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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ Antoninus PiusView Options:  |  |  |   

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

Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus was born around 86 A.D. to a distinguished family. After a typical senatorial career, he made a name for himself as proconsul of Asia. He was adopted as Emperor Hadrian's heir in February 138 A.D. and succeeded soon after. His reign was long and peaceful, a Golden Age of tranquility and prosperity. He died in 161 A.D., leaving Marcus Aurelius as his successor.


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In 146, Marcus Aurelius received the imperium proconsular and Faustina the Younger was given the title Augusta.
SH73156. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1669, RIC III 767a, Strack III 974, Cohen II 320, Hill UCR 709, SRCV II 4168, VF, nice green patina, nice portrait, light scratches, tight flan, weight 22.051 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverse Antoninus in slow quadriga left, eagle-tipped scepter in left, reins in right, COS IIII / S C in two lines in exergue; $480.00 (€408.00)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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.
RS85611. Silver denarius, RIC III 70, RSC II 405, BMCRE IV 207, Hunter II 39, SRCV II 4085, Nice VF, attractive style, light toning, obverse slightly off center, flan cracks, weight 3.159 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 165o, Rome mint, 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, head right; reverse GENIVS POP ROMANI (Guardian spirit of the people of Rome), Genius of the People of Rome standing facing, head right, chest bare, himation over left shoulder and around hips and legs, long scepter vertical in left hand, cornucopia in right hand; ex Nemesis Ancients and Antiquities; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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

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Two days before his death, Antoninus was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria, about twelve miles (19 km) from Rome. He ate Alpine cheese at dinner quite greedily. In the night he vomited; he had a fever the next day. The day after that, 7 March 161, he summoned the imperial council, and passed the state and his daughter to Marcus. The emperor gave the keynote to his life in the last word that he uttered when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password - "aequanimitas" (equanimity). He then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died. His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus (surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months).
RS85782. Silver denarius, RIC III MA431; RSC II 156; MIR 18 24-4/10; BMCRE IV p. 393, 48; Hunter II 4; SRCV II 5192, Choice VF, excellent centering, nice portrait, attractive toning, radiating flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.240 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 161 A.D.; obverse DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle standing right on garlanded altar, wings open, head turned back left; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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

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RS73963. Silver tetradrachm, Dattari 2141/2143; Milne 1927; Geissen 1562; Curtis 571/572; Kampmann 35.384; Emmett 1358/11; BMC Alexandria -, F, inscriptions partially unstruck and off flan, weight 14.284 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 147 - 28 Aug 148 A.D.; obverse ANTWNEINOC CEB EYCEB (clockwise from upper right), laureate head right; reverse L EY∆EKATOY (year 11), Apollo Didymaios (Milesios) standing facing, laureate, nude, small stag in extended right hand, bow in left at side; scarce; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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

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Coela in Chersonesos Thraciae (on the Gallipoli peninsula) issued gold and silver coins under Alexander the Great and from the early 2nd century A.D. struck Roman provincial and colonial coins.
RP84057. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 872 (same dies), Varbanov 2888 (R6) var. (legends, grain above prow), SNG Tub -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Dreer -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, VF, nice green patina, tight flan cutting off much of the legends, marks, weight 4.166 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 135o, Coela mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES - ANTONINVS (or similar), laureate head right; reverse AEL MVNI COELANI (or similar), war galley prow left; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RB84964. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 780, BMCRE IV 1710, Cohen II 753, SRCV II 4221, Hunter II -, aVF, nice green patina, small edge crack, weight 23.734 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse Roma seated left, Victory holding wreath and palm in extended right hand, long scepter resting against the crook of her left arm, her left forearm resting on shield set on a prow behind, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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

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Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
RY86830. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online IV 8532 (52 spec.); SNG Hunterian 2628 (same c/m); BMC Galatia p. 125, 8 (same); SNG Cop 28; countermark: Howgego 453 (32 pcs.), aF, c/m VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, corrosion, edge cracks , weight 10.192 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma mint, 138 - 161 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAI TIT AIΛ A∆P ANTWNEINOC CEB EY (or similar), laureate head right, countermark: 5-pointed star in same shaped 5 mm punch; reverse ZEYΓMTEWN, tetrastyle temple, a rectangular walled and colonnaded peribolos before the temple containing sacred grove, crescent with horns up above, obscure officina letter upper left; ex Beast Coins; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS85784. Silver denarius, RIC III 201 (S), RSC II 616, Strack III 230, BMCRE IV 735, SRCV II 4074, Hunter III 76 var. (no HADR), VF, light toning, radiating flow lines, obverse slightly off center, bumps and marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.141 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XIIII COS IIII, Pietas standing front, head right, holding with right hand the forelegs of a hind which stands on it's back legs, dish of fruit in left hand, column altar on right, PIETAS in exergue; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
RB65293. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 981, BMCRE IV 2038, SRCV II 4254, Cohen II -, F, nice portrait, uneven strike, reverse slightly off center, weight 21.364 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 157 - 158 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII, Annona standing slightly slightly left, stalks of grain pointed downward in her right over modius overflowing with stalks of grain at feet on left, rudder vertical behind in left resting on prow of galley right, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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When the young heir Aelius suddenly died on 1 January 138 A.D., the aged Hadrian selected Antoninus, a distinguished senator, as the new heir. Since Antoninus was already 52-year-old, Hadrian also selected heirs for Antoninus himself: his 17-year-old nephew Marcus Aurelius and the 8-year-old son of the late Aelius, Lucius Verus.
RS86683. Silver denarius, RIC II H449, RSC II 1060, BMCRE IV H1010, Strack II H408, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, VF/F well centered, nice portrait, toned, high-points a bit flatly struck, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.895 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, Rome mint, as caesar, 25 Feb - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse IMP T AEL CAES ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse TRIB POT COS, Pietas standing left, veiled and draped, patera in extended right hand, left elbow rests on a column, double cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Barry Murphy (Oct 2007); $110.00 (€93.50)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

ANTONINVSAVGPIVS
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSCOS
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPP
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPCOSIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPCOSIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPIMPII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRP
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXV
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXX
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPCOSII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPCOSIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPCOSIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXV
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXVIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXIX
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXX
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXI
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXIII
ANTONINVSAVGPIVSPPTRPXXIIII
ANTONINVSAVGPPTRIXX
ANTONINVSFXII
ANTONINVSFXVI
ANTONINVSFXVII
ANTONINVSFXXII
IMPANTONINVSAVGCOS
IMPANTONINVSAVGVSTVS
IMPCAESAELANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESAELIVSANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESTAELANTONINVSAVGPIVSPP
IMPCAESTAELHADRANTONINVSAVGPIVSPP
IMPCAESTAELHADRIANTONINVSAVGPIVS
IMPCAESTAELHADRIANTONINVSAVGPIVSPP
IMPTAELCAESANTONINVS
IMPTAELCAESANTONINVSAVG
IMPTAELCAESARHADRANTONINVS
IMPTAELCAESHADRANTONINVS
IMPTAELCAESHADRIANTONINVS
IMPTAELIVSCAESARANTONINVS


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926). (Caesar under Hadrian)
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit Antoninus Pius. (Stuttgart, 1937).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Antoninus Pius