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Iulia Domna - Callatis
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coin from Callatis - Iulia Domna - reverse coin from Callatis - Iulia Domna - obverse
~18-20 mm diameter, ~3-4 grams, AE
Reverse: goddess Cybele (with scepter in the left hand?) riding a lion, to the right, circular legend KA ΛΛATI ANΩN, outer pearl circle
Obverse: Iulia Domna, draped bust to the right,
legend IOVΛ IAΔOM, outer pearl circle

The ancient coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. GLV. The coin corresponds to the description at number 287 in the Moushmov catalog (but with different legend). This coin is probably worth two assaria.

Another similar coin is described in AMNG I at position 313, K17 (AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898). But the legend is longer and starts from another position.

About empress Julia Domna

Julia Domna (170? - 217 AD) is to be known as the woman who ruled the Roman Empire. Julia Martha until her marriage, she was the daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest in the Sun God temple in Emesa. In 187 she married emperor Septimius Severus, as his second wife, with whom she had two sons: Bassianus (the future emperor Caracalla, from which the inhabitants of the Romanian municipium of Caracal believe the name of their city was inherited) and Geta (also future emperor). After 212 AD while her son was engaged in frontier campaigns she ruled the Empire. She gathered around her a fair amount of men of culture (Diogenes Laertius, Apuleius, Dio Cassius) and jurists, most of them disciples of Papinianus.

During the administration of Julia Domna the Antoninian Constitution was drawn up - an edict through which Roman citizenship was granted to many inhabitants of the Empire - and also the work Itinerarium Antonini Augusti - a guide for the roads throughout the Empire, with cities and distances in between. To cope with the expenses a monetary reform was imposed, degrading the amount of precious metal inside the aureus and introducing the Antoninianus. Antoninianus was a 5.45 gram piece, holding 20% silver, and stated officially as being worth two silver denarii. The new coin was conventionally named antoninianus, after emperor's name. The real name used in the 3rd century is unknown.

Septimius Severus, the husband of Julia Domna, was a very superstitious man. He often consulted oracles, the predictions of which had promissed him to become emperor. To get married a second time Septimius Severus studied the horoscopes of several possible wifes, afterwards choosing Julia Domna, because she was foretold to marry a king. These predictions fulfilled in 193.

Julia Domna received a bunch of honorific titles, as Pious (PIA), Happy (FELIX) or Mother of Emperors, of Castri (forts), of the Homeland and Mother of the Senate. The honorific title Mater castrorum was conferred for the first time to empress Faustina the Younger in 174 AD, attesting the increased militarization of the Roman society in the times of emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Geta was assassinated in the very arms of his mother as ordered by Caracalla himself.

In 214 Julia Domna visited Dacia along Caracalla, spending a few months in the Dacian municipium of Porolissum (today the village of Moigrad in the county of Sălaj).

Domna is a cognomen, equal in sense with the Romanian word doamnă, the feminine of the Latin dominus (Romanian domn) that means lord.


The History of Callatis and More The Ancient Pontic World
and Its Connection to Romanians (with Map)
About Cybele


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