Featured April 4th: CARACALLA the tyrant is born.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Ἀλέξανδρος ἦν, καὶτήν τε μνήμην αὐτοῦπαντοίως ἀνενεώσατο, εἰκόνας τε καὶἀνδριάντας ἐν πάσαις πόλεσιν ἀναστῆναι ἐκέλευσε (Herodian IV,8)

    He was Alexander. He revived his memory in a thousand ways and ordered that portraits and statues be erected in all the cities.

    The history
    Emperor Caracalla owes his nickname to a Gallic mantle he wore regularly, but his real name is Lucius Septimius Bassianus. He is the eldest son of Emperor Septimius Severus, and his birth takes place in April 4th 188 AD in Lugdunum. A fervent admirer of Alexander the Great, Caracalla comes to power by assassinating his brother, and he will reign terror during his six years in power. In power from the age of 23, he quickly became a tyrant whose excesses of all kinds seemed bordering on madness.

    F6C53D67-802E-4E62-A124-07FCC94C0F7D.jpeg
    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    However, he is very popular with the military, because, despite his status, he lives in the same conditions as them during the many bloody campaigns aimed at expanding his Empire. His cruelty is limitless, and this is certainly what allows him to achieve several historic victories like that of Alexandria in Egypt. In 212, he wrote an edict of capital importance granting Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Empire. Far from being a wave of sympathy for the people, this measure aims to increase the number of citizens having to pay heavy taxes. It also makes it possible to unify the status of the inhabitants of the Empire in order to reduce the administrative workload. Hated by the people at the end of his reign, Caracalla was assassinated in 217 by a soldier paid by the praetorian prefect Macrinus, who then seized power.

    The coinage
    In 215 AD, Caracalla introduced a new denomination , the Antoninianus, which bore on the obverse the effigy of the emperor radiate, and for the empresses, a bust resting on a lunar crescent. Why ? One of the empire's biggest expense department is the army (about 70% of the annuel expenses). Under Severus, the soldier's salary had been doubled, and his son Caracalla, knowing his unpopularity with the people, wanted to secure the support of the army by again increasing the pay of his legionaries. In addition, the new Emperor decided to lead a military campaign in the East, and wars, we suspect, are very expensive. However, silver stocks are decreasing because, since the integration of the Dacia mines, no new deposit has been discovered. However, the monetary manipulations of the emperors lead to a vicious process: bad money drives out good. Indeed, the citizens keep their old money of better quality (and often constitute themselves hoards) and only the new currencies circulate ... The quantity of new money put into circulation constantly increasing in order to regulate the public expenditure, and the quantity of the precious metal being constant, the authorities have no other choice than the debasement of the coinage.

    We do not know the name of this new currency at its origin, however Historia Augusta makes this mention: (...) argenteos Antoninianos mille (...). Meanwhile, it is not certain that this name was used, since the veracity of the information contained in this work has often been questioned. The value of the Antoninianus is certainly twice that of the denarius, as indicated by the radiated crown on the bust of the Emperor, and which reminds us of the same distinctive mark put on the bronzes from the 1st century to differentiate the As from the Dupondius. It should be noted that simultaneously with the appearance of the double denarius, Caracalla also introduces a double Aureus; its weight is around 13g (double of the Aureus) and the portrait of the Emperor also wears the radiated crown. This new denomination is produced at 1/64 of a pound, or in theory 5.04g (the weight measured on the 58 specimens kept at the British Museum gives an average of 5.02g). We therefore notice that this does not correspond to double the weight of the denier which is about 3.23g, but rather a value of around 1.5 denier ! We are therefore literally dealing with a disguised devaluation.


    The Antoniniani of Caracalla are all minted at the Rome mint of 215 AD -217 AD, the date of his death. They were first struck with an alloy containing about 49.5% of silver. Unlike his father two decades earlier, he did not take advantage of his eastern military campaign to open monetaty worshops in this region. The only obverse legend is the one that has prevailed since 213 AD on the denarii: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM. Here are also the different types of reverses used for Caracalla's propaganda:

    * Jupiter standing and seated

    * Sol standing and in a quadriga

    * Luna in a biga

    * Serapis standing and Serapis seated (?)

    * Pluto seated

    * Lion walking or leaping

    * Venus standing

    * Victory seated

    * Caracalla standing

    * Minos seated in front of the Minotaur (?)


    Now it's time to show off: I wanna see your Caracalla's beauties!

    Venus standing
    50566AA1-D72D-4914-9CFE-09E9C2832387.jpeg
    Serapis standing
    D99AC319-786A-45FE-B885-AFBE3D292BE6.jpeg
     
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  3. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice examples!

    He was an obsessed man, to say the least.

