Seleucis and Piera, Antioch. Geta. 209-211 AD

Seleucis and Piera, Antioch. Geta. 209-211 AD

975.00

AR Tetradrachm, 11.63g (26mm, 12h). AYT KAI ΓЄTAC CЄB, laureate head right / ΔHMAPX ЄΞ VΠATO B, eagle standing facing on leg and thigh of animal, head right, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak.

Pedigree: From the Michel Prieur Collection. Ex Robert Gait Collection, 780; Classical Numismatic Group XXII (2 September 1992), lot 677; Sternberg VII (24 November 1977, lot 731.

References: Prieur 210; McAlee 719

Grade: Obverse surface is slightly porous, otherwise a lovely light cabinet tone. aEF/EF (re1085)

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Geta was the unfortunate younger brother of the emperor Caracalla. Part of the Severan Dynasty, Geta was the son of the African born emperor Septimius Severus. Septimius Severus and his wife Julia Domna had hoped that the brothers would rule together harmoniously, however, the brothers were infamous for their hatred for each other. Perhaps the hatred was more magnified with Caracalla. After having his brother murdered (shockingly in the arms of his mother by centurions) he attempted to wipe all connection of Geta to the outside world through “damnatio memoriae” as approved by the Senate. One can see this clearly on coins where he is literally rubbed out on the flan. Caracalla continued to rule as emperor until his death in 217 AD. 

Coins struck in Antioch during the Severan dynasty is extensive. The city was punished at first for their support of Pescennius Niger, previously governor of Syria who was proclaimed emperor by his troops the same time as Septimius Severus. Severus purposely took the Olympic games that were previously held in Antioch and moved them to Laodicea ad Mare. This greatly diminished the importance the city despite its importance to the Romans being a door to the outer world and a place where one could get any exotic product. It was only under Caracalla that Antioch regained its former stature more than likely in an attempt to divert attention away from the murder of Geta.