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

Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

Publius Septimius Geta was the younger son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. No love was lost between him and his older brother Caracalla, and although at their father's deathbed they pledged to remain united, within months each had their own rival factions and vied with each for supremacy. Pretending reconciliation, Caracalla scheduled a meeting at their mother's house where instead Geta was ambushed and murdered. Geta died in his mother's arms.


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The palladium, a small figure of Minerva (Pallas Athena) holding a spear and shield, had a mythological origin from Troy. Troy was believed to be safe from foreign enemies as long as the Palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon after the Greeks took the city. The Palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. In Late Antiquity, it was rumored that Constantine had taken the Palladium to Constantinople and buried it under the Column of Constantine.
RS85127. Silver denarius, RIC IV 13a; RSC III 90; BMCRE p. 197, 223; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 7184, VF/F, well centered, nice portrait, light toning, weight 2.174 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 199 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA CAES PONT, boy's bare-headed and draped bust right, from behind; reverse NOBILITAS, Nobilitas standing facing, head right, long scepter in right hand, palladium in left; $110.00 (93.50)


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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc.
RS85551. Silver denarius, RIC IV 59(a); RSC III 114; BMCRE V p. 274, 579; Hunter III 24; SRCV II 7187, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, perfect centering, well struck, tiny edge cracks, slightly frosty, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, bearded, draped bust right, from behind; reverse PONTIF COS II (priest, consul for the 2nd time), Genius standing left, nude, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming altar, ears of grain downward in left hand; $90.00 (76.50)


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

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The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP85917. Bronze AE 18, Moushmov 4929, H-J Serdica 12.22.16.1 (R4) var. (rev. leg.), Varbanov III 2527 var. (same), SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, porous, small edge cracks, weight 3.415 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 225o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, c. 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse Λ CEΠT ΓETAC K, bare headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse OVΛΠI CEP∆IK, Thanatos standing half right, legs crossed, leaning on inverted extinguished torch set on altar; very rare variant; $85.00 (72.25)







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

GETACAESPONTCOS
GETACAESPONTIF
IMPCAESPSEPTGETAPIVSAVG
LSEPTIMIVSGETACAES
LSEPTGETACAESPONT
PSEPTGETACAESPONT
PSEPTIMGETACAESAR
PSEPTGETAPIVSAVGBRIT
PSEPTIMIVSGETACAES
PSEPTIMIVSGETAPIVSAVGBRIT


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
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 Saturday, May 26, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Geta