Gold Aurius of Roman Emperor Macrinus to be Auctioned

05 May 2018  Sat

On 9th May, Numismatica Ars Classica is going to offer a gold aureus coin struck under the Roman Emperor Macrinus. It belongs to the George W. La Borde Collection, Part III and is one the three types of coins issued by the Emperor. The offered coin features a beautiful portrait of the ruler on the obverse. The designs on the reverse featuring a flying victory holding a diadem are also detailed.

Macrinus ruled for less than a year from 217 to 218; after which, he was assassinated. His predecessor Caracalla was also murdered. Caracalla’s military campaigns were expansive leading to financial losses. Macrinus proclaimed himself emperor without the permission from Senate in Rome. He started hoarding money to make up for the losses. Old soldiers started revolting when their pay was reduced. Macrinus released members of the extended family of Caracalla. Caracalla’s aunt, Julia Maesa, paid soldiers of the legio III Gallica, and her 14-year-old grandson, Elagabal became the emperor. Elagabal tutor led the army to fight against Macrinus. Macrinus tried escaping but was later captured and executed.

The offered coin was struck just before Macrinus’ reign ended. It is believed to be one of the finest aurei of Macrinus and has an estimate of 125,000 Swiss francs.

Image courtesy: Numismatica Ars Classica.

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