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

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

Elagabalus came to power through the scheming of his grandmother Julia Maesa. Elagabalus repeatedly shocked the population with increasingly bizarre behavior including cross-dressing and marrying a vestal virgin. Eventually, his grandmother replaced him on the throne with Severus Alexander, and Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome, and dumped into the Tiber.


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Nomos described this coin as, "An extraordinary piece, especially with remains of its original silver plating. Some marks from cleaning, otherwise, about extremely fine."
SH85458. Silvered medallion, okatassarion or quinarius; SNG Cop 784; Varbanov III 1721 (R8); Mionnet I, p. 419, 358 (R6); Mouchmov 5428 (all same dies), aEF, cleaning marks, areas of light corrosion, weight 38.718 g, maximum diameter 40.8 mm, die axis 15o, Philippopolis mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYPΛ ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed three-quarter length bust of Elagabalus left; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEΩC NEΩ KOPOY, youthful Herakles standing left, nude but for lion's skin draped around his left forearm, resting his right hand on the handle of a club set on the ground and holding an apple in his left hand; big 40.8mm bronze!, ex Nomos AG, auction 10 (18 May 2015), lot 115 (realized approximately $4686 including buyers fee); extremely rare; $3400.00 (2890.00)


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This reverse refers to Elagabalus' role as priest of the Syrian god from whom he took his nickname. Elagabalus came to power through the scheming of his grandmother Julia Maesa. Elagabalus repeatedly shocked the population with increasingly bizarre behavior including cross-dressing and marrying a vestal virgin. Eventually, his grandmother replaced him on the throne with Severus Alexander, and Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome, and dumped into the Tiber
RS85640. Silver denarius, RSC III 61, BMCRE V 212, Eauze 348 (31 spec.), RIC IV 88, SRCV II 7518, Choice EF, superb portrait, excellent reverse style and detail, attractive rainbow toning, weight 2.763 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 - 222 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, horned, laureate, draped and bearded bust right; reverse INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG (invincible priest emperor), Elagabalus standing slightly left, branch in left, offering from patera in right hand over flaming altar, slain bull recumbent on far side of the altar, star upper left; $180.00 (153.00)


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RS77585. Silver denarius, RIC IV 125; RSC III 120; BMCRE V p. 564, 223; Hunter III 63; SRCV II 7527, Choice EF, lustrous, nearly as struck, well centered, some die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.919 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 - 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, no horn, from behind; reverse PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax advancing left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter in left hand; $160.00 (136.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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This reverse refers to Elagabalus' role as priest of the Syrian god from whom he took his nickname. The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS85641. Silver denarius, RSC III 276, RIC IV 146, BMCRE V 231, Hunter III 74, SRCV II 7549, gVF, nice unusual portrait, toned, good detail, edge cracks, weight 3.026 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 221 - 222 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and horned bust right; reverse SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG (High Priest Emperor), Elagabalus, offering over altar from patera in right hand, branch in left hand, star in left field; $160.00 (136.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Philippopolis today is Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
RP63960. Bronze AE 28, BMC Thrace p. 167, 44; Varbanov III 1712; Moushmov 5404; SNG Cop -, F, nice green patina, weight 13.097 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYPHΛ MA ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate bust of emperor right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛE/ΩC NEΩKO/POY, two wrestlers grappling; ex Mark Staal Collection; scarce; $140.00 (119.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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Curtis Clay notes, one of Elagabalus' four emperor sacrificing types is dated, and the horn disappears from its obverse soon after the beginning of TR P V on 10 December 221. This coin, without the horn thus dates c. mid-January to his death on 11 March 222. Elagabalus had shocked the public with bizarre behavior including cross-dressing and marrying a Vestal Virgin. Removing the unusual horn from his portrait was probably part of a last-ditch effort to show that he had changed, dropping his peculiar Syrian ways. The effort failed. On 11 March 222, Elagabalus and his mother were murdered, dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped into the Tiber.
RS85642. Silver denarius, RSC III 61b, Eauze 356 (10 spec.), BMCRE V 209, RIC IV 88 (notes usually horned), Hunter III 69 var. (horned), SRCV II 7518 var. (horned), Choice gVF, excellent portrait, nice reverse detail, light toning, light marks, slight die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.561 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. mid-Jan - 11 Mar 222; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and bearded bust right, no horn; reverse INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG (invincible priest emperor), Elagabalus standing half left, branch in left, offering from patera over altar in right, slain bull recumbent on far side of altar, star left; $140.00 (119.00)


Click for a larger photo
Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RB84426. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 366, BMCRE V 358, Cohen IV 121, Thirion 298, Banti 20, Hunter III, SRCV II 7569, F, edge split, bumps and marks, areas of corrosion, weight 21.555 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax advancing left, raising olive branch in right hand, scepter in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking near her waist; scarce; $125.00 (106.25)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS85648. Silver denarius, RIC IV 46, RSC III 196; BMCRE p. 569, 256; Hunter II 67; SRCV II 7536, aEF, attractive portrait, light toning, luster in recesses, reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, weight 3.589 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and horned bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P (High priest, holder of tribunitian power four years, consul three times, father of the country), Elagabalus standing slightly left, head left, wearing Syrian priest garb, sacrificing from patera in right hand over lit altar at feet on left, holding club or cypress branch in left hand, star in upper left field; $120.00 (102.00)


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The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS77436. Silver denarius, RIC IV 40b, RSC III 184, Hunter III 49, BMCRE V p. 567, 244; cf. SRCV II 7533 (TR P III), VF, well centered, nice portrait, toned, some die wear, porous, weight 3.150 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for cloak over shoulders and left arm and flying behind, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip vertical in left hand, star in left field; $115.00 (97.75)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Dium, Coele Syria

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Rosenberger describes the altar as a "figure (?) with plumes headdress, on pedestal." The Rosenberger coin is worn and the "figure" is a bit taller and thinner than our altar, but the coin does seem to be this same type.

The site of ancient Dium (Dion, Decapolis) has not been conclusively identified. The four leading candidates for Dium are Tell al-Husn and Edun, both near Irbid, in north Jordan, Kufr Abil, near Pella, and Tell al-Ash'ari, near the Syrian border town of Der'a.
RY77847. Bronze AE 22, Rosenberger 9 corr., Spijkerman 10 var. (legends), Sofaer 10 var. (legends), Meshorer -, SNG ANS -, SNG Hunterian -, BMC Galatia -, aF, uneven strike, tight flan, porous, corrosion, weight 8.736 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Dium mint, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse AV KAI MAV ANTWNINO, laureate and draped or cuirassed youthful bust right, from the front; reverse hexastyle temple, flaming altar within under central arch, ΓΠ-C (year 283) divided above roof, ∆IHNWN in exergue; very rare; $110.00 (93.50)




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

ANTONINVSFELPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPFELAVG ANTONINVSPIVSAVG
ANTONINVSPIVSFEL
ANTONINVSPIVSFELAVG (ALSO USED BY CARACALLA)
IMPANTONINVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSAVG
IMPANTONINVSPIVSFELIX
IMPANTONINVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPCAESANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSPFAVG
IMPCAESMAVRANTONINVSPIVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRSEANTONINVSAVG
IMPCMAVRANTONINVSPFAVG
IMP M AVR ANTONIN PIVS AVG


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 Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Elagabalus