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Roman Empire, Septimius Severus for his Wife Julia Domna, Aureus

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Roman Empire, Septimius Severus for his Wife Julia Domna, Aureus (obverse) Roman Empire, Septimius Severus for his Wife Julia Domna, Aureus (reverse)

In no other society of the ancient world did women enjoy so much esteem as in that of Rome, and nowhere in antiquity did they have so many possibilities to influence the affairs of men. A good example for this was Julia Domna, whom we see on this aureus. She was the cultivated and influential wife of Septimius Severus (193-211) and the foundress of a dynasty of awe-inspiring women, all of the same family. Our aureus depicts Julia Domna as a young woman, her hair done according to the complicated style of the period. The inscription is "IVLIA AVGVSTA," thus referring to the empress by her own name and not, as was usual before that time, to her personification as a goddess. The reverse depicts Juno Regina, the patron goddess of Rome, holding a scepter and a patera, a sacrificial dish; at her feet is a peacock, Juno's sacred bird.

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