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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Marcus Aurelius||View Options:  |  |  |   

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

Marcus Aurelius was recognized by Hadrian as a fine and capable youth and betrothed to the daughter of Aelius. Antoninus Pius adopted him and in 145 A.D. he married Antoninus' daughter, Faustina II. In 161 A.D., he succeeded Antoninus as Augustus, immediately proclaiming Lucius Verus his co-emperor. Although known for his adherence to the philosophy of Stoicism and as a naturally peaceful man, Marcus' reign was disturbed by war with Parthia, plague and then a long, hard war along the Danube frontier. He died on March 17th, 180 A.D. and was deified by the senate soon after.


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Primi Decennales - The first period of ten years. This epigraph (with COS. III. in a crown of oak) appears for the first time, either abridged or at full length, on coins, in all three metals, of Antoninus Pius, and afterward on those of his immediate successors, M. Aurelius and Commodus. These Decennales (says Eckhel) like the vota, whether suscepta or soluta, were doubtless celebrated for the health and safety of the reigning emperor. Recorded in the first instance during the reign of the Antonines, they afterward became a constantly recurring subject of numismatic inscription, and especially in the age of the Constantines. -- Dictionary of Roman Coins
RB92450. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1006 (S), MIR 18 219-6/30, Cohen III 497, BMCRE IV 1398, Hunter II 151, SRCV II 4992 var. (obv leg), VF, centered on a tight flan, scattered light porosity, tiny edge cracks, weight 23.400 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 170 - Dec 171 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse PRIMI / DECEN/NALES / COS III / S C, (first 10 years [of successful rule complete], consul three times, senatus consulto [=struck with permission of the senate]), legend in five lines within oak wreath; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. 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.
RB92449. Silver denarius, RIC III AP1322 (S), BMCRE IV AP1983, Hunter II 79, SRCV II 4842, Cohen III -, VF, excellent portrait, dark blue-green patina, areas of light corrosion, weight 12.789 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 154 - 155 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare head, draped bust right; reverse TR POT VIIII COS II, Mars advancing right, nude but for helmet and cloak tied on belt, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of arms in left hand over left shoulder; from the Errett Bishop Collection; no sales of the type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; rare; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Edessa(?), Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Edessa(?),| |Mesopotamia|, |drachm|
This coin is from of a series of rare drachms with portraits of Marcus Aurelius, Faustina II, Lucius Verus, and Lucilla, along with a small bronze of Commodus, struck in Mesopotamia, c. 165 A.D. The series commemorated the Roman victory, as this coin does with the reverse legend VΠEP NIKHC RΩMAIΩN. All have Roma reverse types, but for many, like this coin, the goddess intended and her attributes are uncertain. They were most likely struck at Edessa, but Carrhae or another mint is possible. All the types are very rare. This is the only example of this variety known to FORVM and the only coin known to Forum from this series with obverse legend ending in APM (Armeniacus - victor over the Armenians).
RS94121. Silver drachm, unpublished variety, cf. BMC Arabia p. 137, 3 and pl. XIX, 7 (AVT K M AV...NTΩNIN...), RPC online IV.3 T10747 (...ANTΩNINOC CEB), aF, toned, slightly off center, legend not fully struck, scratches, edge split, weight 2.561 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa(?) mint, c. 165 A.D.; obverse AVTO K M AVPHΛ ANTΩNINOC APM, bare-headed, bearded bust right, drapery on shoulder; reverse VΠEP NIKHC RΩMAIΩN (for the victory of the Romans), goddess standing facing, head left, wearing tunic and mantle, globe or apple in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; extremely rare and possibly unique - the only specimen with this obverse legend known to FORVM; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |as|
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.
RB92448. Copper as, RIC III AP1240a, BMCRE IV 1411, Cohen III 455, Hunter II 45, SGCV II 4834, VF, nice portrait, slightly off center on a tight flan, areas of light corrosion, weight 11.648 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 143 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR PII F COS, bare head right; reverse PIETAS AVG, sacrificial implements: secespita (knife), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug), lituus (augural staff), and simpulum (ladle), S - C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Primi Decennales - The first period of ten years. This epigraph (with COS. III. in a crown of oak) appears for the first time, either abridged or at full length, on coins, in all three metals, of Antoninus Pius, and afterward on those of his immediate successors, M. Aurelius and Commodus. These Decennales (says Eckhel) like the vota, whether suscepta or soluta, were doubtless celebrated for the health and safety of the reigning emperor. Recorded in the first instance during the reign of the Antonines, they afterward became a constantly recurring subject of numismatic inscription, and especially in the age of the Constantines. -- Dictionary of Roman Coins
RB92451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1016 (S), Cohen III 1034, BMCRE IV 1401, Hunter II - (p. cxxvi), SRCV II -, Nice F, attractive brown tone, nice portrait, spots of light corrosion, some bumps and marks, weight 24.890 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 170 - Dec 171 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SOLVTA DECENNALIVM, emperor standing half left, head left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming tripod altar on left, togate and veiled, a bull lying left at his feet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, records of only two specimens of this type on Coin Archives in the last two decades; scarce; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
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, Hellenized image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RB91587. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1417, SRCV II 4976, RIC III 1033 var. (no drapery), Cohen III 281 var. (same), Hunter II 163 var. (same), MIR 18 232-6/30 var. (same), VF, nice portrait, green patina, tight flan, light marks, slight porosity, weight 23.418 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse IMP VI COS III (imperator 6 times, consul 3 times), Roma seated left on low seat, helmeted and draped, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, oval shield at side ornamented with head of Medusa, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $219.00 SALE |PRICE| $197.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Primi Decennales - The first period of ten years. This epigraph (with COS. III. in a crown of oak) appears for the first time, either abridged or at full length, on coins, in all three metals, of Antoninus Pius, and afterward on those of his immediate successors, M. Aurelius and Commodus. These Decennales (says Eckhel) like the vota, whether suscepta or soluta, were doubtless celebrated for the health and safety of the reigning emperor. Recorded in the first instance during the reign of the Antonines, they afterward became a constantly recurring subject of numismatic inscription, and especially in the age of the Constantines. -- Dictionary of Roman Coins
RB92452. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1014 (S), Cohen III 1032, BMCRE IV 1400, SRCV II 5019, Hunter II 155, VF, green patina, areas a little rough/porous, upper half of reverse flat from uneven strike, weight 22.400 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 170 - Dec 171 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SVSEPTA DECENN (prayers and sacrifices undertaken for the 10th anniversary of rule), emperor, veiled, draped, standing left sacrificing on tripod, a bull at his feet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; scarce; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit|, |denarius|
There are no clear breaks to the copper core but the lamination defects are typical of a plated fouree.
RS89769. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III 424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, Hunter II 4, SRCV II 4786 (official, silver, Rome mint), VF, well centered, light toning, nice portrait of slightly unusual style, double strike, light marks, lamination defects, edge cracks, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, as caesar, c. 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); $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RB92932. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE VI A606, RIC III A1242(a) (S), Cohen III 233, SRCV II -, Hunter II -, aVF, nice youthful portrait, dark patina, some legend weak, corrosion, pitting, weight 24.572 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 145 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS II, bare head right; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing left, palm frond in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field; scarce; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Antiocheia, Pisidia, 138 - 161 A.D.

