Roman Imperial Coins of Elagabalus 


 

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I am leaving up the site below as it is for now as it the top returned site (or one of the subpages) on Google and Yahoo when searching for Elagabalus and Markianopolis and I don't wish for it to go "dark", but I will be updating the new site only, and have even added a few new pages to it.  Come check it out!

The site with the new page

The following are the coins of Elagabalus in my collection that were minted at an Imperial mint. Most were minted at Rome. All coins are kept in a safety deposit box or a fireproof safe for security purposes.

A few notes.  The "horn" on top of Elagabalus' head was introduced in 221 AD at the same time as 4 denarii reverses were introduced showing him in Syrian priestly dress sacrificing to the god Elagabal and disappeared a couple of months before his murder in 222 AD.  See the SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG coin for a horned example and the P M TR P V COS IIII PP example for one of his very last coins, unhorned.  For a great discussion of this see forumancientcoins.com.  The coin denomination antoninianus (wikipedia) was thought to be valued at 2 denarii (wikipedia) and was designated by a radiate bust verses a laureate bust.  It was a fairly recent addition created by Caracalla in 215 AD and started at about half again of the weight of a denarius. 

 

Silver Antoninianus.
This is #1. Literally. In Roman Imperial Coinage, Book IVb, under Elagabalus, this is the first coin listed. RIC-001. Obverse: IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: P M TR P COS P P Roma seated left holding Victory and scepter, shield at side. Diameter is 21mm and is 5.43g, die axis 180 deg. Minted in 218AD. Reference: RIC-001, Sear-7493, BMCRE-3, RSC-126, T-9

Silver Denarius. This is one of my rarest coins. Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVG Laureate bust right. Reverse: CONCORDIA MILIT Two standards between two vexilla. Diameter is 20.3 and is 3.14g, die axis 0 deg. Minted in Antioch, Syria between 218-219 AD. Not in RIC or Sear. Similar to RIC 187 or Sear 7505, however Sear 7505 is missing the IX in FELIX and is laureate and draped rather than just laureate. RIC 187 is missing the IX from FELIX as well. I have seen several examples of a similar coin to mine on internet sites, with ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVG attributed to RIC 187, even though the legend doesn't match, however all of those examples have the version Laureate, draped and cuirassed. 1 of 2 examples that I've been able to find that matches mine completely has been on wildwinds, though it mistakenly gives the legend as ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG. I posted this coin to the yahoo group ACFDL Ancient Coins Fakes and Deceptions because I saw one with a die match, though different wear on the http://www.forgerynetwork.com. The only complaint was that somebody on the CDFL list said that it was a suspected fake. I conversed with a couple of extremely knowledgeable people on the ACFDL list including Professor T.V. Buttrey, Department of Coins and Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University and Curtis Clay at Harlan J. Berk, Ltd and they are convinced that the coin that I have looks authentic. From Professor Ted Buttrey: The coin looks perfectly fine to me. The reverse type is well-known (3 examples in the British Museum, BMCRE 5 p.573 nos.274-276; we have 2). It's the obverse that's unusual. Elagabal didn't have many obvs with simple laureate bust (as against laureate + draped or cuirassed) although BMC 276 has such with this reverse, not illustrated. What is particularly unusual is the simple laureate bust, obv legend with FELIX rather than FEL. For that obv there is only 1 piece in the BM with rev of Triumphal car and SANCT DEO SOLI ELAGABAL, not the same obv die as your piece. The BMC doesn't otherwise know your obv variety at all so it must be pretty uncommon. From Curtis Clay: I agree with Ted B., the coin looks authentic, though I could not locate the Forgery Network piece for comparison. The Eastern denarii of Elagabalus with FELIX in obv. legend are all scarce, whether the bust type is head only or draped and cuirassed. I have plaster casts of five other denarii exactly like yours, indeed all are from the same die pair as yours... The forgerynetwork coin is another genuine one, again from the same dies... Curtis Clay


Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS AVG, Laureate and draped bust right. Reverse: P M TR P III COS III P P. Jupiter, naked to the waist, seated left on throne, holding Victory and sceptre; at feet, an eagle. Diameter is 19mm and is 3.05g, die axis 345 deg. Minted in 220AD. Reference: RIC IVb-27, Sear-7532 [2002], RSC 151


Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate and draped bust right. Reverse: P M TR P III COS III P P Sol, naked exsept for a cloak, advancing left, raising right hand and holding a whip in left, star in field. Diameter is 20mm and is 2.05g, die axis 30 deg. Minted in 220AD. Reference: RIC IVb 28, Sear-7533 [2002], RSC 154

Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Horned, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG Elagabalus standing left, sacrificing over lighted tripod, holding patera and branch, star to left. Diameter is 18mm and is 2.81g, die axis 170 deg. Minted between 221-222AD in Rome. Reference: RIC IVb-146b, Cohen-276

Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: PAX AVGVSTI Pax advancing left, holding olive branch and rod. Diameter is 20mm and is 2.49g, die axis 350 deg. Minted 220AD in Rome. Reference: RIC IVb, 125, Sear-7527 [2002]


Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: IOVI CONSERVATORI Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter, at his feet to the left, an eagle, and behind him on the right, one Legionary standard. Diameter 19mm and is 2.64g, die axis 185 deg. Minted 219AD in Rome. Reference: RIC IVb, 91, Sear 7519 [2002], Cohen 68


Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: P M TR P V COS IIII PP Elagabalus std. l., sacrificing out of patera over lighted altar and holding a club in left hand, star in field l. Diameter is 19mm and is 2.98g, die axis 180 deg. Minted 222AD in Rome. This was one of Elagabalus' last coins as this reverse legend didn't start to be minted until Feb 222AD and he was murdered on March 6th, 222AD. Reference: RIC-IVb 52, Sear-7538, RSC 213a

Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: P M TR P IIII COS III PP Sol standing left, holding right hand up in salute and in other hand, a whip; 'star' in right field. Diameter is 19mm and is 2.71g, die axis 0 deg. Minted 221AD in Rome. Reference: RIC-IVb 40b, Sear-7533v, Cohen-184, v = TR P IIII in lieu of TR P III

Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: FORTVNAE REDVCI Fortuna standing, holding rudder and cornucopia. Diameter is 20mm and is 2.81g, die axis 180 deg. Minted from 220-221 AD in Rome. Reference: RIC IVb-83a, Sear-7516, BMCRE 205, RSC 50a, T 248

Silver Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped. Reverse: SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGAB Elagabalus in priestly robes sacrificing right over lighted altar and holding cypress branch. Star in right field. Diameter is 20mm and is 2.76g, die axis 195 deg. Minted from 221-222 AD in Rome. Reference RIC IVb-131, Sear-7542, RSC-246, BMC 225, T 302.

Silver Antoninianus. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS AVG Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed. Reverse: P M TR P II COS II P P Providentia standing left legs crossed, holding rod and cornucopiae, leaning on column, globe at feet. Diameter is 23mm and is 3.29g, die axis 170 deg. Minted 219 AD in Rome. Reference RIC IVb-22

 

 

The following is a limes denarius. They were used in the area just outside official Roman territory. One theory is that was that they were similar to military script, redeemable for standard coin within Roman territory, however if the coins were captured in a defeat, they would not lose as much precious metal. There are a variety of other thoughts about them.

Limes Denarius. Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed, horned. Reverse: P M TR P IIII COS III P P Elagabalus standing left, holding cypress branch and patera over altar sacrificing; a 'star' in left field.  Diameter is 20mm and is 2.66g, die axis 345 deg.  Reference (as if sliver): RIC IVb-46d, Sear-7536, Cohen-196

 

 

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