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Silver Roman Denarius of Emperor Septimius Severus with a Reverse Theme Depicting the Roman Goddess of War "Minerva" - 195 A.D.

OBVERSE INSCRIPTION: L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VII.

OBVERSE DEPICTION: The head of Septimius Severus, right, laureate crown (laurel wreath).

REVERSE INSCRIPTION: P M TR P IIII COS II P P.

REVERSE DEPICTION: The Goddess Minerva standing left wearing a tunic, helmeted, holding spear and shield.

ATTRIBUTION: City of Rome Mint sometime in 195 A.D.

SIZE/MEASUREMENTS:

Diameter: 17mm*16mm.

Weight: 1.93 grams.

NOTE: Coin is mounted free of charge into your choice of pendant settings, and includes free chain as well (details below or click here ). IMAGES: Coins are difficult to image, especially silver ones. This coin looks just like it is supposed to, a bright silver denarius. Some of the images here are made with a digital camera, while others are made with a scanner. Hopefully between the two you can get a good idea both as to the detail and appearance (tone) of the coin. We're not really thrilled with either set of images, the coin looks much better in hand.

DETAIL "PERT" refers to the "title" or name "Pertinax"; in reference to one of the shorter-lived Emperors of the Roman Imperial Period, Publius Helvius Pertinax. Pertinax had enjoyed a long career in public service, first in the military, then as a Senator, and finally the perfect of the city of Rome at the time Commodus (the insane son of Marcus Aurelius of "Gladiator" fame), was murdered, having completely disgraced the purple with his publicly stated belief that he was the reincarnation of Hercules and his public spectacles fighting wild beasts in the Amphitheatre. Pertinax had a reputation as a disciplinarian, had attracted the attention and respect of Marcus Aurelius, and he seemed the perfect choice as an Emperor to restore order to Rome after the murder of Commodus.

Pertinax reluctantly accepted the throne when it was offered to him by the Praetorian Perfect and the other conspirators behind Commodus's death. However the strict reforms and economic measures he immediately instituted made him quite unpopular with the Praetorian Guard (the Emperor's "body guard") - especially his decision to pay them a very small "donative" - the customary gesture a new Emperor made to the Praetorian Guard. Kind of a bribe to ensure good behavior - there simply were not adequate funds in the treasury - and Pertinax was not an exceptionally wealthy man. Feeling offended and demeaned, the Praetorian Guard invaded the palace and murdered Pertinax after a reign of only 86 days.

There was a rapid succession of contenders to the throne, including one wealthy Senator who "purchased" the throne and title of Emperor from the Praetorian Guard; as well as three different generals who were proclaimed Emperor by their legions. One of the three was Septimius Severus, who had been loyal to Pertinax for the latter's short reign. Ultimately Septimius Severus prevailed over the other contenders to the throne. In a tribute to Pertinax, Septimius Severus took the former Emperor's name, deified Pertinax, and became Septimius Severus Pertinax. It is believed by historians that Septimius Severus saw himself as the avenger of Pertinax. Septimius Severus eventually dropped the use of the name "Pertinax", it is believed after having a dream (an "omen") that he would meet the same fate as Pertinax (murdered at the hands of the Praetorian Guard) if he kept the name of Pertinax.

The suffix "AVG" was an abbreviation for Augustus. The term "Augustus" is Latin for "majestic" (thus the honorific salutation "your majesty"). However the term "Augustus" in the common vernacular of the Roman Empire became synonymous with the Emperor. The first "Augustus" (and first man counted as a Roman Emperor) was Octavius, Julis Caesar's nephew and heir. Octavian was given the title of Augustus by the Senate in 27 B.C. Over the next forty years, Caesar Augustus literally set the standard by which subsequent Emperors would be recognized, accumulating various offices and powers and making his own name ("Augustus") identifiable with the consolidation of these powers under a single person. Although the name signified nothing in constitutional theory, it was recognized as representing all the powers that Caesar Augustus eventually accumulated.

