ROMAN EMPIRE, Julia Mamaea, 222-235 AD, silver, denarius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Julia Mamaea, 222-235 AD, denarius, 226 AD, Rome mint, Obverse: bust R, IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, Reverse: Vesta standing L holding Palladium & sceptre, VESTA, silver, 20mm, 3.28g, SR8217, XF

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Julia Mamaea substantially ran the government during the reign of her son, Severus Alexander. Son and mother gradually lost the confidence of the army, and were murdered by troops on the way to war with Persia.

The Roman Empire was a system of theoretically constrained autocracy. The Emperor was supposed to be accepted by the Senate, which was supposed to be representing the people. It became difficult to restrain the autocrats. The succession problem was never solved. Many Emperors were murdered. In the 4th century AD the Empire was split for administrative purposes into eastern and western branches, the west devolving into local kingdoms in the 5th century AD, while the eastern branch continued as what we call the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

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.