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Search results - "Aelius"
Aelius_RIC_II_1075_hadrian.jpg
16 Aelius16 viewsAELIUS
Æ As. Rome mint.
(26mm, 10.09 g, 6h). Struck under Hadrian, 137AD
Bare head right / Salus seated left feeding serpent rising from altar.
RIC II 1075 (Hadrian). Near EF, green patina, rough spot before Aelius’ neck.
Ex CNG
RI0074
Sosius
00023x00~0.jpg
21 viewsAelius. Caesar, AD 136-138.
Fourrée Denarius Core (18mm, 2.68 g, 6 h)
Copying a Rome mint issue struck under Hadrian, AD 137
Laureate head right
Pietas standing left, dropping incense on flaming altar and holding box of perfumes
Cf. RIC II 432
Ardatirion
aelius_res.jpg
(0136) AELIUS CAESAR38 views136 - 138 AD
AE 24.5 mm 8.72 g
O: L AELIUS CAESAR bare head right
R: TR POT COSII / SC Spes standing left lifting skirt, holding flower
Scarce
laney
normal_aelius_res_blk.jpg
(0136) AELIUS CAESAR14 views136 - 138 AD
AE 24.5 mm 8.72 g
O: L AELIUS CAESAR bare head right
R: TR POT COSII / SC Spes standing left lifting skirt, holding flower
Scarce
laney
coin614.JPG
002. Augustus38 viewsAugustus. 27 BC-AD 14. Æ Dupondius (28mm, 12.15 g). Rome mint. Q. Aelius Lamia, moneyer. Struck 18 BC. Legend in three lines within wreath / Legend around large S C. RIC I 324; BMCRE 176; BN 236. Near VF, brown patina with tan high points, some scratches on obverse.1 commentsecoli
0096.jpg
0096 - Denarius Aelia 138 AC27 viewsObv/ Head of Roma r. in winged helmet, X behind.
Rev/ Dioscuri galloping r., two stars above, P PAETVS below, ROMA in ex.

Ag, 21.0 mm, 3.84 g
Moneyer: P. Aelius Paetus.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 233/1 [dies o/r: 73/91] - Syd. 455 - RSC Aelia 3
ex-AENP Coin Convention Valencia, feb 2012
dafnis
102155.jpg
012a. Domitia101 viewsDomitia, wife of Domitian. Augusta, 82-96 AD.

In 70, Domitia was married to Lucius Aelius Lamia, but she attracted the attention of Domitian, son of emperor Vespasian. Shortly afterwards she was taken from her husband and remarried with the future emperor. They had a son in the next year and a daughter in 74, both died young. Domitian was very fond of his wife and carried her in all his travels. In 83, Domitia Longina's affair with the actor Paris was disclosed. Paris was executed and Domitia received her letter of divorce from Domitian. She was exiled, but remained close to Roman politics and to Domitian.

CILICIA, Epiphanea. Æ 21mm (7.18 gm). Dated year 151 (83/84 AD). Draped bust right / Athena standing left, righ hand extended, left resting on shield; ANP (date) left. RPC I 1786; SNG Levante 1813; SNG France -; SNG Copenhagen -. VF, dark green patina, some smoothing. Very rare, only 1 specimen (the Levante specimen), recorded in RPC. Ex-CNG
ecoli73
Brutus-Syd-907.jpg
013. M. Junius Brutus.58 viewsDenarius, 54 BC, Rome mint.
Obverse: BRVTVS / Bust of L. Junius Brutus.
Reverse: AHALA / Bust of C. Servilius Ahala.
4.09 gm., 19 mm.
Syd. #907; RSC #Junia 30; Sear #398.

The moneyer of this coin is the same Brutus who killed Julius Caesar. However, this coin was minted about a decade earlier. It portrays two ancestors of Brutus:

1. L. Junius Brutus lead the Romans to expel their king L. Tarquinius Superbus. He was one of the founding fathers of the Roman Republic, and was elected one of the first consuls in 509 BC.