Caesar Augustus also set the standard by which Roman Emperors were named. The three titles used by the majority of Roman Emperors; "Imperator", "Caesar", and "Augustus" were all used personally by Caesar Augustus (he officially styled himself "Imperator Caesar Augustus"). However of the name "Augustus" was unique to the Emperor himself (though the Emperor's mother or wife could bear the name "Augusta"). But others could and did bear the titles "Imperator" and "Caesar". Later usage saw the Emperor adding the additional titles "Pius Felix ("pious and blessed") and "Invictus" ("unconquered") in addition to the title "Augustus"). In this usage, by signifying the complete assumption of all Imperial powers, "Augustus" became roughly synonymous with "Emperor" in modern language. As the Roman Empire began splintering, Augustus came to be the title applied to the senior Emperor, while the title "Caesar" came to refer to his "junior" sub-Emperors.

The "IMP VII" is an abbreviation for "Imperator". Imperator was originally a title or acclamation awarded to victorious generals in the field during the Republic Period (before Julius Caesar). Throughout the history of Republican Rome, the title was bestowed upon an especially able general who had won an enormous victory. Traditionally it was the troops in the field that proclaimed a man imperator - the first step in the process of the general applying to the senate for a triumph (a ceremony both civil and religious held in Rome itself to publicly honor the general and to display/parade the glories and trophies of Roman victory). Septimius was to receive eleven imperatorial acclamations during the time he was Emperor.

This particular acclamation, number seven, probably refers to the capture of Antioch following the Battle of Issus , which was the third major battle, following the Battle of Nicaea, in 194 A.D. between the forces of Emperor Septimus Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger, Roman governor of Syria who had been acclaimed Emperor by his troops, like Severus, following the death of Pertinax. Severus won decisively and Niger fled back to Antioch and was later killed while attempting to flee to Parthia. The victory was attributed by historians Herodian and Cassius Dio to the numerical advantage enjoyed by Severus (12 legions) compared to Niger (6-9 legions), even though the latter had created a large supporting force of auxiliaries from amongst the client kingdoms and allies of the East.

Imperatrix was the title of the wife an Imperator. After Augustus Octavian (Julius Caesar's successor) had established the hereditary, one-man rule in Rome that we refer to as the Imperial Roman Empire, the title Imperator was restricted to the emperor and members of his immediate family. If a general who was not part of the imperial family was acclaimed by his troops as Imperator, it was tantamount to a declaration of rebellion or civil war against the ruling emperor. Though the title Augustus is probably the closest Latin equivalent to the English word emperor; it was eventually the term Imperator which became the root of the English word "Imperial".

The emperor is depicted "laureate", or wearing a wreath or crown composed of laurel, or "bay leaves". This wreath of laurel leaves is an attribute of the Graeco-Roman God Apollo, and is a symbol of victory. In Greek Mythology, Apollo fell in love with the legendary mountain nymph Daphene. Daphene, anxious to escape Apollo's amorous interests, asked the Gods of Olympus to change her into a bay tree. Thereafter Apollo always wore a laurel wreath made from the leaves of her sacred tree to show is never failing love for her. Apollo also declared that wreaths were to be awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions and poetic meets under his care.

Laurel wreaths became the prize awarded in athletic, musical, and poetic competitions. For instance by the 6th century B.C., the winners of the ancient Greek Pythian Games (forerunner of the Olympics and held every four years at Delphi) were awarded a wreath of laurel leaves. Ancient Greek coins from at least as far back as the second century B.C. depict laurel wreaths worn by not only Apollo, but also Athena, Saturn, Jupiter, Victory (Nike), and Salus. Eventually the custom of awarding a wreath of laurel leaves was extended from victors of athletic events to the victors of military endeavors. The symbolism was inherited (or mimicked) by the Romans, to whom the bestowal of a laurel wreath became the sign of a victorious general acclaimed by his troops.

After defeating Pompey, the Roman Senate not only voted Julius Caesar Imperator for life, but also awarded him the right to wear the laurel wreath in perpetuity. From that point on it is said that Julius Caesar always appeared in public laureate, and all of his coinage depicted Julius Caesar wearing the laurel leaf crown. Thus the laurel leaf crown became associated not only with the victorious general, but became a symbol of the office of Caesar and Imperator. There were other types of wreaths in Graeco-Roman Mythology as well. Dionysus was oftentimes depicted either with a wreath of ivy or with a wreath composed of grape leaves. Zeus was oftentimes depicted with a wreath of oak leaves, and wreathes of roses became associated with Aphrodite. As well, funeral wreaths became a Roman custom, and were often carved into the decorative elements of a sarcophagus.

