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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 926

Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.38 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 194-195.


CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 926.
 Estimated: $ 7 500

Roman Imperial, Gold

Sold For $ 14 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.38 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 194-195. L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IIII, laureate head right / ARAB • ADIAB COS II P P, Victory, winged and draped, advancing left, holding wreath in right hand and trophy in left. RIC IV 41; Calicó 2433 (same obv. die as illustration); BMCRE p. 33, note †; Biaggi –; Jameson –; Mazzini –; Santamaria (20 November 1920), lot 895 (same obv. die); NAC 71, lot 247 (same obv. die; hammer 75,000 CHF). Some scratches and test cuts. Near EF. Exceedingly rare and missing from most of the greatest collections.

Adiabene and Scenite Arabia were small buffer states between the Roman and Parthian Empires, nominally allied to the Parthians. Adiabene, located east of the Roman client kingdom of Osrhoene, was ethnically diverse, with a substantial Jewish population. The Scenite (“tent dwelling”) Arabs occupied another part of Mesopotamia. During the Roman civil war of AD 193-194 between Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger, both principalities seized on the opportunity to enlarge their kingdoms at the expense of Roman client states. After Severus defeated and killed Niger in May of 194, he lingered in Syria the rest of the year, meting out punishment to cities and regions who had supported Niger and rewarding those who had shown loyalty to the Severan cause. Wintering at Antioch, Severus entertained embassies from the Adiabeni and Scenite Arabs, who protested that they had only attacked Roman possessions that had backed Niger. Severus rejected these entreaties and, early in AD 195, marched his army into Mesopotamia, formally annexed Osrhoene, and attacked in quick succession the Adiabeni and Scenite Arabs. He easily overcame both and assumed the titles Parthicus Arabicus and Parthicus Adiabenicus, which are preserved on this extremely rare aureus type, as well as on the Arch of Severus in Rome. The curious reference to “Parthicus” in each acclamation acknowledges that both of these peoples were Parthian vassals, without overtly claiming a victory over the Parthians themselves (this would come in a subsequent campaign). Severus struck silver denarii and gold aurei celebrating these titles with two main reverse types: Two captives bound at the base of a trophy, and, as seen here, Victory advancing with wreath and trophy. Denarii are known from Rome, Alexandria and Laodicea; the much rarer aurei are only recorded from Rome.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 3, which begins 14 May 2020 at 9 AM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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