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Portraits Of Power - The Faces Of Imperial Rome

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 Posted 02/28/2020  01:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finally filled a few holes I was waiting on, time to get this thread up and running again!

Chapter V: 193 AD - The Year of Five Emperors


Pertinax, 1 January - 28 March 193



AR Denarius
IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, Laureate bust right
PROVID DEOR COS II, Providentia standing left

Born in 126 to a freed slave, Pertinax began his political career by enlisting in the army. He served in the Parthian war under Lucius Verus, where he distinguished himself and rose through the ranks quickly, being admitted into the Senatorial class and serving as Procurator of Dacia. He fought in the Marcomannic wars in the late 160s, and was granted a consulship with Didius Julianus in 175. Thereafter, he was granted the governorship of Moesia, Dacia, Syria, and Britain in turn. His political career was rocky throughout the 180s, as he was well-known both for his capable command, and his strict disciplinarian style. After serving as proconsul of Africa from 188-189, Pertinax was made the Prefect of Rome in 190, and shared the consulship with Commodus in 192.

Commodus was assassinated on the night of New Year's Eve of 192, and Pertinax was declared emperor the following morning. He was warmly received by the people and senatorial class, but he was disgusted by the state of the Praetorian Guard, who had stopped behaving like soldiers and started behaving like aristocracy. They were pampered, lazy, and spoiled--Pertinax resolved to whip them back into shape. He slashed their accession bonus, used the savings to increase the fineness of the denarius back to 87%, and stalled as long as he could in actually paying them, ultimately selling off his predecessor's estates for funds. Discontent among the Praetorians grew rapidly, and Pertinax survived a coup attempt in early March 193. Finally, on 28 March 193, as many as three hundred disgruntled Praetorians stormed the imperial palace, meeting no resistance as the palace guard also considered themselves underpaid. Although he had the opportunity to flee and regroup with more loyal forces, Pertinax instead chose to meet and attempt to negotiate with the Praetorians. Negotiations failed, and Pertinax was cut down by his own guard, having reigned only 87 days. He was 67 years old.
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http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
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 Posted 02/28/2020  01:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Didius Julianus, 28 March - 1 June 193


AR Denarius
IMP CAES M DID IVLIAN AVG, Laureate bust right
CONCORD MILIT, Concordia standing between two army standards

Born in 133 to an illustrious and old Patrician family, Didius Julianus fast-tracked his way to prominence when his family sent him to live with and study under Domitia Lucilla, the biological mother of Marcus Aurelius. He entered politics at an early age, and distinguished himself at the head of a legion in Mogontiacum against a barbarian invasion in 167, and was granted the governorship of that province, and then Africa. He served as consul in 175 alongside Pertinax. He fell from grace with Commodus (reportedly for attempting to stir up trouble) and was exiled to Mediolanum for a time, but later acquitted of all charges. He was in Rome attending a banquet on 28 March 193 when emperor Pertinax was murdered by his disaffected Praetorian guard. He received word that the now leaderless Praetorians were holding a public auction, promising to bestow the Principate on the highest bidder. Urged on by his wife, he ran at once to the gates of the Praetorian camp, and, despite being denied entry, began to shout loudly his bids, seeking to outbid his own father in law, Sulpicianus. He ultimately won the nomination after promising every soldier in the Praetorian guard an exorbitant sum of 25,000 sesterces. The Praetorians hailed him as Imperator, and marched with him on the Senate, where he gave a speech and was ratified by the fearful senators, including the historian Cassius Dio.

While fear kept the Senators in line, the populace was not afraid to voice their displeasure, openly shouting insults at Julianus whenever he appeared in public. A riot broke out and the common citizens of Rome armed themselves and gathered in the Circus Maximus, where they invoked the gods to send Pescennius Niger to liberate them from Julianus. After a day they dispersed, but their sentiment remained bitter. Word of the accession quickly spread throughout the provinces, and three men were declared emperor simultaneously - Septimius Severus, Clodius Albinus, and Pescennius Niger. Severus was the closest to Rome and in the best position to strike, so, reaching a peace treaty with Albinus, began his march. Hearing of this, Julianus attempted to send spies to stir up rebellion from within Severus' legions and assassins to kill him, but all of his agents defected. Julianus began to fortify his position within Rome, recalling all the soldiers he could muster and began drilling the Praetorians, who, to his shock and disgust, were so pampered under Commodus that they did not even know how to drill. The public drew great entertainment watching the hopeless guard, whose war-elephants refused to follow commands and threw off their riders. As Severus entered Italy without resistance, Didius Julianus in desperation begged first to share the Principate, and then to be allowed to abdicate. Severus promised amnesty to the bulk of the Praetorian guard if they surrendered the murderers of Pertinax and Julianus himself, and was welcomed into Rome unopposed. On June 1 the Senate declared Julianus a public enemy, and members of the Praetorian arrived in the palace to put him to death. His only words were, "But what evil have I done? Whom have I killed?" He was beheaded on the spot, and his body later given to his wife and daughter. Julianus was 60 years old, and had reigned only 65 days, the shortest confirmed reign of any "true" Roman emperor.
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 Posted 02/28/2020  02:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Manlia Scantilla, Wife of Didius Julianus, Died mid-193



AR Denarius
MANL SCANTILLA AVG, Draped bust right
IVNO REGINA, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter, peacock at feet

Very little is known of Didius Julianus' wife. Her name suggests descent from the illustrious gens Manlia. Cassius Dio relates that she was the one who urged her husband to submit his bids for the Purple, despite the fact that her husband was bidding against her own father, Sulpicianus. Julianus bestowed the title of Augusta to Manlia Scantilla and their daughter Didia Clara upon his ascention on March 28.

