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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
75000813

Seeking Relief

Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 813. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 
Sold For $2300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MYSIA, Pergamum. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ Medallion (43mm, 49.03 g, 6h). M. Caerelius Attalus, strategus. Struck AD 214-215. [AVT KPAT] K MAPKOC AVP ANTWNEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right; gorgoneion on breastplate / Caracalla standing left, holding scepter and raising hand to serpent entwined about tree; small figure of Telesphorus on low basis between; EPI CTPA M [KAIPEL ATTALOU] in legend. SNG France -; BMC 326 var. (obv. legend); SNG Copenhagen -. VF, brown patina, smoothed.



Caracalla’s murder of his younger brother Geta in AD 212 was followed by the onset of a protracted illness that plagued the emperor until his own murder five years later. Caracalla made every effort to acquire a cure. On his way to fight the Parthians in AD 214, he paid a special visit to Pergamum with its renowned shrine of Asclepius, where he participated in the mysteries. To commemorate this event, the city issued a series of large bronze medallions, including this specimen. The purpose was two-fold: Pergamum was heralding the imperial patronage of its local medical center, and hoped that some imperial reward might result from the cure. Likewise, other cities in the region also produced such issues, hoping that they too might be able to participate in effecting and imperial cure.