Mamaea as acquisition

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    In general, denarii and sestertii of Julia Mamaea are plentiful, but while not rare, the middle bronzes of this empress appear less frequently on the market. I have been working on a subcollection of Julia Mamaea issues and I acquire them when I have the opportunity.

    I acquired this one from a US coin dealer with only a few ancients in stock. I like its smooth surfaces and chocolate brown patina.

    Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235.
    Roman Æ as, 10.68 g, 25.3 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 232-235.
    Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Julia Mamaea, wearing stephane, right.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS AVGVSTAE S C, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand to small figure standing right and holding cornucopia in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 669; BMCRE 924-25; Cohen 9; RCV 8207.

    Its dating is uncertain, and while Carson assigns it to the 15th emission of AD 232 (p. 204), he acknowledges that it may have been issued at any time from the 15th-18th emissions of AD 232-235 (p. 82).

    The reverse type is somewhat interesting because Severus Alexander was, of course, a fully grown man at the time the FECVND(ITAS) AVGVSTAE issues were struck. He comments (p. 82), "Fecunditas ... is a type normally associated with new motherhood but must, like Mamaea's Juno type, carry here no more specific meaning than that of empress-mother."

    Clare Rowan, in an analysis of 56 hoards from diverse geographical areas and containing 67,151 coins struck in the Severan period identified 2,571 silver coins struck for Julia Mamaea (she did not analyze the bronze issues), of which only 10% were of Fecunditas reverse types (p. 268). There are two FECVND AVGVSTAE reverse types in silver, Fecunditas standing (151 examples) and Fecunditas seated (111 examples; p. 270). Only the standing Fecunditas reverse type was struck in bronze, suggesting a more limited issue in the sestertius, dupondius, and as denominations.

    While Rowan's analysis was limited to silver issues alone, it -- as well as the relative scarcity of this reverse type in the middle bronze denominations -- suggests a rather limited issue, perhaps limited to only a single year.

    Post your coins of Mamaea, Fecunditas, or anything you feel is relevant!


    Carson, Robert A. G. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. Vol. VI: Severus Alexander to Balbinus and Pupienus, British Museum, 1962.

    Clare Rowan, "The Public Image of the Severan Women." Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol. 79 (2011), pp. 241-273.
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  3. Aurelianus

    Aurelianus Member

    Cool coin, nice patina.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  4. Alegandron

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

    Nice bronze, @Roman Collector ! Sounds like it was a super deal.

    Julia Mamaea:
    RI Julia Mamaea AR denarius Pietas incense altar perfume Seaby 48
  5. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Roman Collector ....Good looking coin and nicely centred..Is there any reference to the identity of the small figure?...
    Here's mine from her first year as Augusta..
    MAM BLACK.jpg
    Julia Mamaea. Augusta, 222-235 AD. AR Denarius (2,81 gm, 19mm). Rome mint. Struck 222 AD.
    Obverse: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, bare headed, draped bust right.
    Reverse: IVNO CONS-E-RVATRIX, Juno standing slightly left, holding patera and scepter; to left, peacock standing left.
    RIC IV 343 (Severus Alexander); BMCRRE 43-5 (Severus Alexander); RSC 35. gVF.
  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @Roman Collector, it's certainly not unprecedented for coins of women in the Severan dynasty to be issued with reverses showing small children, despite the fact that the children of those women were grown, or even when they had teenage grandchildren. It's possible, as you suggest, that what's intended is a generalized representation of motherhood rather than a depiction of specific royal offspring.

    Julia Domna AR Denarius 208 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right, IVLIA AVGVSTA/ Rev. Hilaritas standing left holding palm branch & cornucopiae, two small children [perhaps representing her already-grown children Caracalla and Geta?] at her feet, HILA-RITAS. RIC IV-1 557, RSC III 79, Sear RCV II 6587. 19.39 mm, 3.25 g.

    Julia Domna - Hilaritas.jpg
    Julia Maesa (grandmother of Elagabalus & Severus Alexander), AR Denarius, 218-22 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right, IVLIA MAESA AVG / Rev. Fecunditas standing left holding cornucopiae, a small child at her feet, FECVNDI-TAS AVG. RIC IV-2 249, RSC III 8 (ill.), Sear RCV II 7749. 20.08 mm., 2.58 g.

    Julia Maesa. Grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander AR Denarius - jpg.jpg
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    incense 002.JPG
  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Julia Mamaea 2.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right
    REVERSE: FELICITAS PVBLICA, Felicity seated left, holding caduceus and cornucopia
    Struck at Rome, 230 AD
    2.9g, 21mm
    RIC 338
    Julia Mamaea 3.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right
    REVERSE: VESTA, Vesta standing half-left, holding palladium & scepter
    Struck at Rome, 225-8 AD
    2.5g, 20mm
    RIC 360, RSC 81, BMC 381
    Julia Mamaea 1.jpg
    JULIA MAMAEA AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right
    REVERSE: IVNO CONSERVATRIX, Juno standing left, holding patera & scepter, peacock at feet left
    Struck at Rome, 222 AD
    3.3g, 20mm
    RIC 343
  9. Alegandron

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

    ominus1 and Roman Collector like this.
  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice one, RC. Fine portrait, full legends and as you note, nice surfaces to boot.

    I don't have any middle bronzes of Mamaea, but I did luck into one of Julia Maesa (her mother) with a sitting FECVNDITAS reverse:

    Julia Maesa - As Fecund. Mar 2019 (0).jpg
    Julia Maesa Æ As
    (Grandmother of Elagabalus)
    (218-222 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right / [FECVNDIT]AS AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas seated left, holding cornucopia, child at feet; S C in exergue.
    RIC Elagabalus 411; BMC 402.
    (9.13 grams / 24 mm)
  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  12. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very nice smooth coin, RC! I find your subcollection and the detail you share very interesting! Here's one I got earlier this year, but the seller hadn't listed the size and I wasn't quite sure if it was a Sestertius or As until it arrived... it is an As.

    Julia Mamaea, Augusta
    Mother of Severus Alexander (222-235 AD)
    AE As, Struck 224 AD, Rome mint

    Obverse: IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane.
    Reverse: VENVS FELIX, Venus, draped, seated left, holding cupid statuette in right hand and sceptre in left hand, SC below.
    References: RIC IV 703
    Size: 26mm, 11.0g
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice! And scarcer than the sestertius version.
    dougsmit and Justin Lee like this.
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