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Severus Alexander

M. Aurelius Severus Alexander
Augustus (AD 222-235)  |  De Imperatoribus Romanis entry

Severus Alexander succeeded his cousin Elegabalus, who was murdered by the Praetorian Guard, in AD 222 at the age of around 13. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, continued to be the force behind the throne, along with his mother Julia Mamaea. Historians report the boy's reign to be one of sense and moderation, as he was guided by wise counsel, and his Grandmother was eager to avoid the same mistakes that were made in Elagabalus' reign. Severus Alexander, however, was unable to resist his mother's influence and, although reportedly disgusted by her greed and avarice, he never stopped her. He married Sallustia Orbiana in ca 225 but his mother grew jealous of her influence, or supposed influence on Alexander, and she was banished to Africa. Alexander's mild reign was unable to stop the ferocity of the guard, who in AD 223 murdered their own prefect Ulpian, in front of him. Severus Alexander successfully fought off an attack by the new Sassanid empire, but while facing a German attack on the northern frontiers, the army, proposing a Thracian peasant Maximinus as the new Emperor, murdered Alexander and his mother in AD 235


Obverse Legends on coins depicting Severus Alexander

For explanations of many of the abbreviations used in Roman imperial obverse legends, click here.


Coins of Severus Alexander currently available

Severus Alexander
Silver denarius issued AD 231.
Obv: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped bust facing right.
Rev: PM TRP X COS III PP, Sol standing left raising right hand and holding globe.
Fine   |   AUD $40.00
Severus Alexander
Silver denarius issued AD 224.
Obv: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate, draped bust facing right.
Rev: PM TRP III COS PP, Pax standing holding branch and sceptre.
Nearly Extremely Fine   |   AUD $100.00
Severus Alexander
Bronze sestertius issued AD 230.
Obv: IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG, Laureate, drapery on far shoulder bust facing right.
Rev: PM TRP VIIII COS III PP, Sol standing raising hand and holding orb.
Fine-Very Fine   |   AUD $100.00
Severus Alexander
Bronze sestertius issued AD 231-235.
Obv: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate bust draped and cuirassed facing right.
Rev: MARS VLTOR SC, Mars advancing to right, holding spear and shield.
Very Fine   |   AUD $120.00