Lucius Septimius Severus was born in 146 AD at Leptis Magna in Africa (near Carthage) to noble parents. It is believed that he was made a Senator by Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 172 A.D. He was reputed to be a soldier of outstanding ability, and was promoted through a series of increasingly important commands. One of those commands under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius was of the legion based at Emesa, Syria. Emesa was an important religious center/city sited on the trade route between Palmyra and Antioch. And it was there in 187 A.D. that Septimius Severus was to meet Julia Domna, the daughter of the High Priest of the Sun God Elagabal. In 187 A.D. Julia Domna was married Lucius Septimius Severus as his second wife (his first had died). Julia Domna and her sister Mulia Maesa were the beginning of four generations of "Syrian Princesses" which were the power behind the Roman Throne. Of Julia Maesa's two daughters, Julia Soaemias was the mother of future Emperor Elagablus; Julia Mamae was the mother of future Emperor Alexander Severus.

After the death of Marcus Aurelius, as semi-fictionalized by the movie "Gladiator", his despotic son Commodus became Emperor of Rome. At the death of Commodus in 192 A.D., Septimius was governor of Upper Pannonia (an appointment he had received from Commodus in 190 A.D.). He swore allegiance to the new emperor, Pertinax. However Pertinax was murdered the following year, and the Praetorian Guards publicly announced that they would elect as the new emperor whomsoever would pay them the highest price. Didius Julianus, a wealthy Senator, offered 25,000 sestertii (for each of the Praetorian Guards), and was proclaimed emperor. Eventually there were four "emperors" laying claim to the throne, Septimius Severus, Clodius Albinus, Pescennius Niger, and Didius Julianus. Septimius Severus advanced on Rome and beheaded Didius Julianus after Didius had been emperor for a mere 66 days. The following year Septimius's troops defeated Niger's troops, and Septimius executed Niger. And in 197 AD, after his army was defeated in battle by Septimius's army, Albinus committed suicide.

Septimius Severus's relationship with the Roman Senate was never good. He was unpopular with them from the beginning, having seized power with the help of the military. Severus ordered the execution of dozens of senators on charges of corruption and conspiracy against him, replacing them with his own favorites. He also disbanded the Praetorian Guard and replaced it with one of his own, made up of 50,000 loyal soldiers camped in and around Rome. Although his actions turned Rome into a military dictatorship, he was popular with the citizens of Rome, having stamped out the moral degeneration of the reign of Commodus and the rampant corruption. When he returned from his victory over the Parthians, he erected a triumphal arch that still stands and bears his name to this day.

Septimius Severus spent much of his reign conducting military campaigns in different parts of the empire, as well as visiting the provinces. In 208 AD he campaigned in Britain against barbarians of the north, and made repairs to Hadrian's Wall. He died in York on February 4, 211 AD. Septimius was succeeded by his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. Caracalla, the eldest, arranged to have his wife murdered that same year; and then orchestrated the murder of his younger brother the following year. Caracalla was himself was murdered five years later in 217 AD, at which time Septimius's surviving wife, and mother of Geta and Caracalla, Empress Julia Domna, committed suicide by starving herself to the death.

The reverse of this coin depicts the Roman Goddess of War, Minerva (known to the Greeks as "Athena Palla"). Minerva was usually was depicted helmeted wearing a tunic, carrying a spear and shield, though sometimes in place of the spear she might depicted carrying a parazonium, a thunderbolt, or (as the goddess of war and peace) an olive branch. The parazonium is a short sword typically carried by Roman officers and also frequently depicted in the possession of various Roman deities, though a fully intact specimen has never been unearthed. Minerva was also sometimes depicted holding an aegis, a small figure of Victory (a trophy signifying victory over an adversary), or an attendant owl; and on rare occasion she was depicted driving a quadriga (a chariot drawn by four horses); or enthroned on a curule chair.

