Red jasper intaglio of Serapis and Caracalla.. Caracalla was born in 188 C. E. at Lugdunum (Lyons) in Roman Gaul. His father, the future emperor Septimius Severus, was from the African city of Lepcis Magna and his mother, Julia Domna, was from Syrian Emesa. Severus was a singularly superstitious man and was particularly devoted to the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis. During the latter part of his reign, he was often assimilated to this deity, as is shown on coins and statues by the distinctive corkscrew curls on his brow and his long, forked beard.
Serapis was a hellenized version of the native Egyptian deity Osiris-Apis. He was generally identified with Zeus, but he had a broad range of attributes and affinities. As a solar deity, he was identified with Apollo and with the Semitic Baal, but as a chthonic god of the Underworld, he was associated with Pluto and Osiris. He was clearly the tutelary god of the family of Septimius Severus and was the only god represented on Imperial coins during every year of Caracalla’s reign.
The intaglio is damaged, /chipped in one corner.
Measurement: 25 x 18 mm