Aquilia Severa: The Vestal Virgin who became empress, twice…

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Amit Vyas, May 27, 2022.

  1. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    In 220 AD, the emperor Elagabalus made the solar deity Elagabal the chief god of the Roman empire, taking precedence over Jupiter and the rest of the Roman pantheon.

    The deity was given a wife, Pallas, whose sacred statue was housed in the Temple of Vesta and tended by Vestal Virgins, and the emperor himself went on to marry one of the Vestal Virgins, Aquilia Severa. This was a controversial move as Vestal Virgins were sworn to celibacy.

    The most sacred relics from the Roman religion were transferred from their respective shrines to the Elagabalium, so that no other god could be worshipped except in association with Elagabal. The move drew a lot of opposition and the moon goddess Caelestis was chosen as the god’s new bride. The emperor, in turn, was forced to divorce Aquilia Severa, likely at the urging of his grandmother Julia Maesa.

    Elagabalus went on to marry Annia Faustina, only to divorce her the same year and remarry Aquilia Severa. Severa’s fate after Elagalabus’ assassination is unknown.

    Aquilia Severa’s coins tend to be pricey (though less than those of Annia Faustina). I have only managed to acquire this “budget” specimen. The coins of Julia Paula (Elagabalus’ first wife) are easier to find and more affordable than both.

    Please add your specimens of Aquilia Severa (or any of Elagabalus’ wives’) coins to this thread.

    Aquilia Severa, Augusta (220-221 AD and late 221-222 AD), AR Denarius, Rome mint, 220 AD, RIC 225 (2.78 g, 19 mm)

    Obverse: IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG. Draped bust of Aquilia Severa, right

    Reverse: CONCORDIA. Concordia standing front, head to left, holding patera in her right hand over lighted alter and double cornucopiae in her left. In field, to left, star.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Aquilia Severa (220, & 221 - 222 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: IVLIA AQUILIA SEVERA AVG, Draped bust right.
    R: CONCORDIA, Concordia standing facing, head left, holding double cornucopia and sacrificing with patera over altar to left; star to right.
    Rome Mint
    RIC IV(part 2), pg 47, #226 (Elagabalus)
  4. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

    Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted for JULIA MAESA, grandmother of ELAGABALUS and SEVERUS ALEXANDER, between 222 - 225 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.MAESA.AVG.: dr. bust r. Rev. SAECVLI.FELICITAS.: Felicitas stg. l., sacrificing over altar. RCS #2184. RSCIII #45. RICIV #271. DVM #12. DFGM-243 OBV.jpg DFGM-243 REV.jpg
  5. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

    DFM-265 REV.jpg Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted for JULIA SOAEMIAS mother of ELAGABALUS, between 218 - 222 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.SOAMIAS.: dr. bust r. Rev. VENVS.CAELESTIS.: Venus, diad., stg. l., holding apple and sceptre; in field, star. RCS #2170. RSCIII #8. RICIV #241. DVM #2/1.

    DFM-265 OBV.jpg
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
  6. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

    - Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted for JULIA PAULA, first wife of ELAGABALUS, between 219 - 220 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.PAVLA.AVG.: dr. bust r. Rev. CONCORDIA.: Concordia seated l., holding patera and double cornucopia. RCS #2149. RSCIII #6. DVM #1/1.

    DFW-286 OBV.jpg DFW-286 REV.jpg
  7. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

    Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted for AQUILA SEVERA, second wife of ELAGABALUS, between 220 - 222 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.AQVILIA.SEVERA.AVG.: dr. bust r. Rev. CONCORDIA.: Concordia standing l., holding patera and double cornucopia, altar at feet. RCS #2158. RSCIII #2a. RICIV #225. DVM #1.

    DFWA-279 OBV.jpg DFWA-279 REV.jpg
  8. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    One of the very rare (less than 70 known in total) Sestertii of Aquilia Severa:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-12-29 um 17.56.15.png

    IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG – diademed and draped bust right
    CONCORDIA AVG – Concordia standing left, sacrificing over lighted altar and holding double cornucopiae, star in right field
    Sestertius, Rome mint, early 221 A.D.
    18.92 g / 30,15 mm / 12 h
    RIC IV 390 (Elagabalus), pl. VII.3 (same reverse die); Cohen 4 (same dies); BMCRE 433, plate 96.8 (same obverse die), Banti 4 (same obverse die), Sear RCV II, 7681 (same dies), Hunter 3, plate 41 (same dies).
    ex Roma Numismatics E-Sale 76, lot 1088, ex Zeno Pop collection
  9. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    IMG_1235Aquilia obv.jpg IMG_1236Aquilia.jpg

    Here we have Aquila Severa on a Roman provincial. I belie it is from Tyre with an agonistic urn on the reverse with plant growing out of it. After the death of her husband she disappears from the historical record and is never heard of again. I hope she wasn't killed along with her divine husband.
  10. slynop

    slynop Well-Known Member

    I have only two coins from this empress:

    IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG / CONCORDIA (star on the left to concordia)

    Weight : 3,32 gr

    References : Ric 225 / RSC 2a / Cohen 2 (20 francs) / RCV 7679 / BMC 184

    Aquilia Severa ric 225 denier 3,32gr Avers.jpg Aquilia Severa ric 225 denier 3,32gr Revers .jpg
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  11. slynop

    slynop Well-Known Member

    And the second one :


    Weight : 2,78 gr.

    References: RIC 229 / RSC 9a.

    Aquilia Severa  Laetitia 330€ 2,78gr RIC 229 HD RAUCH auction 108 juin 2019.jpg
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