Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Stone of Emesa Aureus

    Elagabalus (AD 218-222). AV aureus (21mm, 6.89 gm, 1h). NGC AU★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Antioch, AD 218-219. IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate, cuirassed bust of Elagabalus left, seen from front / SANCT DEO SO-LI / ELAGABAL, slow quadriga right pulling cart containing the Stone of Emesa decorated with eagle, surrounded by four parasols. RIC IV.II 196a (this coin). BMC 273 note (this coin). Calicó 3034 (this coin). Evans, NC 1902, pages 353-354 and plate 18, 11 (this coin). An excessively rare variety of an extremely rare type.

    From the Morris Collection. Ex NAC 38 (21 March 2007), lot 121; Leu 38, (13 May 1986), lot 320; Sir Arthur Evans Collection (Naville III, 1922), lot 107.

    Without doubt, the four-year reign of Elagabalus stands as the strangest interlude in all Roman history. His rise to power was engineered by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, the sister of the powerful Roman empress, Julia Domna. Maesa, determined to restore the Severan-Emesan dynasty to power, seized upon her 13-year-old grandson, Varius Avitus Bassianus, as the means. The boy, who was the hereditary high priest of the god Elagabal, greatly resembled a young Caracalla, and Maesa had it put about to the soldiers that he was the emperor's natural son and true successor. That, plus a liberal sprinkling of gold, induced the troops to revolt and proclaim Avitus (now renamed Antoninus, but widely known as Elagabalus after his god) as emperor. Improbably, Macrinus was defeated and killed, and Elagabalus and his retinue made their way to Rome, where the people greeted their new ruler with mixed bafflement, amusement, and horror. Elagabalus was also what would today be called transgendered and totally committed to the orgiastic rites of his cult. He married three times in rapid succession, including a scandalous union with a Vestal Virgin. The populace and soldiery soon became disgusted with this un-Roman behavior. Maesa finally decided that he must be replaced to save the dynasty. She persuaded Elagabalus to adopt his more docile cousin Severus Alexander as Caesar, then cooly arranged for the Praetorians to murder their oddball emperor along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, in March, AD 222.




    View all of [The Morris Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 642

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 16 days left to consign to the 2019 August 13 - 20 ANA World's Fair of Money US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The sale of some of my collection was an easy process, especially with your help. Heritage Auctions provides collectors a reliable service and is a useful way to manage their collections.
    David J. ,
    New Bern, NC
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $8,359,452
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $8,020,487
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $1,927,114