Orbiana, as Augusta through marriage to Severus Alexander from 225-227 AD, Silver Denarius (2.41g, 21mm), struck at Rome 225 AD. Obverse: Diademed and draped Bust of Sallustia Orbiana facing to right, legend around, “SALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG”. Reverse: Draped figure of Concordia seated facing to left, holding patera and double cornucopiae, legend around, “CONCORDIA AVGG”. Sear-8191; RIC-319; RSC-1. Slightly rough / granular surfaces, particularly on reverse, otherwise a semi scarce type – struck on a broad flan. Near Very Fine.
The Obverse Latin legend reads “Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta”, naming her last three names as well as her title of Augusta through marriage to Severus alexander; her name in full reads “Gnaea Seia Herennia Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta”. The Reverse Latin legend reads “Concordia Augustōrum”, translating to “Harmony of the Augustus and Augusta”, referring to the harmony of the marriage between Severus Alexander and Sallustia Orbiana, and the harmony it would bring to the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, despite the two showing genuine affection for one another, Severus’ mother, Julia Mamaea, had the young Augusta exiled in 227 AD, merely two years after the marriage; it is said that Mamaea became jealous of Orbiana due to her desire to be the sole Augusta, and was exceptionally cruel as a result. The concept of Concordia would not follow the reign of Severus Alexander – due to his military inexperience and tendency for diplomacy, the young Emperor was assassinated by the disgruntled Legionaries of Legio XXII Primigenia at Moguntiacum. The deaths of Severus and his mother Julia Mamaea on the 22nd of March 235 AD marked the epoch event of the ‘Crisis of the Third Century’, the gradual deterioration of the Roman State due to 50 years of civil wars, foreign invasion, and collapse of the monetary economy; a tragedy only mitigated by the reigns of men such as Aurelian and Diocletian.