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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     87-72
Type:     Roman Imperial
Issuer:     Severus Alexander
Date Ruled:     AD 222-235
Metal:     Gold
Denomination:     Aureus
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 223
Weight:     6.31 g
Obverse Legend:     IMP C M AVR SEV - ALEXAND AVG
Obverse Description:     Laureate and draped bust of Severus Alexander to right
Reverse Legend:     P M TR P II COS P P
Reverse Description:     View of the Colosseum (the Flavian Amphitheater): the building has four storeys, the first three of arcades each containing a statue, and the top being of solid masonry with windows and supports for the wooden masts on which great awnings were held to protect the spectators from the sun; on the left is a shrine containing a statue (perhaps of Fortuna), and on the right a pedimental building, perhaps the Temple of Jupiter Victor.
Mint:     Rome
Primary Reference:     RIC 0033 cf.
Reference2:     Sear 7825
Reference3:     Biaggi 1323
Photograph Credit:     Leu Numismatik AG
Source:     Leu Numismatik AG
Price Sold For:     127360 USD
Date Sold:     06.05.2003
Notes:     Leu Numismatik AG Auction 87 (06.05.2003) Lot 72 Rarity: Of the very greatest rarity, one of two known examples. Note: This exceptionally important piece was one of two that came from a small hoard of aurei found in the early 1960s: the other was first sold in Hess-Leu 24 and now resides in a private Swiss collection. The Colosseum, or the Amphitheatrum Flavium to give it its correct ancient name (the name Colosseum first began to be used for the building around the year 1000), was struck by lightning in 217 and was severely damaged (this was seen as a bad omen for Macrinus). Elagabalus began the repair work, which was continued by Severus Alexander, and by 223 the building was sufficiently restored to enable it to be used (work continued into the reign of Gordian III when its completion was celebrated by an issue of medallions). Severus Alexander struck a very small commemorative issue of coins in honor of the Colosseum’s reopening: a number of sestertii and asses are known today, a denarius was recorded by Cohen (though it is now lost) and there are only two aurei, including the one here.