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

Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.

Macrinus was the Praetorian prefect during the reign of the murderous Caracalla. Macrinus arranged Caracalla's assassination and he and his son Diadumenian seized power and were accepted by the senate. Macrinus concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. This disgrace, magnified by propaganda of Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, inspired the Syrian legions to revolt. In the ensuing conflict Macrinus was defeated. He fled, only to be betrayed and executed.


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Macrinus was Praetorian Prefect for Caracalla but arranged Caracalla's assassination and seized power. He and his son were accepted by the senate. The Syrian legions, inspired by Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, revolted after he concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. He was defeated and executed.
SL84525. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 139 (S), BMCRE V 120 var. (also draped, noted), Cohen IV 66 71, SRCV II 7386, Hunter III -, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4373010-005), lovely mahogany tone with lighter tones on the high points, weight 20.5 g, maximum diameter 31 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, 11 Apr 217 - 31 Dec 217 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P, Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, drapery over left arm, S - C flanking across field below center; NGC Certified, ex Stacks-Bowers; $990.00 (881.10)


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Securitas stands perfectly at her ease, with legs crossed and leaning on a column, clearly relaxed, having nothing to fear. Macrinus was praised for restoring security by eliminating the fratricidal son of Severus, long feared as the most cruel tyrant of Rome, beloved only by a venal soldiery, whom his largesses had enriched.
SH77277. Silver denarius, RIC IV 92b, BMCRE V 80, RSC III 122c corr. (Antioch), Hunter III 32 var. (draped, no cuirass), SRCV II 7365, Choice EF, nearly as struck, light tone on luster, superb portrait, well centered, small edge cracks, weight 3.140 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS TEMPORVM, Securitas standing facing, head left, scepter in right hand, left leg crossed in front of right, leaning with left forearm on column; $500.00 (445.00)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Kyzikos, Mysia

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Colossal foundations of the Temple of Hadrian, sometimes ranked among the Seven Wonders of the World, are still visible at Cyzicus. The columns were 21.35 meters high (about 70 feet), the highest known in the Roman Empire. Those at Baalbek in Syria, the next highest, are only 19.35 meters (about 63 feet). Columns from both structures were recycled under Justinian I for the Hagia Sophia.
RP76803. Bronze AE 26, cf. CNG e-auction 311 (25 Sep 2013), 873 (apparently otherwise unpublished), VF, nice portrait, green patina, reverse about 1/5 off-center cutting of part of legend, minor flan crack, weight 10.185 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AV K M OΠEΛ CEOYHP MAKPEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse KVZIKHNΩN NEOKO,PΩN (last three letters in exergue), octastyle Temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus; apparently only the second known of this extremely rare type; $400.00 (356.00)


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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
SH77610. Silver denarius, RIC IV 22A (R), RSC III 60, BMCRE V 38, SRCV II 7345, Hunter III -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, well centered on a full flan, weight 3.676 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P, Fides Militum standing slightly left, head right, right foot on helmet, holding two flanking standards, one in each hand; rare; $350.00 (311.50)


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Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RS77609. Silver denarius, RIC IV 76, RSC III 37, BMCRE V 20, SRCV II 7337, Hunter III -, Choice gVF, bold well centered strike on a broad flan, weight 2.948 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing slightly left, nude but for chlamys over arms, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, small figure of Macrinus at feet before him; $300.00 (267.00)


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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capitol. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
SH72366. Silver denarius, RIC IV 26a (S), RSC III 47a; BMCRE V p. 501, 41; Hunter III 20; SRCV II 7340 var. (also cuirassed), NGC XF, strike 4/5, surface 4/5 (4160837-004), removed from plastic case; excellent portrait, weight 2.383 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 225o, Rome or Antioch mint, Dec 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Annona standing left, holding two ears of grain downward in right hand over modius overflowing with ears of grain at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand; NGC graded but removed from plastic case (slab) but comes with NGC tag; $180.00 (160.20)


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The same types with the same legends may have been minted for Macrinus at both Rome and Antioch. Some examples with a short beard and younger face are clearly of the style of Rome (and probably look little like Macrinus who was in the east). Some, but probably not all, examples with a longer beard and older features were probably minted at Antioch. RIC does not attempt to distinguish between the products of the two mints.
RS73902. Silver denarius, RIC IV 24b; RSC III 62; BMCRE V p. 501, 40; Hunter III 19; SRCV II 7347, VF, well centered, very dark thick toning, perhaps debased silver, weight 2.495 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (or Rome?) mint, Jan 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P, Securitas standing facing, head left, legs crossed, long scepter vertical in right, resting left arm on column; $140.00 (124.60)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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Aleppo is called Halab in Hittite documents of the second millennium B.C. The city opened its gates to Alexander after the Battle of Issus. Seleucus built a new city nearby and named it Beroea. Saint Paul records that his preaching at Beroea was a great success. The city was sacked by the Persians in 540, and captured by the Muslims without a fight in 637.
RY75674. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 892; Bellinger 85; cf. BMC Galatia p. 132, 19 - 20 (bust from front); SNG Righetti 1861 (same); SNG Cop -; SNG Mnchen -; SNG Hunterian -, aVF, weight 12.848 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Allepo, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K MA OΠ CE MAKPINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC ∆ (tribune of the people, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing front, wings spread, head and tail left, wreath in beak, B - E divided by winged and horned lion-like animal standing facing below; ex Alex G. Malloy; $110.00 (97.90)







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCMOPELANTDIADVMENAVG
IMPCMOPELSEVMACRINVSAVG
IMPCAESMOPELSEVMACRINVSAVG
MACRIANVSNOBILCAES
MOPELANTDIADVMENIANCAES
MOPELANTONINVSDIADVMNIANVSCAES
MOPELDIADVMENIANVSCAES


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Clay, C.L. "The Roman Coinage of Macrinus and Diadumenian" in NZ 1979.
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H.B., E.A. Sydenham & C.H.V. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Mouchmov, N.A. Le Tresor Numismatique De Reka-Devnia (Marcianopolis). (Sofia, 1934).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H.A. & Sear, D.R. Roman Silver Coins, Volume III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. 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, February 22, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Macrinus