The Roman Empire

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Update to Roman Empire, Page 6, Crisis II, New Owner's Comments posted for Aquila Severa denarius



I just posted a new "Owners Comments" on Page 6 (Crisis) of my NGC ancients custom set "The Roman Empire."


This new essay is for a denarius featuring Auqila Severa.


My opening thesis is that Severa's reign was one of the most unusual among all Roman Empresses.  This statement is largely based on the belief that she was a vestal virgin, and thus sworn to 30 years of celibacy (and not allowed to marry).  Even though all the ancient histories mention she was a vestal virgin, there are no surviving artifacts to confirm this.  Even if she wasn't a vestal, her reign was unusual in that she was the 2nd and 4th wife of Elagabalus, the Emperor who was a fanatical devotee of the Syrian sun god Elagabal.  Indeed, the first wedding between Severa and Elagabalus was actually a double wedding - simultaneously, there was a diving wedding between Elagabal and Vesta.


One of the points I pondered  about this coin was that the reverse depiction of Concordia includes a star. Here is an excerpt of my thoughts on this..."Apparently, the pairing of Concordia with a star was unusual on Roman coins, and, interestingly, the exact same pairing can be found on the reverse of Roman denarii featuring Elagabalus’ previous wife, Julia Paula (for an example, see the preceding coin in this collection).  It is reasonable to speculate that the star in this instance represents the eastern sun god.  By extension, the message on this coin’s verso is to advertise not only the imperial couple’s concord, but also that between Elagabal and Vesta."


I haven't seen anyone else speculate this, so I am wondering if this is a reasonable hypothesis or not.


In any case, if you are interesting in learning more about Severa, please check out my Roman Empire Collection...







Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now