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Septimius Severus / Tyche - Roman provincial coin from Histria - reverse Septimius Severus / Tyche - Roman provincial coin from Histria - obverse
28-29 mm diameter, 17-18 grams, AE
Reverse: goddess Tyche standing, to the left, wearing kalathos (hat), holding rudder in the right hand and horn of plenty in the left hand, at left burning altar, at right Greek thalassic symbol: sea eagle clawing a dolphin; inscription ICTPIH NΩN, outer pearled circle
Obverse: laureate head of emperor Septimius Severus to the right, inscription [A]YK Λ·CEΠTI· ·CEYHPOC Π, outer pearl circle

The ancient coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. GLV. The coin belongs to the category of provincial Roman coins, sometimes called Greek imperial. The coin corresponds to the description at number 169 in the Moushmov catalog and is described in AMNG I at position 497 (AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898).

About the legend on the coin obverse

The legend accompanying the portrait of emperor Septimius Severus, AV K Λ CEΠTI CEVHPOC Π, is the Greek translation of the Latin legend IM(perator) C(aesar) L(ucius) SEPTI(mius) 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 Histria and More The Ancient Pontic World
and Its Connection to Romanians (with Map)
About Tyche


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