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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Jupiter the Defender

CNG 111, Lot: 770. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $7500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Severus Alexander. AD 222-235. AV Aureus (21.5mm, 6.46 g, 12h). Rome mint. 15th emission, AD 232. IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / IOVI PRO PVGNATORI, Jupiter, naked except for cloak over shoulder, standing facing, head right, holding up thunderbolt in right hand and eagle on left hand. RIC IV 234; Calicó 3061a; BMCRE 824; Biaggi 1307-8; Jameson –; Mazzini 75. EF. Struck on a broad flan.

From the Brexit Collection.

In sharp contrast to his predecessor, Severus Alexander embraced the traditional Roman pantheon of deities and celebrated them on his coinage. He chose Jupiter as defender (Propugnator) of the regime, as exemplified on this attractive gold aureus. This was certainly a deliberate policy to distance himself from his cousin, whose close attachment to the Emesan solar deity Elagabalus (by which name later generations called the young emperor) alienated the Roman populace and army.