By Chris ChatignyNumismatist & Cataloger, Stacks Bowers ……
 

Ancient Roman gold aureus of Julia Domna. Images courtesy Stack's Bowers Auctions

This next ancient coin preview from our August ANA World’s Fair of Money auction is a magnificent Julia Domna Aureus, the wife of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus.

Julia was the scion of a wealthy and powerful family from Emesa (modern-day Homs, Syria). History remembers her as an avid learner and for the political influence she wielded which expanded during the reign of her son Caracalla. Julia chose to accompany Septimius on his military campaigns, earning her the adoration of the soldiers. She also fostered the arts and literature, garnering the respect of the intellectual class of Rome. Julia accomplished much as Augusta, including providing heirs for the continuation of the newly established Severan dynasty.

In order to placate the Roman populace after her husband’s violent ascension to the title of Emperor, Julia Domna’s coinage promulgated a message of stability through the imperial family, with “Aeternit Imperi” on the reverse legend of this coin. A common form of propaganda, coinage in the Roman Empire provided a way for the emperors and their families to inspire hope and confidence in a new leader after the violent overthrow of the previous regime.

The obverse features a draped bust of Julia Domna, wearing her signature Syrian hairstyle (which Roman woman would soon emulate).

The reverse features the message stated above, loosely translated to “of the Eternal Empire” and featuring the portraits of the emperor’s heirs (both eventual Emperors): Geta and Caracalla. This example is of the finest quality, as well as being a very rare type. We expect tremendous results for this popular empress.

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We are currently accepting consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our October 2018 Collectors Choice Online Coin Auction as well as the January 2019 New York International Coin Auction. In addition, we are taking consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Coin Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.
 

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