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Nomos AG, 85

780424. Sold For $4750

THRACE, Pautalia. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ Pentassarion (27mm, 14.70 g, 1h). AVT K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC (VP ligate), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / OVΛΠIAC ΠAV/TAΛIAC in two lines in exergue, Asclepius reclining left, head right, on winged and bearded serpent coiled right, raising right hand and cradling serpent-entwined staff in left arm. Ruzicka 612; SNG Copenhagen -; Varbanov 3278. EF, hard green patina with traces of brown. Rare reverse type.

During the last five years of his life, following the murder of his younger brother Geta in AD 212, Caracalla was much troubled by illness, probably largely psychosomatic brought on by the guilt of having the blood of his brother on his hands. On his way to fight the Parthians in AD 214, he paid a special visit to the great shrine of Asclepius at Pergamum and participated in its mysteries in the hopes of finding a cure. While that city in particular celebrated the event with a series of large bronze medallions, other cities along the imperial route took the opportunity to strike coinage in a similar vein in the hopes that they too might participate in effecting an imperial cure in some small way.