Repousé Gold Roundel Depicting Emperor Septimius Severus

SKU OS.241
Circa

2nd Century AD

Dimensions

2.15″ (5.5cm) wide

Medium

Gold

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

UK


 

This spectacular sheet gold roundel depicts the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, who reigned between 192-211 AD. Born in the Roman African Province (modern-day Libya), he rose through the ranks because of his military success and an advantageous marriage to the educated Julia Domna. Ruling for an impressive eighteen years, he died at York in England whilst on campaign. He is best remembered for his military reforms which included raising army pay, allowing soldiers to marry and introducing greater opportunities for promotion through the ranks.

The roundel depicts the bust of Septimius, crowned with a wreath and facing right. He is shown with his distinctive forked-beard, a full head of curls and military dress. The inscription reads (from left to right): ‘L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII.’ The whole design is encircled with a border of repouse circles. Two small holes, on the upper edge, would have been used to attach the roundel to a chain or garment. This is an extremely rare and well-preserved object of great historical and aesthetic value.

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