Indice Dietro Avanti
Marcianopolis, pentassarion, Elagabalus & Iulia Maesa
..da Ancient and Medieval Coins.
I'm searching for reference of this provincial elagabalus with Julia maesa, marcianopolis. Rev: asklepius
Maybe moushmov 664 var.? Unpublished?.
plate 1
click on the images to enlarge
the significant elements concerning the coin above are shown below:

Pentassarion1, mint of Marcianopolis in Moesia Inf.2, 218-222 d. C., AMNG I 954 var. (pag. 274)3, BMC III 60 var. (pag. 35)4, Moushmov 664 plate XIII 125.

Summary description (the parts of the legends that are not legible are indicated in red):
D. AVT K M AVΡ ANTΩNEINOC AVΓ IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓ6, clockwise, starting at 6 o'clock. Elagabalus, draped bust right facing Iulia Maesa, draped bust left. Center punch mark7.
R. YΠ IOYΛ ANT CE-ΛEYKOY MAΡKIANOΠOΛITΩN8, clockwise, starting at 7 o'clock. Aesklepios9, standing front, head left, holding serpent entwined staff and his mantle. E10 in right field.

The search on the web for coins of the type of figure gave rise to the following results:

  1. Obv: AVT K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC AVΓ IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓ. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus facing draped bust of Julia. Rev: VΠ IOVΛ ANT CEΛEVKOV MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN. Aesklepios standing front, head left, holding serpent entwined staff and his mantle. E in right field. (Moushmov 664) 27mm/13.5g die axis 1:00.
  2. Elagabalus and Julia Maesa, AE27 of Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis. Magistrate Seleukos. laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus right, facing draped bust of Julia Maesa left. / Asklepios standing right, looking back. BMC 60. TM-Rome, 218-222AD, Elag. /Julia, AE27, VF+ $32.01 10/06/99, Seller timemachine. The Time Machine Presents... Rome, 218-222AD, Elagabalus and Julia Maesa, Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, AE27, VF+ Confronting busts/Rev. Asklepios stg. r. looking back, BMC 60, nice green patina, Est. 100.
  3. 176, Lot: 197. Estimate $100. Sold for $172. MOESIA INFERIOR, Marcianopolis. Elagabalus, with Julia Maesa. AD 218-222. Pentassarion (28mm, 13.32g). Julius Antonius Seleucus, consular legate. Laureate head of Elagabalus right and diademed and draped bust of Maesa left, vis--vis / Asklepios standing facing, head left, leaning on serpent entwined staff. AMNG I 955; cf. SNG Budapest 201; Hristova and Jekov p. 159, (this coin). VF, dark green patina, a few minor scratches, small flan crack.
  4. London Ancient Coins Ltd Auction Q 87 24.02.2015. Beschreibung Elagabalus and Julia Maesa (218-222). Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis. Pentassarion (27mm, 13.30g, 6h). Julius Antonius Seleucus, consular legate. Laureate and draped bust of Elagabalus r. and diademed and draped bust of Maesa l., vis--vis. R/ Asklepios standing facing, head l., leaning on serpent entwined staff. Cf. AMNG I 954. Green patina, VF.
Coming to the conclusions, within the limits allowed by a remote examination, the general and style characteristics of the coin reflect those of the authentic specimens of the period. The physical characteristics (weight, diameter, reaction to the magnet) are missing, which is why a comparative examination with the authentic coins of the period is not possible. In the present state of conservation, if authentic, the coin has, in my opinion, a market value of c. 20.

Best regards.
Giulio De Florio


(1) Pentassarion (AE). I collect in the table below the physical characteristics of the pentassarions of the type of figure present in the links above:

Reference Weight(g) Die axis (h) Diameter(mm)
Link1 13,5 1 27
Link2 - - 27
Link3 13,32 - 28
Link4 13,30 6 27
Since there is no information about the physical characteristics of the sample under examination (weight, diameter, coin axis, reaction to the magnet), it will not be possible to carry out a comparative examination with the authentic coins of the period.
(2) Marcianopolis (see map), formerly Parthenopolis, today Devnya in Bulgaria, was renamed by Trajan, in honor of his sister Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis (in Greek Μαρκιανούπολις) after the second Dacian war. An important strategic center, part of Roman Thrace until 187-193, it was later included in the Moesia Inferior. The prosperity achieved under the Severi ended with the Gothic incursion of 248-249 and the subsequent barbarian invasions from the north.
(3) AMNG I 954 var. (page 274). Variant because the sign of the value E is shifted to the left.
(4) BMC III 60 var. (page 35). Variant, with the sign of the value E shifted to the left and obverse legend AVT K M AVΡHΛIOC ANTΩNEINOC AVΓ IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓ longer.
(5) Moushmov 664 plate XIII 12. The Moushmov reference better represents the coin in question.
(6) AVT K M AVΡ ANTΩNEINOC AVΓ IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓ which, in full, reads, AΥTokράτωρ Kαĩσαρ Mάρκος AΥΡήλιος ANTΩNEINOC AVΓουστος IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓούστα, equivalente al latino "IMPerator Caesar Marcus AVRelius ANTONINVS AVGustus IULIA MAESA AVGusta".
At the beginning of 218, reigning emperor was Macrinus, former prefect of the praetorium and architect of the plot that in 217 had led to the death of Caracalla and the exile of his family in Emesa. Macrinus, after the elevation, had dissatisfied the army for the peace with the Parthians paid at a high price and for the failed promises to increase the soldiers' pay; as a result of this, discontent broke out in the Syriac army. Iulia Maesa, sister of Iulia Domna (the deceased wife of Septimius Severus), an energetic and authoritarian woman, decided to exploit the discontent of the Syriac army against Macrinus to procure the throne for her nephew, Varius Avitus Bassianus, priest of the sun god, son of the eldest of his daughters, Iulia Soaemias Bassiana. Taking advantage of the past popularity of Septimius Severus and Caracalla, the soldiers were promised generous rewards. Having prepared the ground, the conspirators, in May 218, proclaimed Bassianus emperor under the traditional name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. The troops who remained loyal to Macrinus were defeated under Antioch and Macrinus, in an attempt to escape to the west, was captured and killed. He had reigned a little over two years and during all that time he had never reached Rome. Bassianus took, as a complementary name, Elagabalus or Heliogabalus and with it he went down in history. Leaving Emesa, he did not abandon his priestly duties. The senate was forced to accept in the Roman religion "the unconquered sun god Heliogabalus", of which the emperor himself was the supreme priest. A temple was dedicated to the new god on the Palatine, near the imperial palace, where the altar of the goddess Vesta was transferred together with the other sacred relics of the Roman state. This fact demonstrates not only the extravagance of the emperor, but also the servility of the senate; it also reveals that various Eastern beliefs and cults had spread in Italy and in the eastern regions of the Empire at that time, creating a variegated religious mixture. This religious syncretism created the basis on which Christianity began to spread rapidly at that time. The decisive turning point originating from the East could not but determine the protest of vast social circles. The opposition to the eastern policy of Elagabalus was reinforced by the discontent arising from the conduct of the young emperor and the court clique. It is true that, in this regard, there was not much left to marvel at in Rome, but what happened at the court of Elagabalus exceeded any measure of impudence. Despite his young age, the emperor was extremely corrupt. He was a sexual pervert; the scenes of absoluteness that took place on the Palatine far exceeded the orgies of Caligula, Nero and Commodus. The people closest to the emperor, the mother Soaemias, the favorite Hierocles, the prefect of Rome Fulvius, the finance minister Eubulus and others openly dissipated the money of the state and allowed themselves unprecedented abuses. Heliogabalus' grandmother, Iulia Maesa, who initially directed all state affairs, soon realized that her "creature" was absolutely incorrigible and that not only would he be unable to consolidate the dynasty, but on the contrary he would inevitably ruin it. Therefore she convinced Elagabalus to adopt his cousin Alexander, son of Mamaea, the younger sister of Semias, and to proclaim him Caesar. Immediately afterwards, Heliogabalus, then eighteen, was killed by the praetorians together with his mother and all his clique (beginning of 222).
(7) The punch mark in the center is common to many provincial coins. Mark Lehman reports in "An introduction to roman provincial coinage" (see link) that provincial coins often show small depressions (English, dimples) or "centering dimples", in the center of the obverse and / or reverse. These dimples are an artifice used in a little understood process aimed at preparing the rounds for minting - perhaps it was used for trimming edges, smoothing surfaces, or both. "
(8) YΠ IOYΛ ANT CE-ΛEYKOY MAΡKIANOΠOΛITΩN, which can be interpreted, or as a temporal genitive, "ατεύοντος IOYΛιου ANTOVιου CEΛEYKOY MAΡKIANOΠOΛITΩN" (..under the consulate of Iulius Antonius Seleucus from Marcianopolis) or as an ethnic genitive "VΠάτου IOYΛιου ANTOVιου CEΛEYKOY MAΡKIANOΠOΛITΩN" (..of Iulius Antonius Seleucus from Marcianopolis). Iulius Antonious Seleucus held the position of "ύπατος" of Moesia Inferior between 218 and 222 d.C.. For the interpretation of "" read forumancientcoins.
(9) Asclepius (Greek: Ἀσκληπιός Asklēpis; Latin: Aesculapius) is a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology (see link). He is the son of Apollo and Coronis, or Arsinoe, or of Apollo alone. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Hygiene", the goddess of cleanliness), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aegle (the goddess of good health), Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He has several sons as well. He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis and the Egyptian Imhotep. He shared with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff (similar to the caduceus) remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.
(10) E, the value sign, is the Greek number 5.
Indice Dietro Avanti