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Coinage of the Rome mint commemorating the appointment as consuls of Caracalla and Geta in AD 205.

May 31, 2019

On the first of January of AD 205, the two imperial princes, sons of Emperor Septimius Severus, Antoninus (Caracalla) and Geta, were proclaimed consuls.

 

This appointment, certainly important especially for the young Geta since it was his first consulate, had its reflection in the coinage of the Rome mint. There are, in effect, a couple of monetary types whose iconography clearly points in that direction. First one is RIC 87 (a, b and c) on behalf of Caracalla, the second RIC 28 in the name of Geta. Both coincide in their iconography of reverse: Caracalla / Geta guiding a quadriga as well as holding power scepter with an eagle-shaped end and legend COS II (Caracalla) / COS (Geta) whose laconicism serves to emphasize and, therefore, publicize better, the high magistracy reached by the two young princes. These types are not datable with precision in 205, although such a date is the most consistent if we accept as valid the intention to divulge the new appointments of the princes that we have just proposed. It should be pointed out, however, that the RIC 87a type exhibits an obverse head concordant with the later Caracalla types (ruling Severus, that is: bust without draping, only laureate, with adolescent features) so it may be convenient to date it in 206, what could be indicating that the three variants of type 87 are not strictly contemporary (one of them, at least, must be dated in 205, the year of the granting of the second consulate to Caracalla, if, we insist, we accept the hypothesis of the divulgation of this proclamation). It should also be noted that both RIC 87a (denarius) and RIC 28 are quite scarce types (rated R in RIC IV-1) what indicates that they were coined for a few months, probably just after the consulate's proclamation ceremony.