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Lot 84





Estimate: 5'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 4'000 CHF Price realized: 4'400 CHF
Septime Sévère (193-211)
Denier - Rome (204)
D’une qualité remarquable et d’une grande rareté.
Flan légèrement fendu.
Exemplaire de la vente Tkalec du 23 octobre 1992, N°298 et de la collection « Athena Fund » vente Sotheby’s (Zurich) des 27 et 28 octobre 1993, N°1627 et de la collection P.F. Molina vente Aureo & Calicó « Imagines Imperatorum » du 8 février 2012, N°146
3.13g - C. 253 (60 francs or)
Superbe - NGC AU (5/5 4/5) flan flaw
Septimius wanted to highlight the parallels between his own victories and those of Augustus, and in AD 204 he organized the Ludi Saeculares on the model of the games which his predecessor had held in 17 BC in celebration of the foundation of Rome.
“The whole construction in the amphitheatre was made in the form of a ship, and was so conceived that 400 beasts might be re- ceived into it, and at the same time be sent forth from it. Then, when it suddenly collapsed there issued out of it bears, lionesses, panthers, lions, ostriches, wild asses and bison, so that seven hundred beasts, both wild and domesticated, were seen running about at the same time and were slaughtered.” (Dio Cassius LXXVI.1.1-5). The reverse of this coin illustrates this relation of the games held on the seventh and final day of the Ludi Saeculares in AD 204, with the central ship being the spina of the Circus Maximus, decorated with turning posts and a sail, around which chariot races and animal hunts were held. It is surrounded by four quadrigas, and a group of exotic animals that include an ostrich, a bear, a lion and a lioness, a wild ass, a panther and a bison, and indeed inscriptions say that some 700 beasts were killed (one hundred of each). laetitia temporum, a “happy time”, is the new Golden Age inaugurated by Septimius Severus the ‘second Augustus’, as indicated in what remains of the hexameter poem of fifty lines that was composed at the time by an unknown writer. In addition to those circus races, Severus organized gladiatorial games, and distributed a donative, for which this coin was most probably used – though C. Clay suggested in 2000 (Berk 115, lot 400) that the portrait indicate a strike in AD 206 rather than AD 204.

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