MYSIA, Pergamum. Septimius Severus and Julia Domna
|Sale: CNG 60, Lot: 1232. Estimate $750.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2002.
Sold For $1100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
. 193-211 AD. Æ 45mm Medallion (48.28 gm). Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Septimius Severus on left vis à vis draped bust of Julia Domna on right / Altar of Zeus: Vaulted distyle shrine approached by steps; on each side of shrine, portico of four columns surmounted by two statues (on left portico statues of priestesses of Athena; on right portico statues of Poseidon and Cybele); in front of each portico, statue of humped bull on pedestal. Price and Trell 456, fig. 217 (same reverse die); SNG von Aulock -; SNG Copenhagen -; BMC Mysia
pg. 152, 315, pl. XXX, 7 (same dies). Fine, brown patina, scattered corrosion. Rare and impressive. ($750)
Noted as a wonder of the world by the Latin author Lucius Ampelius, the great altar of Pergamum was thought to be the seat of Satan mentioned in Revelations:
”And to the angel of the Church in Pergamum write: These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest even when Satan's seat is... where Satan dwelleth..."
The reconstructed altar currently resides at the Pergamum Museum in Berlin. However, as elaborated in Price and Trell (pp. 122-3), "the die maker's image and conventions were not sufficiently analyzed" and thus the altar is not reconstructed true to form.