||4 assaria - Severus Alexander / coiled snake||
26 mm diameter, 10.42 grams, AE |
Reverse: coiled snake, with head to the right, with tongue out of the mouth; the scales of the serpent are visible; at left value Δ (Delta); legend KAΛΛATIA NΩN, outer linear circle
|Obverse: laureate bust of Severus Alexander to the right, legend AVT K M AVP CEVH AAEZANΔPOC, outer linear circle|
This ancient coin is present on Romanian coins through the courtesy of Mr. Gabriel Vandervort, owner of Ancient Resource.
The coin corresponds to the description at number 310 in the Moushmov catalog and is described in AMNG I at position 334 (AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898).
About the legend on the obverse
The legend surrounding the head of the emperor Severus Alexander is AVT K M AVP CEVH AAEZANΔPOC, standing for the Greek translation of the Latin IM(perator) C(aesar) M(arcus) AUR(elius) SEVE(rus) Alexander. 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 probably short for Kaisar, Caesar.
About emperor Severus Alexander (222 - 234)
Severus Alexander was son of Cassius Marcianus and of Julia Mammaea, being nephew of Julia Domna. At birth he was named Marcus Julius Gessius Alexianus Bassianus. In 221 AD he was adopted by his cousin, emperor Elagabalus. He was proclaimed Caesar, his name being changed to Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander.
Severus Alexander became emperor in 222 AD, following the death of Elagabalus. Until year 226 the empire was governed by his grandmother Julia Maesa, and after 226, by his mother, Julia Mammaea. In 234 AD Severus Alexander was assasinated together with his mother and the throne was occupied by Maximinus Thrax.