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563039

Magnificent Artistic Septimius Severus Medallion

563039.



LYDIA, Sardis. Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. Æ Medallion (40mm, 35.16 g, 12h). G(aios) I(oulios) Krispos, archon. AD 193-195. · AYT · KAIC · Λ · CЄΠ TIMI · CЄOYHPOC · Π ЄPTINAZ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / ЄΠI · Γ · I · KPICΠOY · APX/CAPΔIANΩN · ΔIC/NЄΩKOPΩN in three lines in exergue, two pentastyle temples seen in perspective facing left and right; clippeus in pediments; wreath above each. LS –; Kurth 467 (same dies); SNG Leypold –; SNG von Aulock 3155 (same dies). Dark green and brown patina, light smoothing in fields. Good VF. An impressive medallion.


Ex Dr. P. Vogl Collection; Aufhäuser 10 (5 October 1993), lot 452 and front cover.

Sardis is one of the oldest cities in Asia Minor and was capital of the Lydian Kingdom in the 7th century BC. It remained an important metropolis into Roman times, where it was the seat of the Roman proconsul of Asia. From earliest times it was also a mint city, employing highly skilled engravers. This magnificent medallion, struck circa AD 193-195, is testament to their skill, commemorating an imperial visit to Sardis during a Severan tour of the Eastern provinces. The bust of Septimius Severus is rendered in extraordinary style, surpassing that of the Rome mint. The term neokoros was applied to cities in Asia Minor that erected temples to the divinity of an emperor. Sardis was “twice Neokorate,” with two such temples, both of which are depicted in three-quarters perspective on the reverse. Exactly which emperors were so honored is uncertain, although Antoninus Pius is likely one of them as a colossal head of his wife, Faustina Sr., was unearthed in the temple precinct.