    Here's a somewhat eroded sestertius of his, featuring Asclepius and serpent on the reverse:

    D-Camera Caracalla, Sestertius, Asclepius with Serpent, 6-27-20.jpg

    A youthful Caracalla on a tetradrachm of Antioch:

    D-Camera CaracallaI tetradrachm, youthful portrait, Antioch, 5-3-20.jpg

    A sneering, googly-eyed Caracalla on a tetradrachm from Emesa, Seleucis and Pireia:

    D-Camera Caracalla, AR tetradrachm, Emesa, Seleucis and Pireia, 215-17 AD, 11.30 g,. 10-8-20.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  4. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    upload_2021-4-4_1-9-37.png
    Caracalla, AE18 of Trajanopolis, Thrace. AVT K M AVΡ ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right / TΡAIANOΠOΛEITΩN, flaming altar. Moushmov 5026; Varbanov 2767 var (bust type).

    upload_2021-4-4_1-14-33.png

    Troas. Alexandreia. Caracalla AD 198-217.
    Bronze Æ
    25 mm., 7,16 g.
    M AVRE-L ANTONI, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla right / COL AVG // TROA, horse grazing right. Bellinger, Troy A283, A300-01

    upload_2021-4-4_1-16-19.png

    Caracalla AD 198-217. RomeDenarius AR 19 mm., 2,22 g.
    Date Range: AD 210 - AD 213
    RIC IV Caracalla 227 (denarius)
    Obverse Legend: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT
    Type: Head of Caracalla, laureate, bearded, right
    Reverse Legend: PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM
    Type: Providentia, draped, standing left, holding wand in right hand over globe and sceptre in left hand
     
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I'll post my imperials instead of the same Tets.


    carcae.jpeg
    Caracalla (198 - 217 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: M AVR ANTON CAES PONTIF, bare-headed, draped bust right.
    R: PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, Caracalla standing left, holding baton and scepter; trophy to right.
    3.41g
    17mm
    Rome Mint, 196 - 198 A.D.
    RIC 13a


    teencar.jpeg
    Caracalla (198 - 217 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right.
    R: VOTA SVSCEPTA X, Caracalla standing left, sacrificing over altar.
    3.72g
    19mm
    Rome 206 A.D.
    RIC IV 179, Cohen 689, BMCRE V 524

    carant.jpg
    Caracalla (198 - 217 A.D.)
    AR Antoninianus
    O: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, Radiate, bearded and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind.
    R: P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P, Jupiter seated left, holding Nike and scepter; at feet to left, eagle standing left, head right.
    Rome Mint, 215 A.D.
    5.5g
    24mm
    RIC IV 260v; RSC 277b
     
  6. paschka

    paschka Well-Known Member

  7. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Happy birthday Caracalla. Caracalla Ar Denarius Rome 217 AD Obv. Head right laureate. Rv. Victory seated right inscribing shield. Before her a trophy. RIC 297e 2.61 grms 18 mm Photo by W. Hansen caracallad27.jpg This coin celebrates his rather questionable success over the Parthians. According to the Roman historian Herodian, Caracalla arranged to marry the daughter of the Parthian king but when the wedding party showed up arranged to have most of them massacred. Talk about your "red wedding".
     
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Here are one denarius and one antoninianus of Caracalla, plus a denarius of Plautilla showing Caracalla and Plautilla together on the reverse:

    Caracalla (son of Septimius Severus) AR Denarius. Obv. Laureate, youthful draped bust right, ANTONINVS PIVS AVG/ Rev. Felicitas standing left holding caduceus & cornucopiae, FELICITAS AVGG. RIC IV-1 127, RSC III 64, Sear RCV II 6799, BMCRE 276. 19 mm., 3.2 g.

    Caracalla - youthful.jpg

    Caracalla AR Antoninianus, 215-217 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen half from behind, ANTONINUS PIUS AVG GERM / Rev. Venus standing left, holding scepter in left arm and Victory on right hand, resting left elbow on round shield set on helmet, VENUS -VIC-TRIX. RSC III 608(c), RIC IV-3 311(d), BMCRE 80-81, Sear RCV II 6784. 22x24 mm., 4.94 g. Ex: Stephen M. Huston Sale 153, Lot 126 (ca. 1997).

    Caracalla Antoninianus - Venus Victrix - jpg version.jpg

    Plautilla (wife of Caracalla; issued under Septimius Severus), AR Denarius, 203-204 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right, hair in horizontal waves and drawn into large bun at back, PLAVTILLAE AVGVSTAE / Rev. Caracalla standing left, holding volumen with left hand and clasping right hands with Plautilla standing right, PROPAGO IMPERI. Short hairline flan crack. RIC IV (Caracalla) 362, RSC III (Plautilla) 21, Sear RCV II 7073 (ill.). 18 mm., 3.30 g., 6 h. [First appearance of reverse legend PROPAGO IMPERI, celebrating the hoped-for continuation of the Severan house through the union of Caracalla and Plautilla. Cf. RIC IV 367, showing Pietas (representing Plautilla) on reverse holding child, believed to have been issued to celebrate the 204 AD birth of child who died in infancy.]

