Ancient Roman Silver Denarius - Severus Alexander c. 222-235 AD


Silver Denarius - Ancient Rome, c. 222-235 AD

Ruler: Severus Alexander (Augustus)

Obv: Laureate bust of Severus Alexander, right

Rev: "SPES PVBLICA" Spes, advancing left, holding flower and raising skirt hem

Mint: Rome (struck 232 AD)

Sear-R7957, 20mm, 3.13gm

Severus Alexander was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235 and the last emperor of the Severan dynasty. He succeeded his cousin Elagabalus, upon the latter's assassination in 222, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century — nearly 50 years of civil wars, foreign invasion, and collapse of the monetary economy, though this last part is now disputed.

As emperor, Alexander's peace time reign was prosperous. He attempted to bring peace by engaging in diplomacy and bribery. This alienated many in the Roman Army and led to a conspiracy to assassinate and replace him. According to Canduci, Alexander is remembered as an emperor who was "level headed, well meaning, and conscientious," but his fatal flaw was his domination by his mother and grandmother. Not only did this undermine his authority, but his mother's influence was the cause of Alexander's least popular actions (convincing him not to take part in battle and trying to buy off the warring Germanic barbarians).

A beautiful example, well centered and well struck. Provenance: From the Joseph Donzanti Collection, ex Sayles and Lavender.

  • Inventory# PA-3422