2. C. Cervilius Ahala. In 439 BC, during a food shortage in Rome, Spurius Maelius, the richest patrician, bought as much food as he could and sold it cheaply to the people. The Romans, always fearful of kings, thought he wanted to be king. So an emergency was declared and L. Cincinnatus was proclaimed Dictator. Maelius was ordered to appear before Cincinnatus, but refused. So Ahala, as Magister Equitam, killed him in the Forum. Ahala was tried for this act, but escaped condemnation by voluntary exile.
4 commentsCallimachus
Personajes_Imperiales_3.jpg
03 - Personalities of the Empire53 viewsNerva, Trajan, Plotina, Marciana, Matidia, Hadrian, Sabina, Aelius, Antoninus Pius, Faustina I, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus and Lucillamdelvalle
32a.jpg
032 Aelius. AR Denarius 3.3gm20 viewsobv: L AELIVS CAESAR bare head r.
rev: TR POT COS II Spes adv. l. holding flower and raising dress
hill132
Aelius-AE-As_AELIVS-CAESAR_TR-POT-COS-II_S-C_CONCORD_RIC-1070_C-8_Rome_137-AD_Scarce_Q-001_6h_24-26,5mm_10,09g-s.jpg
034 Aelius (136-137 A.D.), RIC II 1070, Rome, AE-As, TR POT COS II, Concordia seated left, Scarce !106 views034 Aelius (136-137 A.D.), RIC II 1070, Rome, AE-As, TR POT COS II, Concordia seated left, Scarce !
avers: AELIVS-CAESAR, Bare head right.
revers: TR-POT-COS-II, Concordia seated left holding patera and resting elbow on cornucopiae.
exe: S/C//CONCORD, diameter: 24-26,5mm, weight: 10,09g, axis: 6h,
mint: Rome, date: 137A.D., ref: RIC-II-1070 (Hadr), p-, C-8, Scarce !
Q-001
quadrans
Aelius-Caesar-RIC-439.jpg
051. L. Aelius Verus.29 viewsDenarius, 137 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: L AELIVS CAESAR / bust of Aelius.
Reverse: TR POT COS II PIETAS / Pietas standing before altar, holding box of perfumes in left hand.
3.63 gm., 17 mm.
RIC #Hadrian 439; Sear #3971.
1 commentsCallimachus
IMG_5339.JPG
054. Aelius, adopted son of Hadrian, father of Lucius Verus (136-138 A.D.) 27 viewsAv.: L AELIVS CAESAR
Rv.: TR POT COS II / S-C

AE As Ø25 / 7.6g
RIC 1067 Rome, Cohen 57, BMC 1931
Juancho
coin193.JPG
103b. Aelius25 viewsAelius was adopted by an aging and ailing Hadrian in 136 and named successor to the throne, although he had no military experience; he had served as a senator. He had powerful political connections, but was in poor health. His tastes were luxurious and extravagant and his life said to have been frivolous. Hadrian's choice seems to have been an error in judgement. Some scholars have suggested that Aelius may have been Hadrian's bastard son, but there is no reason to believe this. Aelius himself was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.

Copper as, S 3993, RIC 1067, gF, 10.88g, 27.9mm, 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR•POT COS II S C, Spes advancing right, holding flower and raising drapery; attractive translucent brown toning, ex Scott Collection, ex Forum

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ecoli
coin308.JPG
103b. Aelius23 viewsAelius. Caesar, AD 136-138. Æ As Rome mint. Struck under Hadrian, AD 137. Bare head right / Spes advancing left, holding flower and lifting skirt of dress; S C across field. RIC II 1067 (Hadrian).

Check
ecoli
3290446.jpg
104. Antoninus Pius38 viewsAntoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Æ Sestertius (31mm, 24.70 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 149. Laureate head right / Crossed cornucopias from which a grape bunch flanked by two grain ears hang, surmounted by busts of boy. RIC III 857; Banti 410. Near VF, brown patina, minor surface roughness.

From the Fairfield Collection. Ex Pegasi Auctions 25 (8 November 2011), lot 504.

The infants are thought to be T. Aelius Antoninus and T. Aurelius Antoninus, the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior born in AD 149. These were the first male offspring of the couple, offering hope for the establishment of the new dynasty, but both died in infancy.

