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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 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; $600.00 (€534.00)
 


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On 25 February 138, Hadrian designated Antoninus Pius his successor, on condition that he adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Hadrian died on 10 July after a heart failure at Baiae, he was buried at Rome in the Gardens of Domitia beside his wife, Vibia Sabina. Antoninus Pius succeeded Hadrian as Emperor and asked the Senate to confer divine honors for Hadrian.
SH77280. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV 17, RIC III 11 (S), RSC II 77, Strack III 16, SRCV IV 4054, VF, nice portrait, centered on a tight flan, toned, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.216 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 138 A.D.; obverse IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Barry Murphy; scarce; $270.00 (€240.30)
 


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

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The curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of a throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as a friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. It had no back, low arms, curved legs forming an X, and was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory.
RP84096. Bronze AE 25, Macdonald Hunter p. 330, 29 & pl. L, 17; SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG München -; SNG Tüb -, SNG Leypold -, SNG Turkey -; SNG Hunterian -, RPC -, BMC -, VF, green patina, tight flan, corrosion, weight 12.463 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 30o, Ephesos mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse Antoninus Pius seated left on curule chair, laureate and togate, lituus in right hand; reverse EΦE/ΣIΩN in two lines within laurel wreath closed at the top with an annulet; ex Bankhaus Aufhäuser (18 Nov 1997); very rare; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


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; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


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 Tübingen -, 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; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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Laodikea ad Mar (Latakia, Syria) has been inhabited since the second millennium B.C. It was on the Via Maris, a coastal road that ran south from Antioch to Damascus and Beirut. The city was renamed by Seleucus I Nicator in honor of his mother, Laodice and was a major port for the Seleukid Kingdom. Laodikea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodikea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.
RP83520. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online IV 8589 (7 specs., none published); BMC Galatia p. 256, 70 var. (bust right), VF, fantastic style, dark patina with highlighting earthen fill, both sides off-center, weight 10.834 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 142 - 143 A.D.; obverse AVTO KA TI AI A∆P - ANTΩNEINON CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, from behind; reverse IOYΛIEΩN TΩN KAI ΛAO∆IKEΩN, draped bust of Tyche left, wearing fantastic crown of the city gate, walls and towers, bunches of grapes hanging below ear, KPA before neck, ϘP (year 190) behind; rare; $190.00 (€169.10)
 


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

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In 142, Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall. When complete the wall ran 39 miles (63 km) from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth (Scotland). The Romans built nineteen forts and smaller fortlets (milecastles), to protect the border against the Caledonians.
RB90470. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1315, Cohen II 819, RIC III 642(a), Strack III 863, SRCV II 4237, aF, weight 22.720 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 141 - 143 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right; reverse TIBERIS, Tiber reclining left, wreathed with reeds, resting right hand on boat on his far side, reeds in left, left arm resting on urn on its side from which water flows, S C in exergue; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. This coin, dedicated to the health of the emperor, probably indicates the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
RS77074. Silver denarius, RIC III 305, RSC II 741, BMCRE IV 988, SRCV II 4106, VF, well centered, slight porosity, light marks, small deposits, small edge cracks, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVG COS IIII, Salus standing left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake coiled around altar at feet on left, long scepter vertical behind in left; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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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).
RS77087. 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, attractive toning, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 18.5 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 (€133.50)
 


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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
RS77091. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV 855 (same rev. legend breaks), RIC III 251, RSC II 987, Strack III 295, cf. SRCV II 4073 (TR P XVI), Hunter II - (p. lxxix), VF, nice portrait, toned, centered, weight 3.591 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, Rome mint, 155 - 156 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XIX COS IIII, Fortuna standing slightly right, head right, rudder on globe vertical behind in left hand, cornucopia with top turned inward in right hand; $150.00 (€133.50)
 




  



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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.X. 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.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A.S. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. 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.L. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit Antoninus Pius. (Stuttgart, 1937).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 08, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Antoninus Pius