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Research Coins: Electronic Auction


Caracalla's Visit to Pergamum

389, Lot: 445. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $3750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MYSIA, Pergamum. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ Medallion (43mm, 46.14 g, 12h). M. Caerelius Attalus, strategos. Struck AD 214. AVTKPAT K MA–PKOC AVP ANTΩNЄINOC, laureate bust of Caracalla right, wearing cuirass decorated with gorgoneion / ЄΠI CTP M KAIPЄΛ ATTAΛOV/ ΠЄPΓAMH/NΩN, ΠPOTΩN Γ NЄ/ΩKOPΩN, Caracalla, togate, standing right, holding volumen and pouring sacrifice from patera over the head of a bull that is about to be sacrificed by a victimarius; to right, temple of Asclepius seen in perspective, with god seated between intercolumniation. SNG BN 2230 (same dies); BMC 324. VF, smoothed, tooled, and patina enhanced. Rare.

Ex Nomos 5 (25 October 2011), lot 245; Numismatica Ars Classica 54 (24 March 2010), lot 504; Tkalec (8 September 2008), lot 357.

This medallion is part of a highly interesting series that has long fascinated numismatists. Taken as a whole, the group chronicles the major events of Caracalla’s visit to Pergamum en route to an eastern military expedition in AD 214. While this was only one stop on a trip that included imperial visits to the major cities and religious sites of Asia Minor, Pergamum’s sanctuary of Asclepius (the Asclepion) was of particular appeal to Caracalla, whose health declined precipitously in the latter years of his reign. The series features a wide array of reverse types, including Tyche or a leading magistrate presenting the emperor with a miniature cult image of Asclepius upon his arrival, Caracalla visiting the sacred grove adjacent to the Asclepion, and various scenes of sacrifices being offered to Asclepius. The series as a whole was signed by three different magistrates.

From the same obverse die as the following lot.