Severus Alexander was a beloved cousin of Elagabalus and who was named
Caesar while Elagabalus was still emperor. As his popularity grew, Elagabalus
recognized in him the growing menace of a future rival and sought to oust him.
But this only served to infuriate the army which by now had taken the young
Caesar under its wings. Rather than let Elagabalus depose Alexander by civil or
violent means they instead mutinied and murdered the emperor clearing the way
for Alexander's accession. Alexander went on to rule for thirteen years of
relative peace. Not since the time of Marcus Aurelius did Romans enjoy a monarch
whose ambitions were for their welfare and the pursuit of the arts. His one
singular weakness, which eventually proved to be fatal, was his absolute
reverence for his untactful mother. Like no other woman until then, Julia Mamaea
styled herself an empress in every sense of the word and the unapologetic
exercise of her rule and the incessant meddling in the affairs of state was a
constant embarrassment and irritation to the prevailing sensibilities of the
army, the Senate and the rest of the Roman citizenry. Hushed whispers grew over
time to outspoken protestations to, eventually, open mutiny. The mild-mannered
Alexander was either unable or unwilling to rectify the situation by removing
his mother from the political limelight and, thus, both were corralled in a
mutiny and massacred.
AE 24 221--235 A.D.
Thrace, Deultum 222--228 A.D.
10.2 g., 24 mm.
Obv. IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG: Laureate and draped bust right
Rev. COL FL PAC DEVLT: Zeus seated left, holding patera and scepter, eagle at his feet