ROMAN EMPIRE Septimius Severus 193-211 AD as or semis


ROMAN EMPIRE, Septimius Severus, 193-211 AD, as or semis, no date (209 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: laureate bust R, SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Reverse: Roma seated R with palladium and spear, supplicant at feet, P M TR P XVII COS III P S C, bronze, 21mm, 4.95g, like SR6473, legends partly off flan, crude, F

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Septimius Severus was born in what is now Libya. He was one of three generals who refused to accept the purchased Imperium of Didius Julianus. Civil war ensued as he fought rival generals for the throne. Having settled that matter, he immediately went back to the war with Parthia that had been on and off since the days of the Republic. Nothing but war. His sons, Caracalla and Geta, did not get along, to the detriment of the imperial enterprise.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman 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.