Orbiana as Augusta. 225-227 AD. Rome, 225 AD (special marriage emission of Severus Alexander)

Orbiana as Augusta. 225-227 AD. Rome, 225 AD (special marriage emission of Severus Alexander)

4,500.00

AR Denarius, 2.70g (21mm, 12h). Draped bust right, wearing stephane / Concordia seated left on throne, holding patera and double cornucopia.

Pedigree: Ex Nomos 14, 17 May 2017, lot 403. Lanz 62, 26 November 1992, lot 773

References: RIC IV 319 (Severus Alexander). RSC 1. BMCRE 287-90

Grade: Nice large full flan. Great strike with some minor porosity on cheek. EF (re1078)

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There is a little known about the short-lived Roman empress Orbiana. She was renowned for her beauty and apparently she had a good relationship with her husband Severus Alexander. Her ostracism from the family came when her father, Lucius Seius Herennius Sallustiusa, a praetorian guard under Severus Alexander, attempted a coup and failed. Another theory is that Julia Mamaea, the mother of Severus was extremely jealous of the beautiful Orbiana and merely found a way to dispose of her. Whatever the case, she was forced to divorce her husband, exiled to Libya shortly after her father’s execution and was never heard from again.

A statue was unearthed near the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (the floor of the church had dirt from Jerusalem) which depicts Orbiana as Venus. The statue now stands in the gardens of the Vatican Museum grounds.