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.