Severan Dynasty Coins For Sale [Part 1] (193 - 197 AD)

The death of Commodus on New Year's Eve AD 192 plunged Rome into another period of uncertainty and bloodshed. The new era began with the brief reigns of Pertinax and Didius Julianus. The stately senator, Publius Helvius Pertinax, tried to bring calm to the chaos immediately after the assassination of Commodus. However, he introduced his changes far too quickly for the Praetorian Guard. Furthermore, he tried to impeach the freedmen who had murdered Commodus, thereby alienating any support he may have had. On 28th March AD 193 a Praetorian officer marched into the palace and hacked Pertinax to death. An unfitting end for a man of such promise. Further chaos erupted and one of the most bizarre events in Roman history now took place: the position of Emperor was put up for auction by the Praetorians. An ex-consul named Didius Julianus was the winner after assuring the Guard that he would not seek retribution for the murder of Pertinax. Unknown to Julianus at the time, three new rival claimants to the throne emerged after the death of Pertinax. Pescennius Niger, governor of Syria, Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain and Septimius Severus, governor of Upper Pannonia, were all acclaimed and supported by their respective legions. Severus was the cleverest of the three and he decided to march to Rome immediately. The unfortunate Julianus was sentenced to death by the Senate and an officer loyal to Severus marched into the palace on the Palatine and killed the old emperor. His reign had lasted 66 days. The first emperor of North African origin, Septimius Severus was a shrewd and capable man with a good understanding of human nature. Severus offered Clodius Albinus the title of Caesar while he dealt with Niger in Syria. Severus marched his legions to the East and defeated Niger after a bloody and decisive battle near the River Issus in April A D 194. The next phase was to be rid of Clodius Albinus. At the end of AD 194 Severus had his eldest son, Septimius Bassianus, renamed as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and promoted him to Caesar. The new name linked the Severans to the distinguished Antonine dynasty and the promotion was a major snub to Albinus. The governor of Britain crossed the English Channel with 40,000 men and marched towards Rome. Severus met him near Lyons in southern Gaul and defeated his rival after several hours, riding his horse over the body of Albinus as a sign of complete victory. Severus was now the undisputed emperor. It was February AD 197 and he returned to Rome to stamp his authority on the Empire. James R. Wadman B.A., M.A. [History and Archaeology] for TimeLine Originals

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Select from the coin links below to navigate around our catalogue:

Commodus CoinsCommodus (177 - 192 AD)
Crispina CoinsCrispina (Married 178 AD)
Pertinax CoinsPertinax (126 - 193 AD)
Clodius Albinus CoinsClodius Albinus (195 - 196 AD)
Septimius Severus CoinsSeptimius Severus (193 - 211 AD)
Julia Domna CoinsJulia Domna(under Septimus Severus)


Example of a Severan Dynasty coin we have sold recently:

Septimius Severus 010721

Septimius Severus 'Victory' Denarius
Silver, 3.50 grams; 19.04 mm. Laodicea, 198 A.D. Obverse: L SEP SEVERVS PER AVG P M IMP XI, Laureate head right. Reverse: VICT AVGG COS II PP, Victory advancing left holding wreath and palm branch. RIC IV-1, 499; RSC 695. Extremely fine.

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Septimius Severus 010721


Main Roman Coin Book and Other References:

RIC = Mattingly, Harold    The Roman Imperial Coinage
BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum
RSC = Seaby, H A    Roman Silver Coinage
RCV = Sear, David R    Roman Coins and Their Values
Cr = Crawford, Michael    The Roman Republican Coinage
SB = Sear, David R    Byzantine Coins and Their Values
S = Coins of England and the United Kingdom
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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