New Severus Alexander Sestertius - Iovi Ultori

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter


    IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    IOVI VLTORI S C - Jupiter, laureate, wearing cloak over left arm and lower part of body, seated left on throne, holding Victory in right hand and sceptre in left
    Sestertius, Rome ca.225
    32 mm / 21,56 gr
    RIC 560 var. (not cuirassed); Cohen 98 var. (not cuirassed); Banti 22 (3 specimens)
    ex Naville Auction 27.05.2018, lot 744


    The depiction of Jupiter on the reverse of this Sestertius is based on a famous prototype, the statue of Zeus by Phidas in Olympia. Jupiter here appears in the unusual guise as IVPITER VLTOR, „The Avenger“, an attribute normally reserved to Mars, the god of war.

    Here is the story behind this type:
    In 222 Severus Alexander, at the age of only 13, assumed power over an empire tyrannically and recklessly ruled by his predecessor Antoninus III, known to history as Elagabalus.
    Elagabal had abolished all the Roman cults and sacral traditions considered indispensable for the survival and well-being of the people and instead appointed the Syrian sun god Elagabal, of which he was the chief priest, the supreme deity. In his honor, the emperor had built a huge temple on the Palatine, which would replace the Jupiter shrine on the Capitol as the main temple of the city of Rome.
    In order to restore the relationship of the Severan dynasty to the military, Senate and people, which was shattered by his predecessor, the young emperor took back all measures and religious changes of Elagabalus and consecrated the monumental temple, which was originally intended for the strange sun deity, to the ancient state god Jupiter.

    On this occasion coins with the inscription IOVI VLTORI („the avenging Jupiter“) were issued, which represented both the temple on the Palatine, or, as in this case, the most powerful and highest god himself, enthroned in a typical manner with scepter and little Victoria pictured.
    The medium of coinage was particularly suited to spread throughout the Roman Empire the return of the new emperor to cult traditions and ancient religious values.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    The portrait makes this coin. Congrats.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely! Outstanding portrait. Here's one from my collection:

    Severus Alexander Libertas Sestertius.jpg
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  5. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    That is a fantastic portrait!
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  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Congrats Julius, amazing sharp portrait.

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  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and nice write up. Severus Alexander portraits can be a bit bland sometimes, but this is a really nice one.
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  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Always like to see me some Sev Alex, especially with such a nice portrait!!

    Here's my youthful portrait sest., issued in 223:
    Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 2.06.06 PM.jpg
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  9. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks everybody for the benevolent comments and for showing your Alexanders!

    I am in the process of upgrading the more common emperors in my Sestertius collection from F to VF standard while putting emphasis on a sharp portrait with an individual expression while tolerating a mediocre reverse as long as the type can be connected to some interesting event in that ruler´s reign.

    This is my old Alexander, so I think I accomplished a visible improvement.

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-10 um 09.15.06.png
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

    Here's my Alexander Severus Sestertius, ex Frank Robinson auction:
    Reverse: VICTORIA AVGVSTVI - Perhaps struck over the victory at the Harzhorn?

    I suspect it is later on in the reign as the beard is a little more prominent.


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  11. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I agree.
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  12. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    My Severus Alexander:
    Severus Alexander, Rome, AD 222-235
    AR, denarius, 18.5mm, 1.65g; 12h; Rome mint, AD 228
    Obv.: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
    Rev.: P M TR P VII COS II P P; Pax running left, holding olive branch in left hand and sceptre in right

    The coin below reverse type was one that attracted me early in my ancients collection. I must have scoured FORVM and Vcoins adding it to my wish list. I never bit, and thankfully, because I scored the coin below from John Anthony.

    Severus Alexander, Rome, AD 222-235
    AR, denarius, 19mm, 2.4g; 6h; Rome mint, AD 226
    Obv.: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG; laureate bust right
    Rev.: PM TRP V COS II PP; Mars advancing right holding spear and trophy arms
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  13. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    A nice Sestertius you have there!

    I think it commemorates a victory in the Persian war which lead to the celebration of Alexanders´ triumph over the Sassanians in 232.

    Had it been Alex Severus who had invaded Germania and devastated it´s lands all the way to the Elbe river (and won the battle at the Harzhorn) a couple of years later (instead of bargaining with the barbarians and listening to his mom as attested by the Historia Augusta), the troops would have had no reason for rebellion and Maximinus Thrax could hardly have credibly and explicitly celebrated the VICTORIA GERMANIA for himself.

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-11 um 09.10.32.png
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  14. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Severus Alexander (AD 222-235). AE sestertius. Rome. Ob. IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev. PONTIF MAX TR P III COS P P / S – C, Emperor standing left with globe and spear. RIC 419c.
    062-01A-Alexander Severus1.jpg 062-01B.jpg
    Severus Alexander (AD 222-235). AE sestertius. Rome, Ob. IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust of Severus Alexander right, drapery on left shoulder, Rev. P M TR P-X-COS III P P, Victory standing facing, head left, wreath upward in right hand, palm in left; S-C across fields. RIC 523.
    062-03A.jpg 062-03B.jpg
    Severus Alexander (AD 222-235). AE sestertius. Rome. Ob. IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate head right, Rev. VICTORIA AVGVSTI, Victory standing right, foot on helmet, writing VOT X on shield fixed to palm tree, S-C across lower fields. RIC 616.
    062-04A.jpg 062-04B.jpg
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  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Certainly Jupiter is rendered with higher artistic quality in the OP than on these IOVI VLTORI antoniniani of Gallienus!

    Gallienus IOVI VLTORI RIC 220 var.jpg
    Gallienus IOVI VLTORI RIC 221K.jpg
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  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

    I think you're right. From what I have read the only coins discovered at Harzhorn were of Severus Alexander and earlier emperors, no Maximinus, which does not mean that he was not emperor at the time, however. Interestingly Pupienus struck this coin right after defeating Maximinus, one supposes.


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  17. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

    The detail in the portrait is beautiful!
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  18. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    That OP portrait is of the better style !

    Severus Alexander, Sestertius Rome mint AD 231
    IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, Laureate bust of Severus Alexander righ, with light drapery on left shoulder
    IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, with a small figure of the emperor at his feet, SC in field
    14.75 gr
    Ref : RCV #7966, Cohen # 74

  19. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    The portrait style of mine might be more realistic, but your´s is artistic and has the later more abstract style plus great overall quality, a round flan, nice toning and magnificent eye appeal!
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  20. Macromius

    Macromius Rarely Present

    17 replies and 571 views and not one person asks "maybe, just maybe could that coin could have been tooled?" I'm not sure but I'm a little suspicious.
    People are too nice here. I think Germanicus is tough enough to handle it!
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  21. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    Hi Macromius,
    even though I must admit that I certainly enjoy even the most naive praise for my acquisitions (who doesn´t "need" some consolation that the money you spent went into something that at least has some eye appeal not only to yourself?), I like (and benefit from) honest criticism just as much!
    I guess one of the reasons that we are all here is that 100 eyes see more than two (and it looks like 650 viewers were not provoked enough to complain yet). In fact I have returned half a dozen Sestertii after they did not pass under the watchful eyes of this forum and it has saved me from buying a lot of crap.

    So, what exactly looks tooled to you on my Alexander? I can see no surface discrepancies on the unpatinated metal and I think the portrait looks way to lifelike to show the traces of a later reworking (tooled portraits tend to look like caricatures :p). Also, if someone would have tried to "improve" this coin, I guess he would have started with the mediocre reverse, the incomplete obverse legend, or the crusty cuirass.

    Your thoughts please. I can handle it :)
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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