Septimius Severus, 193-211. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.09 g, 11 h), Laodicea ad Mare, 201. L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Septimius Severus to right, seen from behind. Rev. COS II P P Victory advancing left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm over her left shoulder. Biaggi 1067 (this coin). BMC 655 note. Calicó 2443 (this coin illustrated). Cohen -. RIC 503b. Very rare and with a fine pedigree. A few light marks, otherwise, about extremely fine.
Ex UBS 75, 22 January 2008, 1070, from the Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection, Sotheby's, 19-20 June 1991, 820 and from the collection of Leo Biaggi de Blasys (1906-1979).
Amidst the chaos of Commodus' assassination in December 192 and Pertinax' swift demise a few months later in March 193, Septimius Severus made a bid for the throne, first sweeping aside Didius Julianus that same year, then dealing with Pescennius Niger in 194 and his erstwhile Caesar, Clodius Albinus, in 196 or 197. At the same time, Severus pursued an aggressive policy toward the Parthian Empire, which had lended aid to Niger, culminating in the sack of Ctesiphon in 198. This feat earned him the title of Parthicus Maximus and saw him acclaimed imperator for the eleventh time, as shown on our coin. Indeed, by the time this wonderful aureus was struck, Septimius Severus was the undisputed master of the Empire, having conquered all of his foes, Roman or otherwise, during one of the bloodiest periods in Roman history.