Severus Alexander Big Rare Ancient Roman Coin Mars War God Cult i52994
Item: i52994 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Severus Alexander – Roman Emperor : 222-235 A. Bronze As 24mm (10.76 grams) Rome mint circa 222-235 A. Reference: RIC IV 637. IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped bust right MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right, holding spear and shield, S-C across fields. Was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter , and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Martius Latin), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming. Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares , whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus , the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars’ altar in the Campus Martius , the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa , the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars’ worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium) , Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace , and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome , Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas , celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls. The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces. The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, and the couple were a frequent subject of art. In Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus (whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan) caught them in the act by means of a magical snare. Although not originally part of the Roman tradition, in 217 BC Venus and Mars were presented as a complementary pair in the lectisternium , a public banquet at which images of twelve major gods of the Roman state were presented on couches as if present and participating. Wall painting (mid-1st century AD) from which the House of Venus and Mars at Pompeii takes its name. Scenes of Venus and Mars in Roman art often ignore the adulterous implications of their union, and take pleasure in the good-looking couple attended by Cupid or multiple Loves (amores). Some scenes may imply marriage, and the relationship was romanticized in funerary or domestic art in which husbands and wives had themselves portrayed as the passionate divine couple. The uniting of deities representing Love and War lent itself to allegory , especially since the lovers were the parents of Harmonia. The Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino notes that “only Venus dominates Mars, and he never dominates her”. In ancient Roman and Renaissance art, Mars is often shown disarmed and relaxed, or even sleeping, but the extramarital nature of their affair can also suggest that this peace is impermanent. She-wolf and twins from an altar to Venus and Mars. The earliest center in Rome for cultivating Mars as a deity was the Altar of Mars (Ara Martis) in the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”) outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium). The Romans thought that this altar had been established by the semi-legendary Numa Pompilius , the peace-loving successor of Romulus. According to Roman tradition, the Campus Martius had been consecrated to Mars by their ancestors to serve as horse pasturage and an equestrian training ground for youths. During the Roman Republic (50927 BC), the Campus was a largely open expanse. No temple was built at the altar, but from 193 BC a covered walkway connected it to the Porta Fontinalis , near the office and archives of the Roman censors. Newly elected censors placed their curule chairs by the altar, and when they had finished conducting the census, the citizens were collectively purified with a suovetaurilia there. A frieze from the so-called “Altar” of Domitius Ahenobarbus is thought to depict the census, and may show Mars himself standing by the altar as the procession of victims advances. The main Temple of Mars (Aedes Martis) in the Republican period also lay outside the sacred boundary and was devoted to the god’s warrior aspect. It was built to fulfill a vow (votum) made by a Titus Quinctius in 388 BC during the Gallic siege of Rome. The founding day (dies natalis) was commemorated on June 1, and the temple is attested by several inscriptions and literary sources. The sculpture group of Mars and the wolves was displayed there. Soldiers sometimes assembled at the temple before heading off to war, and it was the point of departure for a major parade of Roman cavalry held annually on July 15. A temple to Mars in the Circus Flaminius was built around 133 BC, funded by Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus from war booty. It housed a colossal statue of Mars and a nude Venus. The Campus Martius continued to provide venues for equestrian events such as chariot racing during the Imperial period , but under the first emperor Augustus it underwent a major program of urban renewal, marked by monumental architecture. The Altar of Augustan Peace (Ara Pacis Augustae) was located there, as was the Obelisk of Montecitorio , imported from Egypt to form the pointer (gnomon) of the Solarium Augusti , a giant sundial. With its public gardens, the Campus became one of the most attractive places in the city to visit. Augustus chose the Campus Martius as the site of his new Temple to Mars Ultor, a manifestation of Mars he cultivated as the avenger (ultor) of the murder of Julius Caesar and of the military disaster suffered at the Battle of Carrhae. When the legionary standards lost to the Parthians were recovered, they were housed in the new temple. The date of the temple’s dedication on May 12 was aligned with the heliacal setting of the constellation Scorpio , the house of war. The date continued to be marked with circus games as late as the mid-4th century AD. A large statue of Mars was part of the short-lived Arch of Nero , which was built in 62 AD but dismantled after Nero’s suicide