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Commemorating the “Victory” which Led to His Assassination

816871. Sold For $975

EGYPT, Alexandria. Severus Alexander. AD 222-235. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 14.14 g, 1h). Dated RY 14 (AD 234/5). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Trophy; at base to left and right, bound captive; palm to left, L IΔ (date) across field. Köln 2494; Dattari 4405; cf. Milne 3184 ; Emmett 3138.14. Good VF, minor flan flaw on obverse. Rare.


A piece sold recently in CNG 79, lot 739 for hammer $1000.

Upon his return to Rome in AD 233, following his settlement of the war with the Persians, Severus departed westward to face a German threat along the Rhine, where the tribes had taken advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war. In AD 234, the emperor and his mother moved themselves to Moguntiacum (Mainz), which served as the Roman staging point. The troop redeployment from the east eased tensions somewhat, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, including the construction of a bridge across the Rhine. Alexander, however, preferred to bring about a “victory” by buying off the Germans, rather than committing troops to fight. Such a policy outraged the soldiers, who were eager to engage the Germans and enrich themselves with the spoils of war. Severus’ troops mutinied in mid March AD 235, killing him and his mother, and installing Maximinus as emperor.