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Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors

Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, 139 A.D.

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In 139, Marcus Aurelius was betrothed to Antoninus Pius' daughter Faustina the Younger and was made Caesar. In 140, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Caesar were the two Roman Consuls. This was the third consulship for Antoninus Pius and the first consulship for Marcus Aurelius. The reverse legend indicates that Marcus had already been selected for his first consulship but that it had not yet begun - dating the coin to December 139 A.D.
RS84670. Silver denarius, RIC III 411b (S); RSC II p. 190, 4; BMCRE IV 126; Strack III 65, SRCV II 4522, Choice VF, toned, superb portrait of young Marcus, some scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.006 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 27 Oct - 31 Dec 139 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate and bearded head of Antoninus Pius right; reverse AVRELIVS CAES AVG PII F COS DES, young beardless head of Marcus Aurelius Caesar left; scarce; $400.00 (€356.00)

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In 143, municipal doctors were designated across the Roman Empire.
SH85481. Silver denarius, RIC III 424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, SRCV II 4786, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive rose toning, die wear, strong flow lines, edge splits, weight 3.099 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), implements of the augurate and pontificate: secespita (knife), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug), lituus (augural staff), and simpulum (ladle); $400.00 (€356.00)

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Cyrene, Cyrenaica

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RPC Online, volume IV, the latest reference, identifies the mint for this type as Cyrene, a correction from Caesarea, Cappadocia.
RP85472. Bronze provincial sestertius, RPC Online IV temp 6846; Sydenham Caesarea 339 (Caesarea); BMC Galatia p. 68, 183 (Caesarea); SNG Cop 245 var. (drapery, Caesarea), aF, well centered, dark patina, scratches, earthen encrustations, weight 20.661 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrene mint, 170 - 171 A.D.; obverse AVTOK KAIC M AYPHA - ANWNEINOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPXIK - EZOYC K∆ (tribunicia potestate 24), bearded and horned head of Zeus Ammon right; very rare; $145.00 (€129.05)

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia

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Magnesia ad Sipylum was a city of Lydia, situated about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now Izmir) on the river Hermus (now Gediz) at the foot of Spil Mount. Nowadays this is the location of Manisa in Turkey. It became a city of importance under the Roman dominion and, though nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius, was restored by that emperor and flourished through the Roman Empire.

Ploutos the personification of wealth is the son of Eirene, goddess of peace.
GB85348. Bronze AE 15, RPC Online VI 1330 (13 spec.); BMC Lydia p. 147, 59; SNG Cop 262; SNG Mun 268; SNG Leypold 1040; Waddington 5082; Mionnet IV 406; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -, VF, porous, die break obverse lower left, weight 2.788 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 180o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, as caesar, c. 140 A.D.; obverse KAI AYPHΛIOC, bare-headed, draped bust right, slight beard; reverse MAΓNHTΩN XIΠYΛOY, child (Ploutos) standing left, clad in short chiton, which he raises in front above his waist with both hands, he carries fruit in its folds; $120.00 (€106.80)

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus. This type refers to Hadrian's return to Rome from his second tour of the provinces in about 132 A.D. It may have been struck before his return to appeal for her protection or after to thank her.
RS84673. Silver denarius, RSC II 789e corr. (789d listed twice in error), BMCRE III 655 var. (draped), RIC II 248 var. (Fortuna leans on rudder), SRCV II 3495 var. (same), gVF, excellent portrait, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, reverse die wear, porous, edge cracks, weight 2.976 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse FORTVNAE REDVCI, Hadrian on left, standing right, togate, scroll in left hand, clasping right hands with Fortuna, goddess standing left, cornucopia in her left hand; rare variety; $270.00 (€240.30)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The elaborate Annona reverse composition reflects the special care Commodus took in supplying the much needed African grain to Rome (in fear of mob uprisings).
RS84978. Silver denarius, RIC III 95, RSC II 17, BMCRE IV 144, MIR 18 647, SRCV II 5627, Hunter II -, Choice VF, nice portrait, well centered, reverse die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.212 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 184 - 185 A.D.; obverse COMM ANT AVG P BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P, Annona standing left, statuette of Concordia holding patera and scepter in Annona's right hand, scepter in her left hand, modius overflowing with grain at feet on left, two persons on prow at feet on right, ANN in exergue; $150.00 (€133.50)

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RB85312. Copper as, RIC III 569a, Cohen II 578, BMCRE IV 1168, Hunter II 166, SRCV II 4903, F, attractive portrait, well centered, light corrosion, weight 11.765 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 139 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse TR POT COS II (tribune of the people, consul for the 2nd time), Pax standing left, branch downward in extended in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, PAX in exergue; $80.00 (€71.20)

Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Tmolus, Lydia

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The primary reference for Tmolus is: Foss, C. "A neighbor of Sardis: the city of Tmolus and its successors" in Classical Antiquity, vol. 1, no. 2 (Oct. 1982), pp. 178-201, available online:

Foss wrote that the small city of Tmolus was first authorized to strike coins under Hadrian. He believed that Tmolus issued coinage only very sporadically and the coins were probably struck at the mint of their neighbor Sardis.
RP85354. Bronze AE 19, RPC Online III 2388 (5 spec.); SNG Cop 635; NC 1903, p. 337, 29 and pl. X, 12 rev.; Foss Tmolus p. 181, type I, VF, grainy surface, edge split, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 190o, struck for Tmolus at Sardis(?) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CEBACTH CABEINA, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse TMΩΛITΩN, Apollo standing right, nude, bow in right hand, arrow in left hand; very rare; $200.00 (€178.00)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc.
RS85126. Silver denarius, Woytek 518, Hunter II 176, RIC II 347, RSC II 276, BMCRE III 549, SRCV II 3149, VF, centered on a tight flan, bumps, scratches, tiny pitting, weight 3.059 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM DAC, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R (high priest, tribune of the people, consul six times, father of the country, the senate and the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude, patera in right hand, large heads of grain in left downward in left hand; $125.00 (€111.25)

Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

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"Nerva maintained that he had liberated Rome from the tyranny of Domitian and restored a constitutionally-based regime." -- David Van Meter
RS85129. Silver denarius, RIC II 19, RSC II 113, BMCRE III 46, Hunter I 22, SRCV II -, gF/F, toned, weight 3.192 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing half left, pileus in right hand, rod pointing up slightly right in left hand; $150.00 (€133.50)

Catalog current as of Thursday, August 17, 2017.
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Adoptive Emperors