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Otacilia Severa 245-7 AD, THE FIRST CHRISTIAN EMPRESS?
Antoninianus. Wife of Philip I and possibly the first Christian Empress.
Otacilia Severa was the wife of Roman Emperor Marcus Julius Philippus (Philip the Arab) who reigned from 244 to 249. Severa married Philip in 234 who was serving as a Praetorian Guard under Emperor Alexander Severus abd bore Philip two children, his son Marcus Julius Philippus Severus (Philippus II) (born in 238) and, according to numismatic evidence alone, a daughter called Julia Severa or Severina, (she is never mentioned by the ancient Roman texts). Severa was likely involved in a conspiracy to murder Gordian III in Mesopotamia February 244. Philip became the new emperor bestowing Severa the title of Augusta and their son was mad Caesar. Severa and Philip are considered as the first Christian imperial couple as she saved Bishop and Saint Babylas of Antioch from the Christian persecutions. When Philip August 249 died in battle in Verona and Decius became the new emperor the Praetorians killed Severa’s eleven year old son. Severa’s later life is unknown. Obverse Otacilia Severa’s bust on a crescent while wearing a stephane M OTACIL SEVERA AVG Rervese seated Concordia holding a patera and double cornucopia CONCORDIA AVGG. Courtesy Harlan J Berk, LTD
Mint: Rome
Provenance: Courtesy Harlan J Berk, LTD.

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