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5 assaria - Septimius Severus - Callatis
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5 assaria coin from Callatis - Septimius Severus - reverse 5 assaria coin from Callatis - Septimius Severus - obverse
~28 mm diameter, ~11-12 grams, AE
Reverse: bearded Heracles, nude, standing, with club in the right hand, holding the three apples of Hesperides in the left hand. Over the left arm the hero holds the skin of the Nemean lion. At left is written the denomination value E (Epsilon = 5). Circular legend KAΛΛA TIANΩN, outer pearl circle
Obverse: laureate Septimius Severus to the right, draped and cuirassed bust, legend AVKΛCE CEVHPOCΠ, 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 282 in the Moushmov catalog.

The coin is also described in AMNG I, as a variant of number 306, K28 (AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898). At the main type Heracles holds in the left hand his bow instead of the apples of Hesperides.

About the legend on the coin obverse

The legend accompanying the portrait of emperor Septimius Severus, AV K Λ CE CEVHPOC Π, is the Greek translation of the Latin legend IMP(erator) C(aesar) L(ucius) SE(ptimius) SEVERUS P(ertinax). The word imperator was translated by autocrator (autokrates in Greek meaning governing by one's self), IMP being replaced by AV. Letter K following AV is most probably short for Kaisar, Caesar. Septimius Severus declared to be the avenger of the death of the emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax, so he adopted the name Pertinax.

About emperor Septimius Severus

Septimius Severus (146 - 211) was born in Leptis Magna, a city in the Roman province Africa Proconsularis, today in Libya, in a family of equestrian rank.

In year 193 the empire passed through a very agitated period. On January 1st Commodus was assassinated, Pertinax being proclaimed emperor. After less than three months Pertinax was murdered by the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard, who sold the throne at auction to Didius Iulianus. When the rumor about the auction reached the provinces, the troops revolted: in Britannia Clodius Albinus was proclaimed emperor, in Syria Pescennius Niger. Septimius Severus was proclaimed emperor too, at Carnuntum (nowadays in Austria) by the legions of Pannonia Inferior.

Septimius rushed to Rome, occupied the capital of the empire and disarmed the Praetorian Guard. He needed not to fight with Didius Iulianus, because Didius was executed by his own troops. For the reunification of the empire Septimius Severus appointed Clodius Albinus as caesar - potential heir of the imperial purple. After this he started a military campaign in the Orient. After a decisive battle in 194 at Issos Pescennius Niger is defeated. The campaign against Clodius Albinus followed soon after. Septimius Severus won the great battle of Lugdunum (today Lyon, in France) in year 197, becoming the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.

After the death of Septimius Severus in 211 his sons Caracalla (proclaimed caesar in 196 and augustus in 198) and Geta (proclaimed caesar in 198 and augustus in 209) ruled the empire.


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


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