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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Caracalla
CommonName:     Caracalla
FullName:  Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Caracalla
Reign:  198-217 AD
Title:  Emperor
Born:  188 AD
Died:  217 AD
Relationship:  Son of Severus
Julius Bassianus, later nicknamed Caracalla from the long cloak he wore, was the eldest son of Septimius Severus. One reason for the popularity of the nickname was the complete change of name, to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, marking his elevation to the status of Caesar in 195. As there was in the popular mind a considerable difference between the real Marcus and this rather nasty emperor, the nickname stuck.
Raised to the status of his father's co-Augustus in 198, he showed himself competent as a general, and more than competent as a conspirator. The Praetorian prefect Plautianus, whose daughter he was forced to marry, found himself outclassed and was assassinated at Caracalla's bidding in 205. Severus himself barely foiled Caracalla's plots to speed up the succession, finally dying on campaign.
Caracalla raised the soldiers' pay from 500 denarii to 675 or 750 depending on the type of troops. Inflation made the increase a lot less than it looked, but it still made him look to extreme measures to collect the necessary funds. One way was to introduce a new coin, the Antoninianus - named after him - as a double denarius, though it only had 1 1/2 denarii worth of silver. Another was to expand Roman citizenship with its privileges and taxes to all free inhabitants of the empire.
Caracalla was another one of those who had no patience with any sort of restraint. His brother wasn't much of a restraint; but to Caracalla, sharing power with anyone was intolerable. Accordingly he had him murdered; the tale goes that he had arranged a meeting to patch up their quarrels under the auspices of their mother; a soldier killed Geta on Caracalla's orders, and this was followed by a widespread purge of all of Geta's supporters.
Spurred on by ambition to become a second Alexander, Caracalla decided that his best strategy was to employ his army in the conquest of Parthia. In the meanwhile he employed it in slaughtering the inhabitants of Alexandria, who had taunted him with murdering his brother, and with committing incest with his mother Julia. He then marched out against the Parthians, who under Artabanus V were on their last legs, and did not dare to meet the Romans in battle, at least at first. Nonetheless, after he had desecrated the royal cemetery at Arbela, Artabanus gathered a powerful army, and prepared to attack. Meanwhile Caracalla continued his purges, until his prefect Macrinus, knowing himself threatened by Caracalla's suspicions, decided to act first. Accordingly while Caracalla was traveling between Edessa and Carrhae in Mesopotamia, he was stabbed to death by a disgruntled soldier at Macrinus's instigation.

Caracalla AE28 Hadrianopolis, Asklepios, Bronze coin 28mm of Caracalla 198-217AD.Thrace,Hadrianopolis


Caracalla, 198-211 CE, silver denarius, 17-19mm. Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS.AVG.BRIT. His bust to right.
Reverse: INDVLG.FECVNDAE.Julia Domna seated on throne to left holding sceptor.Sear 1919

Caracalla, billon tetradrachm, (12.26g) Berytus, AVT K M A [AN TW] NINOC Laureate head right. / DHMArX EZ [VPATO] C TOD Eagle standing,wings open, head left, holding wreath in beak, prow left between legs SGI2670, Bell.282. Toned Choice VF.
Caracalla --Pisidia, Antioch. Æ 34mm (28.52 gm). IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla right / COL CAES ANTIOCH, S R across field, Mên standing facing, head right, holding long sceptre and Nike on globe. Krzyzanowska pl.

Caracalla Antiochia ae22- 4.6gr. Ob: PIVS AVG ANTONINVS Laureate head right. Cuirass and draped.Rv: ANTIOCH CE N COL CA (Colonia Caesareia Antiocheia) Fortuna Woman standing left. Possibly a modius on her head with a cornucopia in her left arm, right arm extended. SNG von Aulock 4934

Marcianopolis is this AE28 of Caracalla and his mother Julia Domna. The obverse legend in this case was crowded into the encircling area rather than using the 'continued in exergue' style described above. It is interesting that the title AVGOVCTOC (Augustus) was spelled out completely rather than being abbreviated AVG (AVG) making the long legend a better fit. The reverse attempted to do this same thing but space ran out with two letters left so WN was placed in the fields one letter on each side of the bust of Serapis. Again the legend included the name of the legate. In this case we see KVNTILIANOV (Quintillianus).

Imperial Rome, Caracalla 198 - 217 AD. AE-24. Odessos, Thrace. 8.56g. His laureate head rt. / Serapis standing lt., holding a patera over an altar and a cornucopiae.