This type, struck in AD 207, commemorates an Imperial visit to Severus’ home province of Africa that year. During this trip he gave honors to the Punic god of healing (equivalent to the Roman Aesculapius), so it seems very likely that Severus was suffering some illness at the time.
Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome’s most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus policies, played a significant role in Rome’s long-term decline. In 208 A.D., he traveled to Britain to defeat a disastrous barbarian invasion. He died in York in 211 A.D and was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta.
Bust of Septimius Severus, laureate, right
SEVERVS PIVS AVG
Africa standing right in elephant-skin headdress, holding out robe; at feet right, a lion
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.