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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 945

Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ Sestertius (30mm, 23.78 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 214.


CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 945.
 Estimated: $ 2 500

Roman Imperial, Bronze

Sold For $ 2 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ Sestertius (30mm, 23.78 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 214. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / “Adlocutio” scene: Caracalla, in military dress, standing right on low platform on left, raising right hand; with him on platform, to his left, officer standing right, to his right, officer standing facing; to right, attendant in short tunic standing right; to far right, two soldiers, helmeted in military dress, standing left, each holding a signum in right hand and oblong shield in left; vexillum behind. RIC IV 525c; Banti 58; BMCRE p. 480, †. Brown and green patina, brassy highlights, hairline flan crack. Near EF. Rare.

Before a battle, or on parade, the emperor would address his troops in an event known as an adlocutio cohortium (address to the cohorts). This was an important opportunity for the emperor to be present among his troops and inspire esprit de corps among them. A sestertius of Gaius (Caligula), issued to commemorate a donative for the Praetorian Guard, was the first to employ the adlocutio as a reverse type. Similar subsequent issues were minted to emphasize the emperor's perceived, if not actual, role as military commander. The present specimen commemorates Caracalla's victory against the Germans and his preparations for a Persian war. Caracalla idolized Alexander the Great and, as other emperors before him, wished to recreate his successes in the east. Thus, in AD 214, after having been proclaimed "Alexander" at Philippopolis in Thrace, he assembled his troops, who had been outfitted as Macedonians, and proceeded into Asia Minor. Caracalla's ambitions were, however, hampered by his own unfit physical and mental state; over the next three years the campaign degenerated into near-chaos and ended with Caracalla's murder.

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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