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    Attractive Diadumenian Sestertius

    Diadumenian as Caesar (AD 217-218). Orichalcum sestertius (33mm, 25.94 gm, 6h).  Rome, AD 217-218. M OPEL ANTONINVS DIADVMENIANVS CAES, bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust of Diadumenian right / PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Diadumenian in military attire and cloak, standing left, head turned right, holding standard in and scepter; to right, two more standards; S C in exergue. RIC (Macrinus) 211. BMCRE (Macrinus) 149. Cohen 7. RCV 7453. Rare. Flan crack at 10:00. Lovely deep green patina. Good Very Fine.

    At the tender age of eight, Marcus Opellius Diadumenianus was acclaimed Caesar and heir apparent to his father, Macrinus, who had engineered a coup against the Emperor Caracalla in April, AD 217. Both father and son had accompanied the Roman Army to the eastern frontier to prosecute Caracalla's Parthian war, thus Diadumenian's elevation took place at the Syrian city of Zeugma.  By all accounts, Diadumenian was a handsome lad of good character who might have made an excellent ruler had he ever exercise true power. But it was not to be, for Macrinus' regime began to crumble almost immediately after it commenced. In May of AD 218, a sizeable legionary force stationed at Emesa in Syria revolted and proclaimed Caracalla's 13-year-old cousin Elagabalus as emperor. Macrinus responded by raising Diadumenian to the rank of Augustus and promising the Praetorian Guard an accession bonus of 20,000 sesterces per man. But the rebel forces were victorious outside the walls of Antioch on June 8, and the rest of Macrinus' army abruptly switched sides. Before fleeing to the north, Macrinus entrusted his son to some loyal officers with instructions to deliver him to the Parthian court for safekeeping. Within a few days, both father and son had been intercepted and summarily executed, bringing their 14-month interlude in the Severan dynasty to an end. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    18th-23rd Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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