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    Unlikely Soldier

    Elagabalus (AD 218-222). AV aureus (21mm, 7.38 gm, 1h).  Rome, AD 218-219. IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus right / FIDES MILITVM, Elagabalus, laureate and in military attire, standing right, holding transverse spear, flanked by a soldier carrying signum and shield to right and a second soldier holding a standard topped by a hand  behind; a third signa in the background. RIC 76d. BMCRE 16 note. Cohen 42. Calic├│ 2994. Extremely rare! With choice surfaces and a well-modeled portrait, deeply struck on a broad flan. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice XF 5/5 - 3/5, Fine Style, edge marks.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Spink (London, March 2000), lot 20. 

    As a 14-year-old transvestite sun-worshipping exotic dancer, the Emperor Elagabalus made for an unlikely soldier. Yet in this age of "iron and rust," no Roman emperor could hope to gain and hold the throne without the support of Rome's legionaries. At the Battle of Antioch in June of AD 218, the youthful pretender actually out-soldiered his rival Macrinus by charging to the front of the battle line and urging his men to keep up the fight; Macrinus, in contrast, lost heart and fled the field. This beautiful aureus, struck shortly after the battle and Elagabalus' assumption of supreme power, presents a militant image of the most non-military of rulers, showing the young emperor in full kit  and surrounded by his supportive soldiers. Once ensconced in the Imperial palace, however, Elagabalus quickly lost the affection of the soldiery by engaging in ever more outrageous and un-Roman antics. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    I wish to extend our appreciation to you for over $925,000.00 realized from the above subject auction. This amount realized was approximately $110,000.00 more than we anticipated.
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