The quadriga was a chariot drawn by four horses (or in myth four of various other forms of animals), and was used ceremonially for the triumph parade of a general or emperor, in a consular procession, to convey the victor(s) of public games, and also in the funeral procession of an emperor. In mythology it was often used as a conveyance by various deities. A triumph was a ceremonial procession of both civil and religious significance granted by the Senate to an especially able general who had won a significant victory. The triumph parade proceeded through the city of Rome itself to publicly honor the general and to display/parade the glories and trophies of Roman victory, and the general was given the title of "Imperator".

In the Roman Republic, and later the Empire, the curule chair (or throne) was the chair upon which senior magistrates or promagistrates were entitled to sit, including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, priests of Jupiter, and the curule aediles. In the latter Republic, Caesar the Dictator was entitled to sit upon a curule chair made of gold. The curule chair was traditionally made of ivory; with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. The chair could be folded, and thus made easily transportable for magisterial and promagesterial commanders in the field. According to the (ancient) Roman Historian Livy the curule chair originated with the Etruscans, though there is evidence that before then it might have originated with Near East potentates.

Minerva was reputed to guide men through the dangers of war, bestowing the virtues of prudence, courage, and perseverance. Minerva was also the goddess of wisdom, intelligence, mediation, prudence, inventiveness, and patron goddess of the literature, science, and also the arts, especially spinning and weaving. In myth she also introduced the use of the olive to mankind. Minerva was the equivalent in Roman Mythology to Pallas Athene in Greek Mythology. She was frequently depicted on the reverse of Roman coinage, especially that coinage issued by Emperor Domitian. As well she was frequently depicted on the Roman Colonial coinage of Greece (known as "Greek Imperial" coins).

Her Roman roots are obscure; it is believed that in Roman Mythology she might have grown out of the Etruscan Goddess Falerii or Menrva. Even further back in the ancient Minoan-Mycenaean civilization archaeologists have found references to "Atanapotinija", or "Lady Atana" ("Athene") in the ruins of the Minoan palace at Cnossus on Crete, destroyed by fire sometime around the year 1375 B.C. But in that great blending of cultures which was the Greco-Roman world, the Romans came to identify the progenitor of Minerva as Athena. To the Greeks Minerva was Athena, surname Pallas - and sometimes simply referred to as "Pallas".

Athena was patron goddess of agriculture, industry, and the arts including pottery and sculpture, dyers, cobblers, carpenters, musicians, painters, physicians, actors, poets, schoolmaster, olive trees and olive oil, and the goddess of the defense of towns and cities. Her image, whether full figure or merely a bust, was amongst the most common themes of ancient Greek coinage. Athena was one of the original twelve great Olympian Gods, who in mythology sprung fully grown and armed from the head of Zeus.

As Minerva Medica she is the patroness of physicians. Athena/Minerva had a great cult following, the principle centers of which were Crete, Mycenae, Athens, and Rome (read more here). As Minerva Victrix ("bringer of victory", or "Nicephora" to the Greeks) she would sometimes be depicted holding a palm branch. A great temple to Minerva was built in the late Roman Republican period in the first century B.C. in Assisi. The temple was erected by the quatorvirates Gneus Cesius and Titus Cesius Priscus at their own expense. At the time the temple dominated the Forum complex, and even today, still dominates the "Piazza del Comune" in the heart of the heart of Assisi. A great web site devoted to the architecture and history of the temple may be found here.

Minerva's worship as a goddess of war approached the enthusiasm which was normally accorded to Mars. The erection of another temple to her by Pompey out of the spoils of his Eastern conquests shows that by then she had been identified with the Greek Athena Nike, bestower of victory. Under the emperor Domitian, who claimed her special protection, the worship of Minerva attained its greatest vogue in Rome. Though she was worshiped in many far-flung corners of the Roman Empire, her cult worship was most notably in conjunction with Jupiter and Juno in the great Capitoline temple. Her temple on the Aventine Hill was a meeting place for skilled artisans, actors, and writers. The ruins of another colossal temple to Minerva still stand in Tunisia, North Africa. There some wonderful examples of Minerva/Athena in ancient Graeco-Roman art here), here), here), here), here), here), and here).

