Macrinus, 217-218. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 32 mm, 23.69 g, 12 h), Rome, summer 217-early 218. IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust of Macrinus with long beard to right. Rev. VICTORIA PARTHICA / S C Victory seated right on cuirass, holding stylus in her right hand, about to inscribe round shield balanced on her left knee; behind cuirass, shields. BMC 143. Clay Issue 2. Cohen 133. RIC 209. Very rare and undoubtedly among the finest known. An exceptionally attractive coin with a superb portrait of the finest style and a lovely brown patina. Thin flan crack, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
From an old Viennese collection, formed in the 1950s and 1960s and in 3rd generation family possession since.
The reverse of this wonderful sestertius proclaims a victory over the Parthians, which is somewhat ironic, since Macrinus - a civilian North African lawyer of humble origin and without any military experience - had to agree to a humiliating peace agreement with Artabanos IV following a defeat against the Parthians in the Battle of Nisibis in 217. In classic Roman propagandistic tradition, Macrinus' coinage celebrated the peace treaty as a victory over the archenemy, but the opposition among Severan loyalists and the Roman military soon sparked the rebellion of Julia Maesa and Elagabal in Emesa, which eventually led to the downfall and execution of Macrinus and Diadumenian in the summer of 218.