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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Severan Period ▸ CaracallaView Options:  |  |  |   

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, better known as Caracalla, was the son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, born in 188 A.D. He was named Caesar in 196 and Augustus in 198. Shortly before his death, Severus advised his sons, "Agree with each other, give money to the soldiers and scorn all other men." But the brothers hated each other and soon Caracalla had Geta murdered and massacred thousands suspected of supporting him. Although a capable military commander, the actual running of the government was left to his mother. He gradually slipped more and more into paranoia and delusions of grandeur before being murdered on his way to an Eastern campaign aimed at fulfilling his belief that he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great.


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. Septimius Severus was of African origin and, favoring the land of his birth, conferred benefits (including the jus Italicum) on Carthage and Utica. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.
RS85801. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a; RSC III 97; BMCRE V p. 208, 280; Hunter III 38; SRCV II 6806, Choice gVF, excellent centering, nice boy portrait, light toning, some very light scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.708 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis riding lion right over water gushing from rock, thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand; $280.00 (238.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Augusta Traiana, Thrace

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Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria today) was founded by Trajan, c. 106 A.D. During 2nd - 3rd century A.D., it was the second largest city in Roman Thrace, after Philippopolis, and was fortified by strong walls. The city struck bronze coins from the time of Marcus Aurelius to Gallienus.
SH68297. Bronze AE 28, Varbanov 1095 (R4) = Schnert-Geiss Augusta Traiana 300, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Nice F, weight 15.539 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEYH ANTΩONINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from b; reverse AYΓOYCTHC TPAIANHC, city-gate flanked by two crenellated towers, a third crenellated tower in the center behind the gate; $150.00 (127.50)


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This coin refers to the departure (profectio) of Caracalla, Septimius, and Geta on their British expedition. Historian's dating of this departure to the year 208 depends on these coins dated TR P XI for Caracalla and TR P XVI for Septimius.
RS84986. Silver denarius, RIC IV 107 (S); RSC III 511; BMCRE V p. 272, 574; Hunter III p. 56, 52 var. (enemy under horse's raised foreleg); SRCV II -, aEF, well centered, light tone on luster, edge cracks, weight 3.627 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P XI COS III (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 11 years, consul for the 3rd time), Emperor on horseback right, wearing military garb, paludamentum flying behind, transverse lance in right hand, horse's right foreleg raised, PROF (departure) in exergue; scarce; $150.00 (127.50)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP85229. Bronze AE 23, SNG anakkale 220 corr. (obv. legend), SNG BnF 1494 var. (same), SNG Cop 296 var. (same), BMC Mysia -, SNGvA -, SNG Tb -, SNG Hunt -, Lindgren -, VF, well centered and struck, bumps and scratches, centration dimples, weight 5.450 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL A, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, beardless, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; $140.00 (119.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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For the Roman nobility virtus came not only in one's personal "acta" but also that of one's ancestors. However, Cicero, a novus homo, asserted that virtus was a virtue particularly suited to the new man just as nobilitas was suited to the noble. Cicero argued that just as young men from noble families won the favor of the people so too should the novus homo earn the favor of the people with his virtus. He even extended the argument that virtus and not one's family history should decide a man's worthiness. Virtus is something that a man earns himself, not something that is given to him by his family, thus it is a better measure of a man's ability. Cicero's goal was not to impugn the noble class but widen it to include men who had earned their positions by merit.
RS85800. Silver denarius, RIC IV 117(b); RSC III 478; Hunter III 69; BMCRE V p. 364, 37; cf. SRCV II 6873 (TR P XIIII), Choice VF, superb portrait, full circle centering, light toning, die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.073 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P XIII COS III (priest, holder of Tribunitian power 13 years, consul for the 3rd time), Virtus standing half right, helmeted and wearing military garb, left foot forward and resting on helmet, inverted spear vertical in right hand, parazonium in left hand; $140.00 (119.00)


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A nice little boy portrait with no sign of the monster he would become.
RS79933. Silver denarius, RIC IV 68; RSC III 686; BMCRE V p. 234, 396; Hunter III p. 52, 23; SRCV II 6908, Choice VF, excellent boy portrait, well centered, weight 3.498 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 202 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped boy's bust right; reverse VOT SVSC DEC PON TR P V COS, Caracalla standing left, togate and veiled, sacrificing over lit tripod altar from a patera in right hand, roll in left hand; scarce; $135.00 (114.75)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP84686. Bronze AE 22, SNG anakkale 220 corr. (obv. legend), SNG BnF 1494 var. (same), SNG Cop 296 var. (same), BMC Mysia -, SNGvA -, SNG Tb -, SNG Hunt -, Lindgren -, VF, porous, centration dimples, weight 6.182 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL A, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, beardless, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; $125.00 (106.25)


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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RS77584. Silver denarius, RIC IV 161, RSC III 143, BMCRE V 511, SRCV III 6817, Hunter III -, gVF, mint luster, excellent portrait, well centered, struck with a worn reverse die, many small edge cracks, weight 3.682 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 208 - 210 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right, long curly sideburn; reverse LIBERTAS AVG, Libertas standing left, pileus in right hand, long rod vertical in left hand; $120.00 (102.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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A temple of Mn has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But Mn was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, Mn was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. Mn is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock.
RP79565. Bronze AE 24, Krzyzanowska -, BMC Lycia -, SNG BnF -, SNG PfPs -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Hunterian -, Lindgren -, VF, attractive unusual bust with aegis, dark patina with coppery high points, weight 5.635 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse ANTIOCH FORTVNA COE, Mn standing facing, head right, wearing Phrygian cap, crescent with horns up rising behind shoulders, left foot on bucranium, leaning with left elbow on cippus, long scepter vertical in right hand, Nike in left hand, cock standing left at feet on left; $120.00 (102.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RP83478. Bronze AE 24, Touratsoglou 158 (V25/R55), McClean 3793, Varbanov 4416 (R6), Moushmov 6753, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, F, green patina, a few minor scratches, edge bump, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 90o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AV K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΘECCAΛONKEΩN, Nike standing right, left foot on helmet, shield held with both hands and resting on left knee; $120.00 (102.00)




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

ANTONINVSAVGVSTV
ANTONINVSAVGVSTVS
ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
ANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY ELAGABALUS)
DIVOANTONINOMAGNO
IMPCAEMAVRANTAVGPTRP
IMPCAESMAVRELANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINETGETACAESAVGFIL
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONAVGPTRP
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSPONTAVG
IMPMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVGPMTRPXIII
MAVRANTCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONCAESPONTIF
MAVRANTONINVSCAES
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVG
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGBRIT
MAVRELANTONINVSPIVSAVGGERM


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 14, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Caracalla