Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR denarius. Struck during the reign of emperor Severus Alexander (Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus) in Rome, 223 C.E. The laureate head of Severus Alexander faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Mars (the god of war) faces left and holds an olive branch in his right hand and a spear in his left with the inscriptions "P M TR P II COS P P" surrounding image. Reverse inscription based on Sear reference; reverse is off struck rendering the inscriptions difficult to decipher.
Date: 223 C.E.
Remarks: Born about 208 C.E., the son of Julia Mamaea and Gessius Marcianus. In 221 he was adopted by Elagabalus, his cousin, and given the title of Caesar. After the murder of his cousin, Alexander was at once acknowledged as emperor by the Praetorian guards, the Senate giving its confirmation the following day. Alexander ruled the empire wisely and well and the condition of the State was much improved, but the emperor was very much under the influence of his mother, and this was greatly resented by the army. After a partially successful campaign against Sassanid Ardashir in 232, he soon was compelled to return to the West where disturbances on the German frontier necessitated his presence. However, before the fighting actually began the soldiers proclaimed Maximinus, one of their commanders, emperor and Alexander and his mother were murdered at their camp near Mainz on March 22, 235 C.E. Severus Alexander's coins were minted in Rome or Antioch.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2002 (Vol II), #7895, pg 647.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|
|Place of Origin||Europe/Italy/Rome|