NICAEA Julia Mamaea 222-235 AD bronze


BITHYNIA, NICAEA, Julia Mamaea, mother of Severus Alexander, 222-235 AD, minor, no date, Obverse: bust R, IOYΛIA MAMAIA AVΓ, Reverse: 3 standards, N-IK-AI-E-ΩN, bronze, 19mm, 3.1g, SNG Cop-514, few pits, F

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Julia Mamaea was the mother of Severus Alexander. Elagabalus having proven to be nothing but problems as an Emperor, Mamaea conspired with his mother, Julia Soaimias, to have him murdered and replaced with Alexander. Mamaea held the reigns during his reign. Her policies and her gender were unpopular in the army. Eventually events transpired such that Alexander and Julia, his mother, were murdered by the soldiers, who proclaimed a general, Maximinus.

Nicaea (Nikaia, Nikaea) was a town in western Bithynia, now the city of Iznik. In Roman and Byzantine times it was a major city. The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea of 325 AD produced the doctrine that has become the dominant expression of Christian faith today.

Bithynia was the central part of the northern coast of Anatolia, Turkey.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience. The main catalog reference for these coins on this web site is Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.