Caracalla – Denarius – Providentia

Caracalla , 210 - 213 AD , Roma

Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT – Head of Caracalla, laureate, bearded, right 

The inscription reads: Antoninus Pius, Augustus, Britannicus – Antoninus Pius emperor (Augustus), conqueror of the Britons. 


Reverse: PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM – Providentia, draped, standing left, holding wand in right hand over globe and sceptre in left hand 

The Inscription reads: Providentiae Deorum –  To the foresight of the gods.

  • Caracalla
  • Rome
  • Roman Imperial Period
  • Silver
  • 3.05gr
  • 19mm
  • RIC IV Caracalla 227
As with concordia or fides, for instance, Providentia, the foresighted care, belongs to the lofty ideals of a Roman Republic statesman (Cicero ad Q. fr. 1,1,31; rep. 6,1 2,5).
It wasn't until later, during the imperial period, when it was personified and worshiped in conjunction with the emperor's persona as an imperial virtue in the sense of the ruler cult, that it was considered to be divine.
The altar of the Providentiae Augusta, which is close to the Ara Pacis Augustae, is the earliest example of the Providentia religion.
This was present in Rome as early as 14 AD, according to 19 AD. On the one hand, it was seen as the anticipatory care of the emperor over Rome and the Romans (Providentiae Augusta), on the other hand as the providence of the gods over the emperor (Providentiae deorum).
A shift in the generations and the times was imminent or had already happened.
Even though he was already unwell, Septimius Severus traveled to Britain in 208 AD with the entire imperial family so that his sons might celebrate the essential military victories in order to win the necessary support in Rome, but most importantly from the legions.
As early as 210 AD, the emperor was no longer able to command the forces directly, so his son Caracalla, who was chosen to succeed him, assumed ultimate command and continued the battle into Scotland's north.
The emperor passed away in Eboracum (York) on February 4, 211 AD. His son Caracalla took over as emperor, and the family moved back to Rome.
This historical setting is the setting for the minting of these denarii between 210 and 213 AD.
The support of the Senate and the legions was far from guaranteed, and the appointment of the successor was by no means only a formality.
Therefore, the divine will for the new emperor Caracalla is spread through this stamp.
The Providentia, which holds a staff and points to the world, represents the power and intelligence of the emperor who oversaw the Roman world from that moment on.
We believe that this particular denarius was minted after Septimius Severus's death and not as early as 210 AD.
Another Providentia denarius struck under Severus's reign in the years 200 and 201 AD (RIC IV Septimius Severus 166) commemorates both Augusti and the goddess with the legend PROVID AVGG on the back.

However, only Caracalla stands out on the denarius type that is being exhibited here, thus I believe that Severus had already passed away and that this was propaganda for the newly installed emperor.

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