SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Emesa. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Stunning for the type.

Ancient Coins - SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Emesa. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Stunning for the type.
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 SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Emesa. Caracalla. AD 198-217. Æ (18mm, 9.26 g, 12h). Dated SE 527 (AD 215/6). Radiate head right / Eagle, holding wreath in beak, standing right, head left, on baetyl of El-Gabal; Z/KΦ (date) to left. SNG Copenhagen 310. gVF.           


Emesa was the major cult center for the deity El-Gabal, who was worshipped there in the form of a baetyl (an aniconic stone idol; in the case of El-Gabal, a large black conical stone, very likely a meteorite). Just several years after this coin was struck, a teenage priest of the god, Varius Avitus Bassianus, was declared emperor and took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (thus linking him to Caracalla), although he is more commonly known as Elagabalus for his devotion to El-Gabal. Elagabalus moved the baetyl to Rome upon his accession and, for a brief period, it seemed that El-Gabal might become the principle deity in the Roman pantheon. This local bronze of Emesa serve as a humble but interesting prelude to the Imperial coinage of Elagabalus, which promoted the cult of El-Gabal on a massive scale.

 
from the AF collection. 
Prix SKU: AF197
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Cotation au: 05/18/21

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