Geta, 209-211. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 31 mm, 22.56 g, 1 h), Rome, 210. IMP CAES P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG Laureate head of Geta to right, with slight drapery on his left shoulder. Rev. PONTIF TR P II COS II / S C Septimius Severus, with Caracalla and Geta standing to left and right behind him, standing right on platform, addressing two officers, looking right, and two soldiers, looking left, before him on the ground below; behind them, aquila, standard and three curved fasces. BMC -, cf. 220 (misdescribed, but with one officer, two soldiers, a horse and no fasces). Cohen 147 var. (with one officer, two soldiers and a horse). Lanz 165 (2017), 261 (but smoothed and tooled). RIC -, cf. 159b (with one officer, two soldiers, a horse and no fasces). An extremely rare variety of a very rare type. An impressive coin with a superb turquoise patina and a wonderful reverse composition. Flan crack, otherwise, about extremely fine.
The Roman invasion of Caledonia in 208-211 played a significant role in the relationship between Septimius Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta. The emperor was well aware of the intense hostility between the siblings and he hoped that military life would keep them away from scheming intrigues and start binding them together. The imperial iconography of the time proclaims the strength and unity of the Severan family: on this coin, we see Septimius and his sons addressing the troops in Britain. Caracalla and Geta are standing to the left and right behind their father and are, no doubt, presented as his legitimate and mutual successors. The old and sick emperor, however, proved to be unable to overcome the inveterate fraternal rivalry, and following his death on 4 February 211, the co-rule of his sons Caracalla and Geta would eventually last less than a year.