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The Usurper Uranius Antoninus

CNG 94, Lot: 909. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $2700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Emesa. Uranius Antoninus. Usurper, AD 253-254. Æ (32mm, 19.68 g, 12h). Dated SE 565 (AD 253/4). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Baetyl of El–Gabal, decorated with eagle flanked by parasols, within hexastyle temple; crescent in pediment, ЄΞΦ (date) in exergue. Baldus 43 (OI/R6); R. Delbrueck, “Uranius of Emesa,” NC 1948, Series I, 2; SNG Hunterian 3174 (same obv. die); BMC 24 (same obv. die). VF, brown patina, a hint of smoothing. Rare.

Uranius Antoninus is unknown from the ancient literary sources, although Zosimus perhaps confuses this usurper with two usurpers he names as Uranius and Antoninus during the reign of Severus Alexander. Uranius Antoninus established his government at Emesa, probably in response to repeated Persian attacks rather than as a challenge to Rome. In any event, it appears he was finally subdued when Valerian marched to recover the East.