Denarius of Septimius Severus, “ADVENTI AVGVSTI FELICISSIMO”

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196–197 CE
Hood Museum of Art: Gift of Joseph De Gregorio; 2011.69.126

Obverse: Bust of Septimius Severus, facing right, laureate.

Legend: L(ucius) SEPT(imius) SEV(erus) PERT(inax) AVG(ustus) IMP(erator) VIII (Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax Augustus, Emperor for the eighth time) clockwise from six o’clock .

Reverse: Figure on horseback, facing right, wielding a spear lowered for a charge.

Legend: ADVENTI AVG(usti) FELICISSIMO (For the most prosperous arrival of Augustus) clockwise from nine o’clock.


Severus’ coin represents an example of the prolific and diverse coin production of Septimius Severus who inaugurated a new dynasty and represented the first princeps to be drawn from the province of Africa. The equestrian type has its origins in statues voted to successful Roman generals, a practice that coincides with the development of the Roman warrior aristocracy in the fourth century BCE (Q. Marcius Tremulus, 306 BCE) and continues through Julius Caesar, and then the emperors Augustus, Domitian, Marcus Aurelius. Severus’ statue also showcases the weaponry and tactics of the cavalry who charged with leveled spear.

This text was prepared by Myles Christian, Class of 2014

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