    Plautilla denarius - Plautilla & Caracalla reverse.jpg
     
  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Here's my first-year ant (Pluto/Serapis type):

    188051.jpg
     
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I completely forgot to post this one, showing Caracalla with his inimitable scowl. Quite a contrast to the youthful portrayal I posted above.

    Caracalla AR Denarius 210 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head of Caracalla right, ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT/ Rev. Virtus, helmeted, draped, standing right, right breast bare, left foot on helmet, holding reversed spear in her right hand and parazonium in her left hand, PONTIF TR P XIII COS III. RIC IV-1 117B, RSC III 478. 19 mm., 3.01 g.

    Caracalla - Virtus denarius (scowling).jpg
     
  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    At least your Cerberus looks like Cerberus, mine posted above looks like a peeled banana with legs.

    Screen Shot 2021-04-03 at 5.51.58 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Great write-up, as always, @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix! Cool coins, too!

    This coin may refer to this edict. It all comes down to the interpretation of Indulgentia's turreted crown and the proposed syntax of the abbreviated reverse legend.

    [​IMG]
    Caracalla AD 198-217.
    Roman AR Denarius 3.37 g, 19.7 mm.
    Rome mint, AD 211.
    Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head, right.
    Rev: INDVLG FECVNDAE, Indulgentia, wearing polos (or turreted crown), seated left on cerule chair, extending right hand and holding scepter.
    Refs: RIC 214; BMCRE 73; RCV 6805.
     
  13. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    :hilarious: Actually I think your eagle looks like a very charming penguin! :D
     
  14. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Excellent coins and fun thread:cigar:
    Golly, everyone focuses on the psychotic, paranoid adult monster Caracalla grew into. Nobodies focusing on the psychotic, paranoid child monster that he started out as:
    20190326_103830_8464A3DF-F09D-46ED-87D7-6C37987AC779-406-0000007A515D38C7.png share4007936682763126758.png share1739070976375917805.png
    What a sweet maniac. He had eros riding a dolphin on his coins!:cat:
    20190326_104205_22924DAA-3C2B-4FCB-82E1-D8DB844F9C26-406-0000007B7302BA83.png

    ... oh. And, at 23, the kid brother Caracalla had murdered in their mother's arms shortly after dad's death, Geta:
    share2266665616744908879.png
     
  15. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Great post as usual, O. I enjoy all Caracalla’s coinage, but his tetradrachms from the Eastern mints really stand out to me...always happy to have an excuse to post these.

    8E5862AF-9E89-48D9-82DE-FBC3B78C43D0.jpeg

    Caracalla, Phoenicia (Tyre), AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 15.23 g). Struck AD 213-215. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; murex shell between legs. Prieur 1550.
    From the Michel Prieur Collection.

    And a couple of my other favorite tets of his:
    05AF0A57-13ED-40E7-96FF-A45736BA6165.jpeg
    Tyre mint

    A0FB2F5F-D1D7-416D-842E-127A711B7CB9.jpeg
    Antioch mint
     
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, his expression on that first one is amazing!
     
  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..i wouldn't guess he was very popular amongst....anyone...altho he did what the founder of Rome did so....it was reality verses story...and i don't think it went over too good..it did, however happen most likely several times in history and has/was/thought to be painted as something else.. Caracalla 001.JPG Caracalla 003.JPG
     
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..i'd say that's a scowl ifn i ever saw one...
     
    Shea19, Severus Alexander and DonnaML like this.
  19. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  20. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    upload_2021-4-4_0-8-17.jpeg

    Geta-Killer

    [​IMG]
    RI Caracalla 198-217 AR Denarius MONETA
     
  21. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Denarius, Rome 216 AD
    19 x 20 mm, 3.729 g
    RIC IV 275A; Cohen 337;
    Ob.: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, Bust of Caracalla, laureate, right
    Rev.: P M TR P XVIIII COS IIII P P, Jupiter standing facing, looking left, holding thunderbolt and scepter.
    upload_2021-4-4_0-29-33.png upload_2021-4-4_0-30-52.png

    and a worn provincial that was in a lot of 11 coins:

    Æ Triassarion,
    Moesia Inferior, Markianopolis, 208-209/210 AD, Magistrate Lucius Iulius Faustinianus

    26 x 26 mm, 9.390 g
    Moushmov 437; Varbanov (Vol 1, 2005 English version) 927; AMNG 614

    Ob.: AVT M AYΡHΛI ANTΩNEINOC, laureate draped bust of Caracalla right
    Rev.: VΠ ΦAVCTINIANOV ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Kybele seated left wearing kalathos, holding patera and resting arm on drum, flanked by two lions

    upload_2021-4-4_0-34-35.png upload_2021-4-4_0-34-46.png
     
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