No detail survives of her short tenure as empress of Rome. When her husband was killed, Septimius Severus allowed her to give a proper cremation to her husband. She and her daughter were stripped of their titles, and Manlia Scantilla died of natural causes about a month after her husband.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
Edited by Finn235
02/28/2020 02:04 am
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 Posted 02/28/2020  02:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Didia Clara, Daughter of Didius Julianus, fate unknown



AR Denarius
DIDIA CLARA AVG, Draped bust right
HILAR TEMPOR, Hilaritas standing left, holding palm and cornucopiae

Didia Clara was the adult daughter of Didius Julianus, roughly 40 years old when her father purchased the title of Augustus from the Praetorian Guard on March 28, 193 following the assasination of Pertinax. Said to be one of the most beautiful women in the empire, no historical sources mention her in any detail. She was given in marriage to the urban Prefect, Sextus Cornelius Repentinus, to solidify her father's position. Julianus however was murdered on June 1 of the same year, upon the arrival of Septimius Severus. Clara's mother, Manlia Scantilla, died about a month later of natural causes. Clara and her husband were spared, and retired to obscurity.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
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 Posted 02/28/2020  4:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great coins Steve!.....Really enjoying this thread...

These are the rulers that can sting your pocket!.. so well done on acquiring them...

Love the little write ups packed full of info/history..

Would really like to know what happened to Didia Clara though?

Keep em coming...Paul
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 Posted 02/28/2020  4:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Great coins Steve!.....Really enjoying this thread...Love the little write ups


Ditto!
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 Posted 02/28/2020  5:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all! It feels good to finally have these gaps filled, although even problem coins for this single year ended up being about 1/4 of the value of my *entire* Roman collection! This was not a cheap endeavor...
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
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 Posted 03/02/2020  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pescennius Niger, Unsuccessful Claimant April 193 - May 194



AR Denarius
IMP CAES C PESC NIGER IVS AVG COS II, Laureate head rignt
BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing left, holding bowl of fruits and ears of wheat

Born in the late 130s to an equestrian family, most of Niger's early career was likely expunged following his failed war against Severus. He is known to have held a suffect consulship under Commodus in the 180s (exact date lost) and he was stationed as the legate of Syria in 191. Cassius Dio paints him as a violent and simple man, but nevertheless popular with the citizens of the empire.

When news came of the assassination of Pertinax and subsequent auctioning of the Principate to Julianus, Niger was pressed by popular demand into claiming the purple himself. In what was perhaps his fatal error, he deemed it more important to rally the support of the eastern provinces than to beat Severus to Rome. Although Niger was successful in gaining the loyalty of the East, he was only able to muster six legions to his war, whereas Severus had sixteen. Despite some initial tactical victories, Niger was driven to first abandon his base at Byzantium, then at Nicaea by December 193. He turned down an offer by Severus to surrender and go into exile and pressed on, even as his cities switched allegiance. Niger was finally defeated outside of Antioch in May 194 and was captured while attempting to flee to Parthia. He was summarily executed and his head sent back to Rome, where his wife, children, and all of his political supporters were put to death. Despite the news of their emperor's death, Byzantium refused to surrender and held out until early 195 and was razed to the ground as punishment.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 03/02/2020  9:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve, you "jumped the shark" on these coins. I hope to someday reach that level of collecting, but for now, I'll keep on filling in the affordable gaps in my collection. When that is done, maybe the kids will be out of the house and life may slow down a little (probably not) and I will pursue the coins you have so shared with us.
P.S. Your write ups are the best.
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 Posted 03/11/2020  12:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks! Glad this thread is still being enjoyed
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 03/11/2020  12:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Clodius Albinus
Unsuccessful Claimant, April 193 (briefly, no coins)
Caesar under Septimius Severus April 193 - Late 196
Usurper v. Septimius Severus Late 196 - February 197


Caesar Under Severus

AR Denarius
D CL SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right
PROVID AVG COS, Providentia standing left
Rome Mint, 193 AD

As Usurper

AR Denarius
IMP CAES D CLO ALBIN AVG, Laureate head right
GEN LVG COS II, Genius of Lugdunum standing left
Lugdunum mint, early 197

Decimus Clodius Septimius Albinus Augustus was born about the year 150 to a prestigious and old family in Roman Africa. It was said he was given the name "Albinus" because he was impressively pale. He came to prominence as a young general when he proved instrumental in defeating the usurper Avidus Cassius against the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius was deeply appreciative of his actions, and under Commodus he was given control of legions in Gaul and later Britannia. Albinus was not fond of Commodus, and was only spared of being stripped of his command when the latter was assasinated.

In the civil war that followed the unstable rule of Julianus, Albinus was one of three men declared emperor by the troops. Realizing that he could not reach Rome in time to solidify his cliam, he allied with Septimius Severus, accepting the title of Caesar, and the two waged war on Pescennius Niger in Syria. They were victorious in 196, over a year after Niger himself had been killed. Severus soon revealed his intent to create a dynasty out of his family, elevating his son Antoninus Pius (Caracalla) as his successor. Albinus narrowly escaped assassination and retreated to Lugdunum where he was hailed as emperor in the fall (possibly November) of 196. He mustered the ~150,000 troops loyal to him, and prepared to make a last stand. He met Severus in a pitched battle on February 19, 197, and was defeated. He probably died on the battlefield, aged about 47.

Severus had the body of Clodius Albinus stripped and laid on the ground before him, then trampled it with his horse. He ordered Lugdunum plundered for harboring the usurper, then ordered Albinus' wife and children hunted down, beheaded and thrown into a river. Albinus' body was beheaded, and his head rode back to Rome on a pike.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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