Ä1936.00)
Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.
Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) goddess of fortune, was the personification of luck. Fortuna Redux brought one safely home, in this case the emperor. The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Syria and Egypt. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel (the wheel of fortune), entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. SH89845. Silver denarius, cf. RIC IV 23 (R3), RIC III 23, BMCRE V 301, SRCV II 6107, Hunter III -, VF, some roughness, weight 2.668 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Apr/1 Jun 193 - Mar/May 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES C PES[CE NIGER IVSTI A] (or similar), laureate head right; reverse FORTVNAE RED, Fortuna seated left on throne, kalathos on head, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, double cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72 (2 Dec 2018), lot 533; very rare; $850.00 (Ä748.00)
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