Roman Empire

Septimius Severus, Emperor AD 193-211

Cf. RIC 86 (bust); BMC 146, note; Calicó 2495, Superb Mint State

Rome, AD 196/7. L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII, laureate bust of Septimius Severus right, slight drapery on far shoulder. Reverse: P M TR P IIII C-OS II P P, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.

Having disposed of Pescennius Niger by AD 194, Severus embarked on campaigns to punish his supporters, including the Parthian Empire, and in AD 195 named his wife, Julia Domna, as Augusta, and his eldest son, Caracalla, as Caesar. In AD 197-198, Severus embarked upon a new Parthian campaign that concluded with the capture of Ctesiphon and the elevation of his eldest son, Caracalla, to the position of co-Augustus, and his youngest, Geta, to that of Caesar. The following years were spent building up the image of a solid dynasty in Italy and celebrating the important Saecular games in AD 204. When hostilities broke out in northern Britannia in AD 208, Severus embarked on a new war and brought his sons along in the hope that the campaign would help to ease their mutual jealousy. After several notable victories, Severus fell ill at York and died in AD 211, leaving his sons with the good advice, “not to disagree, give money to the soldiers, and ignore the rest.” Alas, Caracalla and Geta were not only quarrelsome children, but they were poor listeners as well.