|Pisidia|, |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia,| |138| |-| |161| |A.D.|, |AE| |14|
Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP89331. Bronze AE 14, RPC Online IV.3 T7350 (10 spec.); Krzyzanowska pl. IV, table 8, VII/- (cf. 7-9); BMC Lycia p. 176, 1; SNGvA 4916, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, cleaning scratches. , weight 1.401 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, c. 138 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTIO-C-H, bare-headed, draped bust of Hermes (resemble young Marcus Aurelius as caesar) left, caduceus behind; reverse CO-LONI, cock walking right; ex CNG e-auction 400 (28 Jun 17), lot 528; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

ANTONINVSAVG
ANTONINVSAVGARMENIACVS
AVRELIVSCAESANTONAVGPIIF
AVRELIVSCAESARANTONINIAVGPIIFIL
AVRELIVSCAESARAVGPIIF
AVRELIVSCAESARAVGPIIFCOS
AVRELIVSCAESARAVGPIIFIL
AVRELIVSCAESARAVGPIIFCOS
AVRELIVSCAESAVGPIIF
AVRELIVSCAESAVGPIIFCOS
AVRELIVSCAESAVGPIIFCOSDES
DIVOMARCO
DIVOMARCOANTONINO
DIVVSMANTONINVSPIVS
IMPCAESMAVRELANTONINVSAVG
IMPCAESMAVRELANTONINVSAVGPM
IMPMANTONINVSAVG
IMPMANTONINVSAVGTRPXXV
IMPMAVRELANTONINVSAVG
MANTONINVSAVG
MANTONINVSAVGARMENIACVS
MANTONINVSAVGARMENPM
MANTONINVSAVGARMPARTHMAX
MANTONINVSAVGGERMSARM
MANTONINVSAVGGERMSARMATICVS
MANTONINVSAVGGERMSARMMAX
MANTONINVSAVGGERMSARMTRPXXXI
MANTONINVSAVGGERMSARMTRPXXXPP
MANTONINVSAVGGERMTRPXXIX
MANTONINVSAVGIMPII
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXX
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXIII
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXIIII
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXV
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXVI
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXVII
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXVIII
MANTONINVSAVGTRPXXIX
MAVRELANTONINVSAVG
MAVRELANTONINVSAVGARMENIACVSPM
MAVRELANTONINVSAVGARMPARTHMAX
MAVRELANTONINVSAVGTRPXXXIII
MAVRELIVSCAESARANTONINIAVGPIIF
MAVRELIVSCAESARAVGPIIF


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).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
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).
Szaivert, W. Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus un Commodus (161-192). (Wien, 1984).
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 Saturday, February 29, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Marcus Aurelius