ROMAN EMPIRE Severus Alexander 222-235 AD denarius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Severus Alexander, 222-235 AD, denarius, no date (229 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: laureate head R, IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, Reverse: Abundantia standing R, ABVNDANTIA AVG, base silver, 18mm, 3.01g, SR7855, Max Mahl envelope, some green crust, F

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Severus Alexander was about 12 years old when he was acclaimed Emperor by the Praetorian Guards who had just murdered his cousin, Elagabalus. He ruled for 13 years. Most of the business of ruling was done by his grandmother, Julia Maesa. The times required close attention to military affairs, he wasn’t up to it. Out on campaign, accomanied by his mother, she thinking about buying off the enemy, son and mother were murdered by the troops.

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.