I don't collect a ton of Roman Imperials but the opportunity to own this coin was too tempting to pass up Septimius Severus
Rome, AD 206
AR denarius, 3.41 gm, 20 mm, 12h
Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right
Rev: LAETITIA TEMPORVM, the spina of the Circus Maximus decorated as a ship facing left, with the turning posts at its prow and stern, a sail mounted on the central obelisk, and the spina's other monuments visible in between; above the ship, four quadrigas racing left; below, seven animals: an ostrich at left and a bear at right; between them a lion and a lioness chasing a wild donkey and a panther attacking a bison
Ref: RIC 274; BMC 343.
Near Extremely Fine. Very Rare.Privately acquired August 2014
ex Colosseo Collection
ex Roma Numismatics, Auction VII, lot 1108
Lighting and camera settings can markedly impact the look of a given coin. Here's another image of the coin with a different lamp, different position, and different camera settings. While the other image more closely resembles the in-hand look in daylight, the following images highlight the devices nicely.
The Roman Empire Secular Games were massive celebrations which occurred approximately every ~100-110 years. They may have begun as early as 509 BC but became more regular during the Republic.
Septimius Severus was in power during a Secular Games year and staged a memorable celebration. This coin commemorates the event. Per Dio Cassius:
"The whole construction in the amphitheatre was made in the form of a ship, and was so conceived that 400 beasts might be received 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." (LXXVII, 4-5).
For more details of the Secular Games and to see an even better example of this coin, click here
It's been quite a year in coins for me and I've been working on my website these last few weeks. I may make some major changes to the layout and functionality and I have bunches of coins to add-- including some fantastic new purchases-- but it's coming along. Please check it out
Last week I added a "stories" section. Some of that content was pulled from various forum posts.
Thanks for looking, and feel free to post your Septimius Severus or Secular Games coins in this thread!