|MARCVS OPELLIVS MACRINVS accompanied
Caracalla as praetorian prefect on the Parthian campaign of 216-217
when he heard of a prophecy that he would one day become emperor.
Fearing Caracalla would hear of this prophecy as well, Macrinus felt he
had no other choice than to have the emperor assassinated. Three days
after Caracalla's death he was hailed as the new emperor by the troops,
who largely remained unaware of his involvement in the coup. Unable to
return to Rome because of the ongoing conflict with the Parthians,
Macrinus was slow in responding to the internal threat posed
by Julia Maesa (Julia Domna's elder sister), who started
rumors among the legions that her teenage grandson VARIVS
AVITVS BASSIANVS (now known to us as the emperor Elagabalus) was the
illegitimate son of Caracalla. When the Parthian campaign ended with an
unfavorable peace for Rome, Macrinus' popularity dropped to an
all time low, and a mutiny among the legions
the Severan stronghold of Emesa broke out in May 218. The
that followed was won by the Severan legions and both Macrinus and his
son Diadumenian, were killed in the aftermath in June 218. Thus
Macrinus never set foot in Rome during his short reign
of 14 months.
(Contributed by Jan de Veen)
Denarius (17mm, 3.2gr), Struck 218 A.D. in Rome
Obv: IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust right
Rev: P M TR P II COS P P Annona standing front, head left, holding two grain-ears and cornucopiae; modius filled with grain ears at her feet.
RIC 26, RSC 47b, Sear 7340 var., BMC 43.
Chris Storck Collection
Denarius (16.7mm, 3.4gr), Struck 218 A.D. in Rome
Obv: IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG Laureate and draped bust right
Rev: AEQVITAS AVG Aequitas standing half-left, holding scales and cornucopiae.
RIC 53, RSC 2, Sear 7329, BMC 58.
Bob Rinaldi Collection
Denarius (20mm, 2.47gr), Struck 217 A.D. in Rome
Obv: IMP C M OPEL MACRINVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust right
Rev: SECVRITAS TEMPORVM Securitas standing facing, head left, legs crossed, holding scepter and resting left arm on column.
RIC 91, RSC 122b, Sear 7365, BMC 28.
Pierre R. Monney Collection
Dupondius (25mm, 11.41gr), Struck 218 A.D. in Rome
Obv: IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG Radiate and cuirassed bust right
Rev: VICT PART P M TR P II COS II P P, S C Victory seated right on cuirass preparing to inscribe shield resting on knee.
RIC 165, Sear 7416, BMC, p 523 *.
Mark Lehman Collection