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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Founder of Rome

CNG 111, Lot: 769. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $9000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Severus Alexander. AD 222-235. AV Aureus (20mm, 6.49 g, 7h). Rome mint. 11th emission, AD 230. IMP SEV ALE XAND AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery / P M TR P VIIII CO S III P P, Severus Alexander, as Romulus, in military dress, advancing right, holding transverse spear in right hand and trophy over left shoulder in left. RIC IV 103; Calicó 3121 (same dies as illustration); BMCRE 620; Biaggi 1330 (same dies); Jameson –; Mazzini –. FDC, lustrous, light earthen deposits. Needle-sharp detail.

From the Brexit Collection.

This reverse type depicting Severus Alexander as Romulus can be seen to have both past and future iconographic significance when it was struck circa AD 230. Since he was required to conduct campaigns against both the Sassanians and Germanic tribes for the well-being of the empire, a likening to Romulus is obvious. As the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city lay only 17 years away, however, a similar reference to Rome’s legendary founder also seems appropriate.