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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 998. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CARACALLA. 198-217 AD. Æ Dupondius (14.31 gm). Struck 210 AD. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, radiate head right / VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE, S C across lower field, Victory standing right, right foot on helmet, inscribing shield set on palm. RIC IV 467; BMCRE 828; Cohen 637. EF, hard glossy brown and green patina. [See color enlargement on plate 16] ($1000)

Septimius Severus waged his last military campaign against the Caledionians on the northern border of Britain, where he himself died at his campaign headquarters at York in February 211 AD. Among those who accompanied him on the campaign were his wife Julia Domna, and his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta. The campaign was in full swing in 208 AD and continued until 211 AD, being led by Septimius and Caracalla, with the latter taking supreme command after his father had fallen ill. The two often did not agree on matters of strategy, and we are told that at one point Caracalla became so angry that he appeared ready to stab his father in the back before the whole of the army.

Upon Severus' death, Caracalla made peace with the Caledonians on less-than-favorable terms which required the Romans retreat to the agreed border of Hadrian’s Wall. Though the campaign had not been a total success, the quarrelling co-emperors Caracalla and Geta made the best possible use of the war in their propaganda, with the British campaign being widely celebrated on coinage.