Septimius Severus, 193-211. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.29 g, 6 h), Rome, 201. SEVERVS AVG PART MAX Laureate head of Septimius Severus to right, seen from behind and with aegis over shoulders. Rev. IVLIA AVGVSTA Draped bust of Julia Domna to right. BMC 192. Calicó 2587a (same dies). Cohen 1. RIC 161a. Very rare and in exceptional condition. A lustrous and sharply struck example with two wonderful portraits of magnificent style. Virtually as struck.
Undoubtedly in an attempt to portray the Severan dynasty as an anchor of stability, the year 201 saw a massive output of coins bearing dynastic types. After his victories in the civil wars and the successful Parthian campaigns, Septimius Severus' auctoritas was at its height, and the fact that he had two healthy sons promised a bright future to the Empire. Our coin was struck from what might be the most beautiful die pair of this series: the portraits of Septimius Severus, who is shown wearing the aegis (sometimes described as a lion's skin in error), and his wife, Julia Domna, show a nobility and friendliness that are quite remarkable.