The iconography of Caracalla on this denarius is illustrative of the pivotal changes that the Severan dynasty, and particularly Caracalla himself, instituted. The Antonine emperors were depicted as otherworldly, serene, and even contemplative, communicating the general stability and calm of most of their reign. Septimius Severus and his son appear far more militaristic and vigilant, almost threatening. The Severan era marked a shift in imperial rule, with the emperors operating far more autocratically and dynastically, unapologetically governing as primarily military rulers. This is reflected in part in the close-cropped beard and hair of Caracalla on the obverse, a contrast to the long locks of Antonine iconography. His furrowed brow and severe expression convey his ruthlessness as a soldier-emperor, and as such also imply the importance of the army’s support for his reign. His constant foreign campaigns were extremely costly, and in 212 CE he introduced the Constitutio Antoniniana, extending citizenship to all inhabitants of the empire – a huge and sweeping reform. This was the only means Caracalla had to shore up not only more men to fill legions, but also to pay the many legions (through taxation). Ultimately, his war-thirst became too insatiable and insufferable even for his troops, and in 217 he was murdered by his own soldiers (most likely while taking a stop on the road to relieve himself). KHK.