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Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors

Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
RB84504. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1133(a) (R), BMCRE IV AP1424, Strack III 1237, Cohen II 183, Hunter II 59 var. (veiled), SRCV II 4624 var. (same), aF, porous, corrosion, weight 24.168 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 141 - 147 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVGVSTA - FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse CONSE-CRATI-O, Faustina seated facing on an eagle flying upward right, her head right, scepter in her left hand, her mantle in her right hand, fluttering behind her and decorated with five stars, S C (Senatus consulto) below; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Faustina Junior and Marcus Aurelius had 14 children. Commodus was the tenth of the fourteen children and the only son to survive. His twin brother Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antonius died at the age of four.
RB84508. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III MA1673, BMCRE IV 949, Cohen III 222, Hunter II 72, Cayon III 104, Szaivert MIR 31, SRCV II 5284 var. (diademed), Nice aF, dark patina, weight 28.047 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Sep 161 - 164 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in a bun at the back; reverse TEMPOR FELIC (happy times), Fecunditas standing left, cradling two infants one in each arm (Commodus and his twin brother Antoninus, born on 31 Aug 161), flanked by four additional children (Fadilla, Cornificia, Faustina III, and Lucilla) standing at her feet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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

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The mint location for the Koinon of Bithynia is uncertain but it was probably Nicomedia. Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP84486. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 1017 (3 spec.); Rec Gen I.2 p. 241, 38; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; 38; BMC Pontus -, gF, brown patina, some roughness, smoothing on reverse, reverse die breaks, cracks, weight 25.115 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Nicomedia?) mint, 2nd issue; obverse AYT KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse octastyle temple (Temple of Rome and Augustus at Nicomedia?), Corinthian columns, on podium of two steps, pellet between middle columns, pediment ornamented with a small figure holding a scepter and sacrificing on an altar, KOI-NON in divided line flanking across center, BEIOYNIANC over prow right in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group e-auction 349 (22 Apr 2015), lot 263; better than the RPC plate coin; very rare; $240.00 SALE PRICE $216.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Kanatha, Decapolis, Provincia Arabia

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Kanatha (or Canatha), 16 miles North of Bostra, is today Qanawat, Syria. It was the Biblical Kenath, which was captured by Nobah from the Amorites (Numbers 32:42 and Judges 8:11) and taken back by Geshur and Aram. The epithet Gabinia (ΓABI in the reverse legend) was probably derived from Gabinius the Proconsul of Syria.
RP83599. Bronze AE 17, SNG ANS 1268 (same dies); Sofaer p. 154 & pl. 132, 6 ff.; Spijkerman p. 92, 8; Rosenberger IV p. 18, 8, F, well centered on a tight flan, toned bronze surfaces, weight 2.54 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kanatha (Qanawat, Syria) mint, obverse KOMO ANTONOC (A unbarred), laureate, draped, and cuirassed right, from behind; reverse ΓABI KANAΘ (A's unbarred, Θ appearing as O), bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; ex Alex G. Malloy; rare coin and city; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Thyateira, Lydia, Conventus of Pergamum

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Plotina was the wife of Trajan, married to him before his succession. She was renowned for her virtue and simplicity. In 100, Trajan awarded her with the title of Augusta, but she did not accept the title until 105. Plotina did not appear on the coinage until 112. She was largely responsible for Hadrian's succession to the throne after the death of Trajan. Plotina died in 129 A.D.

Thyateira (also Thyatira) is the ancient name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). In Revelation, Thyateira is the church that had a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20).
RP84898. Bronze AE 17, RPC Online III 1829 (8 spec.), SNG Munchen 628, Waddington 5357, Mionnet IV 903, BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, dark patina, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 3.067 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thyatira (Akhisar, Turkey) mint, 105 - 117 A.D.; obverse ΠΛΩTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right with hair in a plait behind; reverse ΘYA/TIPH/NΩN in three lines within wreath; rare; $165.00 SALE PRICE $149.00


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

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The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.

Rouvier notes that this type is very often incorrectly attributed to earlier emperors as the legend is frequently missing and the portrait resembles those of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nerva.
RP84807. Bronze AE 26, Sawaya cf. 540 (D98/-, unlisted reverse die); RPC Online III 3832 (23 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 64, 814; SNG Cop 95; Baramki AUB 52; Rouvier 520, F, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, weight 14.082 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Berytus (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, 98 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP NER TRAIAN CAES - AVG GERM P P, laureate head right; reverse ēCOL / IVL - AVG - FEL - BERē (Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Berytus, FEL is upside down in exergue), veiled founder-priest plowing right with two oxen, plowing sacred pomerium around city; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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

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Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RB84425. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 992, BMCRE IV 1385, Szaivert MIR 18 206, Cohen II 127, SRCV II 4966, aF, nice portrait, well centered, weight 28.977 g, maximum diameter 32.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 171 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse COS III (consul 3 times), Mars advancing right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, spear in right hand, trophy across left shoulder in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking his knees; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Chalcis ad Belum, Chalcidice, Syria

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The Chalcis ad Belum lie north of the modern Syrian village of Al-Iss near Al-Hadir, 25 km southwest of Aleppo on the west bank of the Queiq River (the ancient Belus River). Chalcis was distinguished from its namesake in Macedonia by its river. The river, but not the city, was named for the Semitic god Bel or Ba?al.
RY84646. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online 3461 (8 spec.), Butcher 4a; SNG Munchen 511, SNG Milan 3, BMC Galatia -; SNG Cop -, VF, green patina with red earthen highlighting, well centered on a tight flan, some flatness bust high point, weight 14.003 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Chalcis ad Belum (Qinnasrin, Syria) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC APICT CE ΓEPM ∆AK ΠAPΘ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ΦΛ XAΛ/KI∆EWN in two lines, ∆ below, all within laurel wreath of eight bunches of leaves tied at the bottom; rare; $335.00 SALE PRICE $302.00


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

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It seems the Philippopolis mint allowed for many slight variations in legends and types. This variation is apparently unpublished, except Varbanov III 1073, with an unknown obverse legend, and RPC Online 7567 lists an example from the Plovdiv National Museum with an uncertain obverse legend variation. Perhaps one or both of those coins match this type, but photos are not available.
RP69759. Bronze assarion, cf. Varbanov III 1073 (R3, no obv. leg. listed), RPC Online 7567 var. (same, 6 spec., Plovdiv National Museum spec. possible obv. legend var.), aF, well centered, light corrosion, small encrustation above head, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT KAI Λ AYPHΛI OYHPOC (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, Homonoia standing left, phiale in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, altar at feet on left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex-Lindgren; rare; $28.00 SALE PRICE $25.20


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

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In 189 A.D., plague (possibly smallpox) killed as many as 2,000 people per day in Rome. Farmers were unable to harvest their crops and food shortages brought riots in the city. Part of Rome burned in 190. Commodus ordered the city to be rebuilt under the name Colonia Commodiana.
RX79588. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 2686 ff.; Curtis 852; Geissen 2252; Dattari 3889; SNG Cop 582; BMC Alexandria p. 175, 1404; Kampmann-Ganschow 41.124; Emmett 2558, F, dark patina, weight 10.856 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 189 - 28 Aug 190; obverse M A KOM ANTW CEB EYCEB, laureate head right; reverse bust of Selene left, large crescent on left, L Λ (year 30) on right; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00











Catalog current as of Sunday, April 23, 2017.
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Adoptive Emperors