Denarius of an aging Julia Domna from late in her reign

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Shea19, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    I recently added this denarius from late in the reign of Julia Domna. I love the portrait style on this coin, and on most of her later issues from the Rome mint. She is shown looking a little older, and seemingly showing the stress of all she had been through. At the same time, she is also still looking regal, tough, and is still sporting the greatest hairstyle in the Empire. Being the most powerful woman in the world may be great, but it still takes its toll, and I think that this coin shows it well.


    (my photo)
    (seller's photo)

    Julia Domna, AR Denarius (20 mm, 3.77 g), Rome, circa 213 A.D. IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG Draped bust of Julia Domna to right. Rev. VESTA Vesta standing front, head to left, holding palladium in her right hand and long scepter in her left. RIC 390 (Caracalla).

    This coin was struck under Caracalla in 213 A.D., and contains the legend "Pia Felix Augusta", which is the title taken by Julia Domna after the death of Septimius Severus. Julia had famously suffered two major losses in the two years before this coin was struck. In February of 211 A.D., her husband Septimius Severus died, and left the Empire to their two sons Caracalla and Geta. Julia Domna did her best to act as a mediator between her two boys, but as we all know, that obviously didn't work out very well for her. In December of 211, Geta was murdered in Julia's arms under the orders of Caracalla, who then became sole emperor.

    Losing her husband and youngest son (in horrific fashion) in the same year had to have taken its toll on her, and the portrait style on her coins starts to change around this time. Unlike emperors like Augustus, who managed to look the same age on his coins despite ruling for over 30 years, I love that Julia Domna was willing to use a more realistic image of herself on her coins.

    My photo probably doesn't do this coin justice, but it really is a beauty in hand...definitely one of my favorite new additions of the year.

    Please share your favorite coins of Julia Domna, or any coins showing an aging ruler towards the end of their reign.
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice coin and Julia certainly appears care-worn. I'll share an aging Pupienus, already in his 70's in 238, but he looks stressed out on his coins, with good reason.


  4. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Near the end of the reign of Caracalla in 217 the
    design was struck as both denarii and antoniniani for Julia Domna.

    Denarius. 20-19 mm. 3.03 grams.
    Hill 1536 or 1588, with the same description. Struck 216 or 217
    RIC 389a. Struck "211-217." Sear II 7107.


    Antoninianus. 22 mm.
    Sear II 7098. RIC 388. Struck "211-217."
    Hill 1528 or 1582 with the same description. Struck 216 or 217.
  5. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    Nice sharp specimen, with full legends and much of the dotted borders still on flan!

    Hill 1340 dates this Vesta type to 213 AD, but the correct date is 214 according to my reconstruction of the type sequence and dates. The four contemporaneous denarius types of Caracalla were three dated TR P XVII, namely Apollo seated, Jupiter standing with eagle at feet, and Genius of the Senate, and one undated, LIBERALITAS AVG VIIII.
  6. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I absolutely LOVE this coin. Thank you for sharing it again :)
    +VGO.DVCKS, Pellinore, Shea19 and 3 others like this.
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    sharp!..i want to get a coin of her in her later years...i like her longer hairdo...:)
    Shea19 likes this.
  8. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Shea19.......Lovely coin!.......
    This is my favourite, back in the days when the world was her oyster....

    Julia Domna. Augusta, AD 193-217. AR Denarius (3,84g). Rome mint.
    Struck under Septimius Severus, circa AD 200-207.
    Obverse.JVLIA AVGVSTA Draped bust right
    Reverse.PIETAS AVGG Pietas standing left, holding acerrum (incence box) and dropping incense onto lighted and garlanded altar to left.
    RIC IV 572 (Septimius); RSC 150.
  9. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I'd be interested to hear from you about the dates you would assign the the VENVS GENETRIX types I showed.
  10. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    I no longer have this coin, but wish I had kept it - one of my favorites, for the same realistic portrait:
  11. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    The denarii of Julia Domna from Rome come in a variety of styles, but the only time a truly new bust type was introduced was when her son Caracalla came to power in 211 AD:

