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    PACATOR ORBIS: Severus Pacifies the World

    Septimius Severus (AD 193-211). AV aureus (20mm, 6.89 gm, 6h). Rome, ca. AD 202-210. SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head of Septimius Severus right / PACATOR ORBIS, radiate and draped bust of Sol right. RIC 282. Calicó 2487a (same reverse die; "small head of Sol" variety). Rare. A few barely noticeable scattered surface marks, but otherwise well-centered and overall a very attractive Good Extremely Fine.

    Following the assassination of Commodus in AD 192, the Roman Empire was thrown in to civil war resulting in the Year of the Five Emperors. Out of this chaos emerged Septimius Severus, a provincial soldier who fought his way to the highest office in the empire. His reign ushered in a time of peace and restoration of the empire after the tumultuous rule of Commodus. 

    The present coin, however, does not seem to directly commemorate Severus's rise to power in AD 193 but, rather, the pacification of the provinces a decade in to his reign. Calicó dates this issue to sometime between AD 202 and 210, when Severus was campaigning in North Africa and Britain. The reverse legend "PACATOR ORBIS" translates roughly to "Pacifier of the World," a clear reference to his military pursuits on the fringes of the Roman Empire. 

    There have been six examples of this type on the market in the last decade that have ranged in price from $2,650 (for a Very Fine ex-jewelry example in CNG E-Auction 95, 4 August 2004, lot 151) to 60,000 CHF (about $62,000) for the Calicó plate coin that was also from the Jameson and Biaggi collections (NAC 72, 16 May 2013, lot 678). This example, fresh to the market after being held privately for several decades, certainly ranks among the best of these six. Aside from a few scattered circulation marks on the obverse that are only noticeable under magnification, there are absolutely no detriments to this piece. Both the advanced specialist  and novice collector can surely appreciate the rarity and beauty of this piece, and we expect the bidding to reflect that.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 944

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