M. Aurelius Severus Alexander, the son of Julia Mamaea and Gessius Marcianus, was adopted by his cousin Elagabalus, and given the title Caesar. After the murder of Elagabalus, he was acknowledged as emperor. Alexander ruled the empire wisely. In A.D. 232 he had to fight Sasanid Ardashir who had overthrown the Arsacid kingdom of Parthia and was threatening Syria and Cappadocia. The campaign was a partial success. Alexander had to return to the west where disturbances on the German frontier required his presence. However, before the fighting actually began the soldiers proclaimed Maximinus, one of their commanders, emperor. Alexander and Julia Mamaea were murdered at the camp near Mainz in A.D. 235.
Severus Alexander celebrated his triumph over the Sasanians in A.D. 232, and a coin type struck about that date appears to commemorate a victory in the Persian war that coincided with the 10th anniversary of Alexander's reign. The VOT X indicates the vows taken for a second ten year reign.
Kevin Beaulieu notes on his excellent web page about Severus Alexander that the following coins may refer to Persia (by RIC4 number):
Click on coin catalog links to view images:
Severus Alexander A.D. 222-235
|RIC4 616||sestertius||IMP SEV ALEXANDER AVG / VICTORIA AVGVSTI||Victory stand. R, foot on helmet, writing VOT X on shield fixed to a palm tree, flanked by S C|
The images are used by permission of their copyright owners. See the Coins of Rome about Parthia index page for a listing of these generous individuals, dealers and institutions.
This page last updated 22 Apr 2008