    Rom – Julia Domna, denar, Venus v. hinten (neuestes Foto).png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, denarius, 193–196 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA DOMNA AVG; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: VENERI VICTR, Venus standing with back turned, head r., holding apple in r. hand and palm in l., resting l. elbow on column. 18mm, 4.13g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 536. Ex Savoca, 22nd Blue Auction, lot 1531.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Ceres.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 196–211 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: CERERI FRVGIF; Ceres, draped, seated l., holding corn-ears in her r. hand and torch in l. hand. 19mm, 3.65g. RIC IV Septimius Severus 546. Ex Leipziger Münzhandlung und Auktion (Höhn), Germany.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Juno.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, denarius, 196–211 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: IVNO, Iuno standing l., holding patera and sceptre, peacock at feet l. 18mm, 3.20g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 559.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Venus Felix.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, denarius, 196–211 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bust of Julia Domna, hair waved and coiled at back, draped, r. Rev: VENVS FELIX; Venus, draped, standing front, head l., holding apple and drawing drapery from l. shoulder. 19mm, 2.82g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 580.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Vestae Sanctae (neuestes Foto).png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 196–211 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: VESTAE SANCTAE; Vesta standing l., holding patera and sceptre. 17.5mm, 3.08g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 587.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Diana.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 211–217 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: DIANA LVCIFERA; Diana, draped, standing l., holding a torch in both hands. 19mm, 3.09g. Ref: RIC IV Caracalla 373A.

    And then there are the "Eastern" denarii, but that's a completely different topic that I don't know much about:

    Rom – Julia Domna, denar, eastern mint, Vener vict.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, denarius, 193–196 AD, eastern mint (Emesa or Laodikeia?). Obv: IVLIA DO[MNA] AVG, bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: VENER VICT, Venus standing l., holding apple in extended r. hand and sceptre in l. 17mm, 2.54g. Ref; RIC IV.1 Septimius Severus 630.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Nice, @Shea19 ... a codger!

    Just to mix things up a bit...

    RI Julia Domna 194-217 Fouree AR Plated Den Isis Horus
  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    IVLIA PIA FELIX AVGVSTA, Mother of the Augustae, Mother of the Senate, Mother of the Nation:

    Domna MAT AVGG MAT SEN M PATR denarius.jpg Domna MAT AVGG MAT SEN M PATR standing denarius.jpg
  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    In contrast, here's an unusually young, girlish portrait of Domna.

    Julia Domna - Pietas.jpg
    AR Denarius. 3.19g, 19.4mm. Rome mint, AD 196-211. RIC 572; RSC 150; BMC 62. O: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right. R: PIETAS AVGG, Pietas standing left, veiled, sacrificing on altar to left and holding incense box.
  16. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member


    Without putto, mid-215 to early 217.

    With putto, early 217-end of reign.

    The types were all slightly changed early in 217. The added putto was that change in Domna's seated VENVS GENETRIX type.

    Best regards,

  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I bought this denarius of Domna over fifty years ago. I believe it was one of her first issues from the Rome mint that was still thinking of the coins they made for Manlia Scantilla. Otherwise it is hard to explain the portrait of the new, young Augusta. It was overstruck on an earlier coin (Commodus?).

    This late period sestertius / Vesta garbled by doublestrike has a very strange portrait with eye that recalls the style of 5th century Athens.

    The group below shows a sampling of Domna coins from Alexandria, Syria and Rome. I do not recall why I made this composite but it seems appropriate here.
  18. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Pisidia, Antiochia. Julia Domna. Augusta, AD 193-217. Æ22. Obv: Draped bust right. Rev: Tyche standing left, holding branch and cornucopia. Ref: SNG France 1126-31 var.

  19. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your expertise.
  20. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Great thread! And spooky Julia Zomnabia @Alegandron !
    And @dougsmit dropping some super Domna Bombmnas.
    I don't know if there is a Domna coin that I don't like...
    20190921_121745_81E33857-3BAF-4A23-9E3A-84CD089ED709-1960-00000238DC90AAFA.png 20190728_101429_CC2E978E-E2DD-433F-BB31-969FE93C0A5B-1718-0000026DAAFBD9DA.png 20190327_143818_F4BCC53E-DCE0-4F77-A7CE-06BBC50336F9-469-000000877D14383F.png 20190326_124639_C93DDD23-F529-4014-B221-EB0718F85611-406-00000098218C3774.png 20190326_124524_C41EE987-8092-4DCB-9E38-DD026433583D-406-00000097B65F1E71.png
  21. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    JULIA DOMNA, AR Denarius, Struck under Septimius Severus, circa 207-211 AD
    O: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
    R: FORTVNAE FELICI, Fortuna standing left, holding cornucopia and resting arm on rudder
    RIC IV 552(Severus); RSC 55a
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