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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VIII, Lot: 750. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 10 January 2005. 
Sold For $2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACE, Philippopolis. Caracalla. 198-217 AD. Æ Medallion (41mm, 38.13 gm, 1h). AVT K M AVP CEV ANTWNEINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / KOINON QRAKWN ALEZAN EN FILIPPOPO, PV QIA across field, Caracalla standing right in military uniform, holding reversed spear in right hand, parazonium in left, spurning bound Persian captive. BMC Thrace -; SNG Copenhagen -; Mionnet -; Varbanov 1258 (this coin). Good VF, emerald green patina, fields smoothed. ($3000)

From the Garth R. Drewry Collection. Ex Triton II (1-2 December 1998), lot 622.

This militant type can be dated to 213-214 AD, when the Roman army was moving through Thrace and Macedonia on its way to confront the Parthians, and Caracalla was indulging his fantasy of being a heroic conqueror of the same mold as his model, Alexander the Great, even to the extent of outfitting his troops as Macedonians. This coin also affirms Herodian's account regarding the restoration of the Pythian games in the cities of Thrace at the behest of Caracalla in honour and memory of Alexander. Caracalla's increasingly erratic behavior in the course of this grand procession eastward, which included a senseless massacre of the citizens of Alexandria, would eventually lead his officers, under Macrinus, to assassinate him.