Severus Alexander. 222-235 AD

Severus Alexander. 222-235 AD


Mysia, Parium. AE 20, 5.28g (20mm, 6h). IMP CAESAR SEB ALEXANDER (Ss retrograde throughout), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / DEO AE SVB / C G H I P, Asclepius seated right on throne, holding raised foreleg of bull standing left.

References: Apparently unpublished but see CNG EAuction 380, lot 419 for same type.

Grade:  Wonderfully struck and near complete. A small rough area at 3h on obverse at edge but not distracting. EF  (re1045)

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Born in modern day Lebanon, Severus Alexander was the adopted son (and first cousin) of the emperor Elagabalus. Elagabalus was pushed by his family to adopt Severus at the tender age of 14 which made a pathway for Severus to assume the throne. Shortly after this event, Elagabalus was murdered by his troops and Severus Alexander began his rule. The last ruler of the Severan Dynasty, Severus was also a teenager when he ruled the Roman Empire. He was largely a puppet figure as most of the real decisions were made by his maternal grandmother Julia Maesa (the sister-in-law of the founder of the Severan dynasty, Septimius Severus) and his mother Julia Mamaea. Rome was in disarray throughout his rule primarily due to the perceived sense of who really was ruling. Eventually Severus and his mother (his grandmother has already died) were killed by the Praetorian Guard and Maximinus, a soldier, assumed the throne. 

After the death of Severus Alexander the Roman Empire did not see any further stability. In fact, over a 50 years period there were 26 rulers appointed as Emperor.