Ancient Rome, 195-197 AD, Clodius Albinus, AR Denarius, CH XF, NGC


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This is a scarce Denarius issued by Clodius Albinus during his time as Caesar and ally of Septimus Severus in AD 193.  Though Albinus held the title of Governor of Britain and administered Britain and parts of Gaul, this coin was issued in Rome.  Septimus Severus later had designs on controlling the entire Empire and once he defeated rival Pescennius Niger in the East; set his sights on eliminating Clodius Albinus.  Albinus declared himself emperor in AD 196 and set himself up for confrontation with Septimus Severus.  The two rivals met at the Battle of Lugudunum in February, 197 AD.  The battle and the Empire went to Septimus Severus upon Albinus’ defeat on 19 February.  Albinus and his family were subsequently put to death that day.

This coin has an irregularly shaped flan as is typical of most of Albinus’ denarii and most all denarii struck in the 190’s.  The portrait is bold and clear and unmistakably that of Clodius Albinus.  Though not perfectly clear, much of the legend is readable on the coin as well.

Obverse:  CLOD SEPT ALBINVS CAES.  Bare head of Clodius Albinus, right.

Reverse: COS II.  Aesculpiaus standing Left holding Staff.

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