and disgrace (damnatio memoriae). SEVERUS ALEXANDER Augustus: A. Son of Julia Mamaea Husband of Orbiana Grandson of Julia Maesa Nephew of Julia Soaemias Cousin of Elagabalus Second-cousin of Caracalla and Geta Great-newphew of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208March 18, 235 AD), commonly called Alexander Severus , was the last Roman emperor (11 March 222235) of the Severan dynasty. Alexander Severus succeeded his cousin, Elagabalus upon the latter’s assassination in 222 AD, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century nearly fifty years of disorder, Roman civil wars, economic chaos, regional rebellions, and external threats that brought the Empire to near-collapse. Alexander Severus was the heir apparent to his cousin, the eighteen-year-old Emperor who had been murdered along with his mother by his own guardsand as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river. He and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa , who had arranged for Elagabalus’ acclamation as Emperor by the famed Third Gallic Legion. A rumor of Alexander’s death circulated, triggering the assassination of Elagabalus. Alexander’s reign was marked by troubles. In military conflict against the rising Sassanid Empire , there are mixed accounts, though the Sassanid threat was checked. However, when campaigning against Germanic tribes of Germania , Alexander Severus apparently alienated his legions by trying diplomacy and bribery, and they assassinated him. Alexander was born with the name Marcus Julius Gessius Bassianus Alexianus. Alexander’s father, Marcus Julius Gessius Marcianus was a Syrian Promagistrate. His mother Julia Avita Mamaea was the second daughter of Julia Maesa and Syrian noble Julius Avitus and maternal aunt of Emperor Elagabalus. He had an elder sister called Theoclia and little is known about her. Alexander’s maternal great-aunt was empress Julia Domna (also Maesa’s younger sister) and his great-uncle in marriage was emperor Lucius Septimius Severus. Emperors Caracalla and Publius Septimius Geta , were his mother’s maternal cousins. In 221, Alexander’s grandmother, Maesa, persuaded the emperor to adopt his cousin as successor and make him Caesar and Bassianus changed his name to Alexander. In the following year, on March 11, Elagabalus was murdered, and Alexander was proclaimed emperor by the Praetorians and accepted by the Senate. When Alexander became emperor, he was young, amiable, well-meaning, and entirely under the dominion of his mother. Julia Mamaea was a woman of many virtues, and she surrounded the young emperor with wise counsellors. She watched over the development of her son’s character and improved the tone of the administration. On the other hand, she was inordinately jealous. She also alienated the army by extreme parsimony, and neither she nor her son were strong enough to impose military discipline. Mutinies became frequent in all parts of the empire; to one of them the life of the jurist and praetorian praefect Ulpian was sacrificed; another compelled the retirement of Cassius Dio from his command. On the whole, however, the reign of Alexander was prosperous until the rise, in the east, of the Sassanids. Of the war that followed there are various accounts. (Mommsen leans to that which is least favourable to the Romans). According to Alexander’s own dispatch to the senate, he gained great victories. At all events, though the Sassanids were checked for the time, the conduct of the Roman army showed an extraordinary lack of discipline. The following year he was called to face German invaders in Gaul , who had breached the Rhine frontier in several places, destroying forts and over-running the countryside. Alexander mustered his forces, bringing legions from the eastern provinces, and crossed the Rhine into Germany on a pontoon bridge. Whether this was a wise policy or not, it caused the Roman legionaries to look down on their emperor as one who was prepared to commit unsoldierly conduct. Herodian says “in their opinion Alexander showed no honourable intention to pursue the war and preferred a life of ease, when he should have marched out to punish the Germans for their previous insolence”. These circumstances drove the army to look for a new leader. They chose Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus , a Thracian soldier who had worked his way up through the ranks. Following the nomination of Maximinus as emperor, Alexander was slain (on either March 18 or March 19, 235), together with his mother, in a mutiny of the Primigenia Legio XXII. These assassinations secured the throne for Maximinus. The death of Alexander is considered as the end of the Principate system established by Augustus. Although the Principate continued in theory until the reign of Diocletian , Alexander Severus’ death signalled the beginning of the chaotic period known as the Crisis of the Third Century which weakened the empire considerably. Alexander was the last of the Syrian emperors. Under the influence of his mother, he did much to improve the morals and condition of the people. His advisers were men like the famous jurist Ulpian, the historian Cassius Dio and a select board of sixteen senators; a municipal council of fourteen assisted the urban praefect in administering the affairs of the fourteen districts of Rome. In religious matters Alexander preserved an open mind. It is said that he was desirous of erecting a temple to the founder of Christianity , but was dissuaded by the pagan priests. Alexander was married three times. His most famous wife was Sallustia Orbiana , Augusta , whom he married in 225. He divorced and exiled her in 227, after her father, Seius Sallustius , was executed for attempting to assassinate the emperor. Another wife was Sulpicia Memmia. Her father was a man of consular rank; her grandfather’s name was Catulus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? 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