The reverse legend of the coin, "P M TR P III COS II P P", actually has little to do with Minerva, as it is a recitation of the various accolades and titles held by the fortunate Septimius Severus. "P M" is an abbreviation for "Pontifex Maximus". As Augustus, an acclamation or title oftentimes attributed to the Emperor was that of as "Pontifex Maximus", literally "greatest bridgemaker", the significance being that he was the chief priest of the Roman state religion. From 382 A.D. onwards this title has been held by the Pope in Rome. Prior to Octavious Augustus Julius Caesar (in the Roman Republic) the Pontifex Maximus was the head of the pagan Roman Religion, the most important of the priests (pontifices) of the sacred college (Collegium Pontificum). However with the establishment of Empire, Julius Caesar, then Octavius Augustus, and then each Roman Emperor afterwards held the title Pontifex Maximus himself, as the Roman Emperor became deified, i.e., a living god and the apex of the Roman religion.

The reverse legend continues, "TR P III", an abbreviation for Tribunicia Potestas (the "III" indicates the third term). As Augustus, an acclamation or title oftentimes attributed to the Emperor was that of Tribunicia Potestas, literally "tribunician power". As such the Emperor he had personal inviolability (sacrosanctitas) and the right to veto any act or proposal by any magistrate within Rome, the authority to convene the Senate, and the right to exercise capital punishment in the course of the performance of his duties. Of course constitutionally Tribunes were meant to represent the common man, the plebians. Since it was legally impossible for a patrician to be a tribune of the people, the first Roman "Emperor", Caesar Augustus, was instead offered of the powers of the tribunate without actually holding the office. This formed one of the main constitutional basis of Augustus' authority, and the power was generally "renewed" annually by successive Emperors.

The abbreviation "COS II", an abbreviation indicating (the second) term as Consul. As Augustus, an acclamation or title oftentimes attributed to the Emperor was that of Consul. As Consular Imperium (Imperial Consul) he had authority equal to the official chief magistrates within Rome. He had authority greater than the chief magistrates outside of the city of Rome, and thus outranked all provincial governors and was also supreme commander of all Roman Legions. Originally "Consul" was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic (ultimately it was an appointed office under the Empire). Under the Republic two consuls (with executive power) were elected each year, serving together with veto power over each other's actions.

The office of consul was believed to date back to the traditional establishment of the Republic in 509 B.C. Consuls executed both religious and military duties. During times of war, the primary criterion for consul was military skill and reputation, but at all times the selection was politically charged. Initially only patricians could be consuls, but later the plebeians won the right to stand for election. With the passage of time, the consulship became the penultimate endpoint of the sequence of offices pursued by the ambitious Roman. When Octavius Augustus, heir to Julius Caesar, established the Empire; he changed the nature of the office, stripping it of most of its powers. While still a great honor and a requirement for other offices, about half of the men who held the rank of Praetor would also reach the consulship.

However under the Empire, Emperors frequently appointed themselves, prot‚g‚s, or relatives without regard to the requirements of office. For example, the Emperor Honorius was given the consulship at birth. One of the reforms of Constantine the Great was to assign one of the consuls to the city of Rome and the other to Constantinople. When the Roman Empire was divided into two halves on the death of Theodosius I, the emperor of each half acquired the right of appointing one of the consuls. As a result, after the formal end of the Roman Empire in the West, for many years thereafter there would be only one Consul of Rome. Finally in the reign of Justinian the consulship was allowed die; first in Rome in 534 A.D.; then in Constantinople in 541 A.D.

