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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Severan Period| ▸ |Caracalla||View 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., with his brother Geta

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SH33740. Silver denarius, Lanz 120, 426 (same dies); RIC IV -, RSC III -, nice VF, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 199 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE M AVR ANT AVG P TR P II, laureate and draped bust of Caracalla right; reverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, draped bust of Geta right; extremely rare; SOLD


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Caracalla and Geta reverse

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Part of the interesting dynastic Severan series, which comprises coins that display portraits of two, three, or all four members of Septimius Severus' family. The Julia Domna obverse/ Caracalla and Geta reverse comes in three varieties. The most common is the one with both brothers wearing paludamentum and often cuirass. In the past years we note 13 different specimens. On our coin the reverse has plain heads, and we can't trace any specimen auctioned in the recent years. RIC lists both types as R3, obviously in error. Neither was present in the Reka Devnia hoard.
SH25338. Silver denarius, RIC IV S541, RSC III 3, SRCV II 6534 var., Choice gVF, near full circle centering, light toning, weight 3.290 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 201 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse AETERNIT IMPERI, confronted heads of Caracalla (on left) laureate right and Geta Caesar bare head left; very rare; SOLD


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

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RP80388. Bronze medallion, Gorny Auktion 147, lot 1839; Waddington Voyage 2; SNG Cop -; BMC Lydia -; SNGvA -, F, weight 30.672 g, maximum diameter 40.9 mm, die axis 180o, Bagis mint, 28 Jun 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AYK MAYP AN - TΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse KAIΣAPEΩN, the Emperor wearing military attire and holding spear, astride prancing horse right, led by Nike, with two enemies below horse, BAΓHNΩN in exergue; attractive huge bronze medallion!; very rare; SOLD


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In 215, Caracalla introduced the double denarius, or antoninianus. The weight of the new denomination was less than that of two denarii. The orichalcum and copper coinage disappeared gradually, and by the middle of the third century, with Rome's economy in crisis, the antoninianus was the only official currency.
SH53592. Silver denarius, RIC IV 258(c) (S); RSC III 279b; BMCRE VI p. 453, 114; Hunter III 32; SRCV II 6836, FDC, sharp, fine style, mirror luster, perfect centering, weight 3.231 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Jupiter standing right, nude but for cloak over left shoulder, thunderbolt at side in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex H. S. Perlin Co. (1989); SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Severan Dynastic Denarius

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One of Rome's great story coins. 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 their rivalry intensified upon his death. The two emperors lived in separate palaces and each had their own guard. In December 211, Caracalla convinced their mother, Julia Domna, to call Geta for a reconciliation meeting in her residence. It was a trick. In his mother's house Caracalla's soldiers attacked. Geta died in their mother's arms.
SH33739. Silver denarius, RIC IV 251 var. (Caracalla draped and cuirassed), RSC III 6 var. (same), Vagi 1709, Choice VF, weight 3.464 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 202 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse AETERNIT IMPERI, bust of Caracalla laureate and draped facing bust of Geta bare-headed and draped; rare; SOLD


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Cerberus, a multi-headed (usually three-headed) hound, guards the gates of Hades to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Capturing Cerberus alive was the twelfth and final labor King Eurystheus assigned to Hercules. In the underworld, Hercules met Hades and asked his permission to bring Cerberus to the surface. Hades agreed to if Hercules could overpower the beast without using weapons. Hercules was able to overpower Cerberus, sling the beast over his back, and drag it out of Hades through a cavern entrance in the Peloponnese. Eurystheus was so frightened by the beast that, in return for releasing him from his labors, he asked Hercules to return it to the underworld.
SH34981. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 261c; RSC III 299a; BMCRE V 124, Choice EF, well centered on a broad flan, weight 5.154 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Pluto seated left, extending right hand, holding vertical scepter in left; at his feet to left, Cerberus seated left, turning his three heads right; unusual reverse type; rare; SOLD


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Issued to commemorate victory in Britain. compared with the Antonine period, the Severan base metal coinage lost most of its importance; it was replaced by the devalued silver denarius even for smallest daily transactions. As a result the coins are quite uncommon, especially the as, and an attractive example such as this British victory commemorative is quite rare. Between 208 and 210 A.D., Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla campaigned into Scotland (then Caledonia) and also restored Hadrian's Wall. The victories in the north pacified the island for the remainder of the century, but the aged Septimius died at Eburacum (York) in 211 A.D.
RB30341. Copper as, RIC IV 458a, Cohen IV 479, Choice gVF, weight 8.349 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR P XIII COS III (priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 13 years, consul for the 3rd time), Virtus on right, standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, parazonium in right hand, inverted spear in left hand, right foot on helmet, on left bound Caledonian captive seated at base of trophy of captured arms, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. In 202, Septimius Severus (and Caracalla) returned to Rome after a five year absence. Festivals were held to celebrate his six year reign. This type might have been minted either after their return or in advance to advertise they were traveling by sea and would be in Rome soon.
RS33440. Silver denarius, RIC IV 120 (S); RSC III 3; BMCRE V p. 205, 267; SRCV II 6790; Hunter III -, Choice EF, near full circle strike, the finest example of the type we have seen, weight 3.347 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 202 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, boy's laureate and draped bust right; reverse ADVENT AVGG, war galley left on waves, ram, acrostolium and vexillum at the bow, five oarsmen and a steersman, three persons seated in the steersman's cabin, two standards and apluster at the stern; scarce; SOLD


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On 4 February 211, Severus fell ill and died in York at the age of 65, after a reign of nearly 18 years. This coin was dedicated to Fortuna to secure her aid for Caracalla's safe return to Rome from Britain.
SH57744. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 479(a), Cohen IV 85, cf. SRCV II 6921 (COS III), gVF, full flan, weight 22.033 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 211 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right with short beard; reverse FORT RED P M TR P XIIII COS IIII P P S C, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, scepter in left hand, wheel under seat; nice green patina, attractive coin; scarce; SOLD


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

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Hygieia was the Greek goddess of health. She was the daughter of Asklepios, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asklepios learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP85686. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 1652; Kraft p. 111, 9a; McClean 7927; Rhousopoulous 3547; SNG Cop -; BMC Troas -, Choice VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, excellent portrait, porosity and some minor pitting, weight 21.937 g, maximum diameter 37.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, c. 212 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AV K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse EΠI CTPA ΦΛA ΠAVCEPΩTOC (prefect, strategos Phla(...) Pauserotos), Hygieia on the left, standing facing, feeding snake held in her arms, head right looking at Asklepios, Asklepios on the right, standing slightly right, head turned back left, wearing himation, leaning on snake entwined staff in his right hand, KYMAIΩN in exergue; ex Divus Numismatik; very rare; SOLD




  




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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).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
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 Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Caracalla