Wife of Septimius Severus. AD 193-217
AR Denarius. 3.62g, 18.4mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 196-211
REF: RIC 564; Cohen 123; BMC 51
OBVERSE: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
REVERSE: MATER DEVM, Cybele (Magna Mater), towered, draped, seated left on high-backed throne, holding branch in her extended right hand, her left elbow resting on drum, set on throne; on both sides of throne, lions seated left, the one on left only half seen.
Extremely Fine/Very Fine. A beautiful, sharply-struck portrait of Domna.
Julia Domna, the daughter of the high priest of Ba'al at Emesa, belonged to a wealthy and aristocratic Arab-Syrian family. Beautiful, intelligent, and highly-educated, she caught the imagination of Septimius Severus, a Roman general serving in Syria, when he met her and was told that her horoscope predicted that she would marry a king. Septimius duly proposed marriage to her, and some years later, won the throne of Rome, becoming Emperor in 193.
Domna frequently accompanied her husband on his military campaigns and was his close confidante. Her influence saw a cultural Renaissance at Rome, where she was also involved in major building projects. After Severus's death, she sought to mediate between her sons, Caracalla and Geta, both of whom hated each other. Here, she would be unsuccessful, and Caracalla would murder Geta within a year of their co-rule.
JULIA DOMNA . AD 193-217 . AR Denarius . Beautiful, extremely fine portrait
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