Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. 193-217 AD. Rome, Struck under Septimius Severus, circa AD 200-211

Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. 193-217 AD. Rome, Struck under Septimius Severus, circa AD 200-211

21,000.00

 AV Aureus, 7.03g (20mm, 7h). IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / I-V-NO, Juno standing left, holding scepter in right hand, patera in left, from which she feeds peacock standing left, to left below.

Pedigree: Ex Vinchon (1 April 1999), lot 85; Numismatica Ars Classica 11 (29 April 1998), lot 471

References: RIC IV 559; Calicó 2617; BMCRE 37; Biaggi 1140–1 (same obv. die).

Grade: light iridescent red tone. Perfectly centered and sharp strike. Mint State (re1084c)

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Julia Domna is likely one of the more revered and celebrated of all Roman empresses. The wife of the African born Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, had by all accounts a successful and happy marriage. She was born in Emessa in modern day Syria into a priestly family. Julia bore Septimius two sons, the brother emperors Caracalla and Geta. Unlike many other Roman wives, Julia traveled extensively with Septimius and was well liked by the soldiers often being referred to as “mother of the camp”. After Septimius died in 211 AD his wishes were that his two sons jointly reign. Unfortunately the brothers were always at odds and continually fought. Eventually Caracalla, the stronger of the two, had his brother murdered and reigned on his own. Despite this devastation Julia Domna continued to support the Severan dynasty throughout the reign of her son. Caracalla was popular with the soldiers but otherwise was a brutal and savage man. He likened himself as the reincarnation of Alexander the Great and mimicked many of the events of the Greek hero’s life. Eventually his vicious actions resulted in his murder by an angry soldier. Julia Domna reacted by committing suicide. It was rumored that she suffered from breast cancer so she could have killed herself as a result of this or the other suggestion that she didn’t want to return to civilian life.