Finally the legend ends with the abbreviation "PP". "PP" stands for "Pater Patriae", literally "father of the country", also sometimes seen as "Parens Patriae", meaning "Father of the Fatherland". It does not imply a great role in the foundation of the state (such as "George Washington Father of America") so much as a great contribution to the preservation and integrity of the state. Like all official honorific titles of the Roman Republic, the honor of being called pater patriae was conferred by the Roman Senate. It was first awarded to the great orator Marcus Tullius Cicero for his part in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy during his consulate in 63 BC. It was next awarded to Julius Caesar, who as dictator was sole master of the Roman world. The Senate voted the title to Caesar Augustus in 2 BC, but it did not become an "automatic" part of the "bundle" of the Imperial powers and honors (Imperator, Caesar, Augustus, Princeps Senatus, Pontifex Maximus, tribunicia potestas); The Senate eventually conferred the title on many Roman Emperors, often only after many years of rule (unless the new Emperor were particularly esteemed by the senators, as in the case of Nerva); as a result, many of the short-lived Emperors never received the title. In the case of Severus Alexander, the Senate rather incongruously awarded the title as soon as he ascended the throne at age 12 1/2.

Your purchase includes, upon request, mounting of this coin in either pendant style "a" or "b" as shown here. Pendant style "a" is a clear, airtight acrylic capsule designed to afford your ancient coin maximum protection from both impact damage and degradation. It is the most "politically correct" mounting. Style "b" is a bezel wrap mount in either sterling silver or 14kt gold fill. Both pendant styles include a split ring for mounting your pendant onto a silver tone or gold tone chain, also included in the cost of your purchase. Upon request, there are also an almost infinite variety of other pendants which might well suit both you and your ancient coin pendant, and include both sterling silver and solid 14kt gold mountings, including those shown here. As well, upon request, we can also make available a huge variety of chains in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, in metals including sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and solid 14kt gold. Please note, you must request and specify how you wish your coin mounted, as absent specific instructions to the contrary, the default shipment method is the unmounted coin.

HISTORY: Coins came into being during the seventh century B.C. in Lydia and Ionia, part of the Greek world, and were made from a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Each coin blank was heated and struck with a hammer between two engraved dies. Unlike modern coins, they were not uniformly round. Each coin was wonderfully unique. Coinage quickly spread to the island and city states of Western Greece. Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) then spread the concept of coinage throughout the lands he conquered. Ancient coins are archaeological treasures from the past. They were buried for safekeeping because of their value and have been slowly uncovered throughout modern history. Oftentimes soldiers the night before battle would bury their coins and jewelry, hoping and believing that they would live long enough to recover them, and to return to their family. Killed in battle, these little treasure hoards remain until today scattered throughout Western and Eastern Europe, even into the Levant and Persia.

As well, everyone from merchants to housewives found the safest place to keep their savings was buried in a pot, or in some other secretive location. If they met an unexpected end, the whereabouts of the merchants trade goods or the household's sugar jar money might never be known. Recently a commercial excavation for a new building foundation in London unearthed a Roman mosaic floor. When archaeologists removed the floor, they found 7,000 silver denarii secreted beneath the floor. Even the Roman mints buried their produce. There were over 300 mints in the Roman Empire striking coinage. Hoards of as many as 40,000 coins have been found in a single location near these ancient sites. Ancient coins reflect the artistic, political, religious, and economic themes of their times. The acquisition of ancient coins is a unique opportunity to collect art which has been appreciated throughout the centuries.

Coins of the Roman Empire most frequently depicted the Emperor on the front of the coins, and were issued in gold, silver, and bronze. The imperial family was also frequently depicted on the coinage, and, in some cases, coins depicted the progression of an emperor from boyhood through maturity. The reverse side of often served as an important means of political propaganda, frequently extolling the virtues of the emperor or commemorating his victories. Many public works and architectural achievements such as the Coliseum and the Circus Maximus were also depicted. Important political events such as alliances between cities were recorded on coinage. Many usurpers to the throne, otherwise unrecorded in history, are known only through their coins. Interestingly, a visually stunning portrayal of the decline of the Roman Empire is reflected in her coinage. The early Roman bronze coins were the size of a half-dollar. Within 100-150 years those had shrunk to the size of a nickel. And within another 100-150 years, to perhaps half the size of a dime.

One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.).

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of "Pax Romana", a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousand years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of "booty" from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before they went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire.

These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. Proceeds of the sales benefit the Southern Urals State Student Association for Archaeological and Anthropological Studies in Russia; providing both postgraduate and undergraduate students with meaningful part-time employment, notebook computers, and both reference and study materials. It also supports other institutions and organizations within Russia involved in the study of anthropology and archaeology. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."