Home Ancient Roman The Severan Dynasty 193 - 235 RC001109
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Elagabalus; 218-222 AD c 220/1 AD
AE 26
Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus or Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was a Roman Emperor of the Severan dynasty who reigned from 218 to 222. Born Varius Avitus Bassianus, he was Syrian on his mother's side. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson, Elagabalus, declared as emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on June 8, 218, at the Battle of Antioch, upon which Elagabalus, barely fourteen years old, ascended to the imperial power and began a reign that was marred by infamous controversies. Amidst growing opposition four years into his reign, Elagabalus, only 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Alexander Severus on March 11, 222, in a plot formed by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and disgruntled members of the Praetorian Guard. Obverse radiate head of Elagabalus ΑVT K M AV – ANTWNINOC. Reverse features the Temple of Astarte, consisting of a central portion, steps descending from it surmounted by an ornate arch, and two tetrastyle wings. Within the center section, a turreted statue of Astarte is shown. The date BΛΦ in exergue (Year 532 = 220/1 AD). TPI - ΠΟ - ΛΙ – TWN.
Mint: Tripolis (Lebanon)
Provenance: Courtesy Gemini Numismatic Auctions, LLC

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