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Ruler: Septimius Severus, Emperor of Rome, A.D. 146–211, ruled 193–211
Mint: Rome
Honorand: Julia Domna, Empress of Rome, A.D. 160–217

Sestertius of Septimius Severus, Emperor of Rome from Rome



24.06 g, 12:00, 32.7 mm
Ruth Elizabeth White Fund with the assistance of Ben Lee Damsky

Julia Domna hailed from Emisa in Syria, and was the wife of Septimius Severus, himself a North African. She was the mother of the emperors Caracalla (A.D. 186–217, ruled jointly from 197 and solely from 211) and Geta (A.D. 189–211, ruled jointly from 209). Geta’s dates help establish the chronology of the coin, for the lavishing of the title Mother of the Augusti can only apply from 209–11; earlier, she had been styled Mother of the Senate and Mother of the Fatherland, both titles never before used.

Made in Rome, Italy
By appointment
3rd century

NFA, Los Angeles, November 29, 1984, cat. 14, lot 479. Credit Suisse, Zurich, April 27–9, 1987, cat. 7, lot 906; Ben Lee Damsky, 1987–2007; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 192.

Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of Empire (Chestnut Hill, Mass.: McMullen Museum of Art, 2014), 284, plate 86.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.