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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

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Imperial, Roman – 218 AD

Macrinus

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Emperor Macrinus facing right.
Reverse: Goddess Providentia standing, holding cornucopiae and wand over globe.

LEGEND
Obv: IMP C M OPEL SEV – MACRINVS AVG, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Macrinus facing right wearing long beard. Rev: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Goddess Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe at her feet and cradling a Cornucopiae in left arm.

Emperor Macrinus, named Marcus Opellius Macrinus, was born in 164 AD. He was raised in Caesarea, Africa by a Moorish equestrian family. He was well educated and became a renowned lawyer and jurist, known to have ascended the Roman ranks by skillfully arguing legal issues. The mature Macrinus later worked as an administrator under Septimius Severus and also held the office of Prefect to the Praetorian Guard under Emperor Caracalla. Macrinus was declared Emperor in the spring of 217 AD after Caracalla was murdered on his way to the Temple of Luna near Carrhae (C. Dio). The new Emperor soon appointed his son Diadumenianus as Caesar, thus securing a potential successor to his reign. Unfortunately, the Macrinus reign and his son lasted only 14 more months. This very late spring 218 AD denarius was issued by the mint in Rome during the last two months of his reign, coinciding with the usurping Elagabalus who was accepted as Emperor in May of 218 AD by his Legio III Gallica army. The obverse depicts a superbly sculpted bust of Macrinus facing right with a long beard, furrowed neck and forehead lines, and laureate wreath bound within his thick, curling hair. The coinage of Macrinus during his final months is distinctive for projecting the image of Emperor-Philosopher, in the style of Marcus Aurelius. The coin reverse depicts the Goddess Providentia Deorum (Providence of the God’s) standing facing left. She holds a ritual wand in her right hand over a globe adjacent to her right foot. The metaphor alludes to her powers of divine providence over the Empire, emanating from the conduit of her slender wand. She also holds a Cornucopiae in her left arm, representing her ability to bestow prosperity. Unfortunately, divine providence found Macrinus and his son both murdered in June of 218 AD, just weeks following the minting of this coin.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.27 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: March-June 218 AD.
Attribution: RSC 108; BMCRE 73; Roman Imperial Coins IV 80; Clay Issue 3; Szaivert Series 12.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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