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Roman Empire

Ruler: Septimius Severus
Reigned: 193 - 211 AD
Denomination: AR Denarius
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: 204 AD
Obverse: Laureate head, bearded, right. "SEVERVS PIVS AVG."
Reverse: Dea Caelistis, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, seated facing on lion leaping right, over water which gushes from rock on left. "INDVLGENTIA AVGG." in exergue "IN CARTH"
Reference: RCVM 6285 RSC 222
Weight: 3.4 gms
Diameter: 20 mm
Comment: This type records some special mark of favour shown by the Severan emperors to Carthage, capital of Serverus' native province. It appears to be connected to the city's water supply (perhaps an aqueduct), but the details are not known. The principal female deity of Carthage was known to the Romans as Dea Caelestis, the 'Cestial Godess'.

SEVERUS (Lucius Septimius Severus)

  • Lucius Septimius Severus was born April 11th, 146, at Leptis Magna (near the modern Homs in Libya).
  • He was quaestor militaris in the province of Baetica in Spain in 172 and by 190 became governor of Pannonia.
  • When the emperor Commodus was murdered in 192, the Roman consul Publius Helvius Pertinax became emperor, but was murdered 86 days later.
  • Severus was acclaimed emperor by his troops and he set off to Rome with his armies.
  • Meanwhile, Didius Julianus "bought" the emperorship, but was soon seen off by the Praetorian Guard. Pescennius Niger, the governor of Syria, was also proclaimed emperor by his troops.
  • Severus offered Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain, the title of Caesar, to keep him quiet.
  • In 194 he defeated Pescennius Niger.
  • In 195, he had Albinus declared a public enemy and finally defeated him at a battle near Lugdunum (Lyons). February 19th 197.
  • After success against the Parthians who had invaded Mesopotamia, Severus sailed to Britain to put down a revolt there in 208.
  • Taking his elder son, Caracalla, with him, he made Eburacum (York) his base for fighting the troublesome Caledonian tribes.
  • He died on Febuary 4th 211 at York and was succeeded by his son, Caracalla.

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R14340