My newest Caracalla Sestertius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    After returning my previous two Sestertii of Caracalla to the respective sellers last week (both had been identified as forgeries, thanks to this forum), I could not stand the vacancy in my brass portrait gallery and immediately ordered a replacement.

    Here it is and I hope this one looks better in the eyes of the experts here:


    Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla right, seen from behind
    Asclepius, nude to waist, standing facing, head left, holding snake-entwined staff, Telesphorus at his feet to left, globe to right
    Sestertius, Rome 215
    30 mm; 22,22 gr
    RIC 538b, BMCRE 280, CSS 1449 var., Sear 6933 var.


    After returning from his German campaign of 213-14 (which earned him the title Germanicus) Caracalla, driven by a crazed obsession to emulate Alexander the Great, projected the conquest of Parthia.

    Before establishing his military headquarters at the Syrian capital of Antiochia in 215, Caracalla as part of a tour around Asia Minor found time to visit the famous shrine of Asklepios in the city of Pergamum in the hope of finding cures for his numerous ailments, as his physical and mental health had begun to deteriorate.
    Ancient historians state that the reason for this visit was because he sought healing and relief from dreams in which he was being chased by his father Septimus Severus and brother Geta, whom he had murdered.

    Asklepius (Greek: Ἀσκληπιός, Latin: Aesculapius) was a logical choice to supplicate for salvation, as he was a god of medicine in ancient Greek religion. He represented the healing aspect of the medical arts; his son Telesphorus (Greek: Τελεσφόρος Telesphoros) symbolized recovery from illness, as his name means "the accomplisher" or "bringer of completion" in Greek.

    This visit (and undoubtedly the best wishes of the people for his recovery) was of such importance to Caracalla that it was commemorated by a special emission of coins in all three metals from the Rome mint in 215 as well as various issues of bronze medallions struck by the polis of Pergamum itself.

    The rod of Asklepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
    Therefore, Germany´s (and, for that matter, all of Europe´s) largest operator of private hospitals in our times is named "Asklepios Kliniken".
    Whenever I pass by their hospital in my neighborhood it will remind me of Caracalla, his visit to Pergamum, and this coin.

    Please post anything you can share about Aesculapius / Asclepius or Caracalla, his bronzes, and his trip to the East.

    Also I would be interested to know it there are really that many cast forgeries of Caracalla bronzes around (or was it just my personal bad luck with the last two?)
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I see nothing that makes me question it's authenticity. I like the reverse.
    Mikey Zee and Julius Germanicus like this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Cool coin. Certainly looks authentic. By this time Caracalla's time was running out and he was assassinated as he went to relieve himself off to the side of the road. Enter Macrinus.


  5. alde

    alde Always Learning

    Nice looking coin. I think it has a great portrait.
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  6. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Looks nice! By coincidence, I just received a provincial Caracalla in the mail today (from Hadrianopolis).

    Forgive the phone pictures and lack of attribution. I am so insanely busy with this new school year (7 courses, with only 8 periods...) that I haven't had much time to devote to the collection:
  7. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    I can't comment on the authenticity but nothing has me concerned about it being genuine. I would love to have a Caracalla sestertius but I don't. Instead I have these large provincials which are among my favorite coins:

    Caracalla, AD 198-217
    AE30, 14.9g, 7h; Thrace, Pautalia.
    Obv.: AVT K MAVP CEV ANTONEINOC, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev.: OVΛΠIAC ΠAVTAΛIAC, Asklepios standing front, looking left, leaning on serpent-entwined staff.

    Caracalla, AD 198-217
    AE31, 16g, 12h; Serdica.
    Obv.: AVT K M AVR SEVH ANTΩNEINOC Laureate head right.
    Rev.: OVΛΠIAC CEPΔIKHC; Apollo standing facing, head left, holding patera in right hand and palm-branch in left.
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