Jumping ahead of myself in my "Portraits thread" as I wait for a recent purchase to arrive in the mail; just had to share this one!
Julia Domna, as Pia Felix (After the death of Septimius Severus)
IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, Draped bust right
MAT AVGG MAT SEN M PATR, Julia (as Cybele, the Mother Goddess) seated left in chair, holding branch and scepter
The Severan dynasty was characterized by powerful women running the show, and this coin unabashedly brings that fact straight into the spotlight:
MAT AVGG - Mother of the Emperors,
MAT SEN - Mother of the Senate,
M PATR - Mother of the Fatherland
Particularly interesting is the plural AVGG - Domna would not have been characterized as the mother of her deceased husband Septimius, therefore the second G most likely indicates that this was struck during the brief co-rule of her sons Caracalla and Geta, from February 4 - December 26, 211. The olive branch she holds on the reverse is fitting - she spent nearly the entire eleven months of her son's co-rule thwarting attempts by each brother to divide the empire, initiate civil war, and even assassinate the other. She ultimately failed, however, as Caracalla is said to have stabbed Geta to death in front of her on December 26, 211. Furthermore, these coins (This, and the variant with Julia standing on the reverse) are not only scarce, but also seldom found in less than VF/XF condition, indicating that the bulk of the production was subject to seizure and melting by Caracalla in his attempt to erase Geta from history.