Ex-CNG Eauction 329 446/150/180
ecoli
rjb_ael2_08_06.jpg
13615 viewsAelius, Caesar 136-8 AD
AR denarius
Obv "L AELIVS CAESAR"
Bare bust right
Rev "TR POT COS II"
Spes standing left
Rome mint
RIC 435
mauseus
aelius caes as.jpg
136-138 AD - AELIUS Caesar AE as - struck 137 AD48 viewsobv: L AELIVS CAESAR (bare head right)
rev: TR POT COS II (Pannonia standing left, holding vexillum and raising skirt), S-C in field, PANNONIA in ex.
ref: RIC II 1073 (Hadrian) (S), C.33 (8fr.), RIC pass over ex., only Cohen.
9.72gms, 25mm, copper
Rare
Lucius Aurelius Cejonius Commodus Verus was prefect of Pannonia Superior. Hadrian adopted Ceionius in Summer of 136, renaming him Lucius Aelius Caesar, but he died of illness on January 1, 138 AD.
This coin was found in plough-land where spoiled a lot of artificial fertilizer.
berserker
aelius caesar.jpg
136-138 AD - AELIUS Caesar AR denarius - struck 137 AD47 viewsobv: L AELIVS CAESAR (bare head right)
rev: TR POT COS II (Concordia seated left, holding patera and leaning on cornucopiae), CONCORD in exergue.
ref: RIC II 436 (Hadrian), RSC 1 (12frcs), BMCRE 981(Hadrian)
Scarce
2.91gms, 18mm

Lucius Ceionius Commodus, a sleek Senator from a distinguished Roman family, was plucked from obscurity by Hadrian in 136 and named as his chosen successor, with the adoptive name Lucius Aelius Caesar. The adoption was marked by the appropriate games and ceremonies, but it soon became evident the young heir was consumptive, leading Hadrian to remark that he'd blown several million sesterces to no purpose. As governor of Pannonia did Aelius no good, the wet, frigid climate worsening his condition. In January 138, Aelius died.
berserker
antpius sest-.jpg
138-161 AD - ANTONINUS PIUS AE sestertius - struck 149 AD34 viewsobv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII (laureate bust right)
rev: TEMPORVM FELICITAS, COS IIII in exergue, S C across field (crossed cornucopiae from which a grape bunch flanked by two grain ears hang, surmounted by busts of two boys, vis-á -vis)
ref: RIC III 857, Cohen 813 (8frcs), BMC 1825note
23.14gms, 30mm,
Rare

The infants are thought to represent T. Aelius Antoninus and T. Aurelius Antoninus, the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior born in 149 AD. These were the first male offspring of the couple, offering hope for the establishment of the new dynasty, but both died in infancy.
The coin is before cleaning.
berserker
IMG_2422.JPG
142 Aelius47 viewsOrichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1059, SRCV II 3981, BMCRE III Hadrian 1921, Cohen II 26, aF, Rome mint, weight 25.725g, maximum diameter 31.3mm, die axis 180o, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, PANNO-NIA and S - C across fields, Pannonia standing facing, head left, holding vexillum in right hand and gathering up drapery in left; scarce; ex forvm5 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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150 Antoninus Pius108 viewsAntoninus Pius AE Dupondius. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, radiate head right / COS IIII S-C, Salus standing left feeding snake arising from altar to left & holding rudder to right.
Cohen 279 B.M.C. 1732 RIC 798, sear5 #4269 26mm 139 A.D.

Finally got a photo of my own that looked good enough lol.Took over a year but got it!


In 139A.D.
"The Tomb of Hadrian in Rome is completed, emperor Antoninus Pius cremates the body of Hadrian and placed his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius in the mausoleum.
Marcus Aurelius is named Caesar. He marries Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus Pius."
8 commentsRandygeki(h2)
HadrianSestFortuna.jpg
1be Hadrian44 views117-138

Sestertius
Laureate head, right, HADRIANVUS AVG COS III PP
Fortuna standing left with rudder on globe and cornucopia, FORTVNA AVG

RIC 759

According to the Historia Augusta, "Bereft of his father at the age of ten, he became the ward of Ulpius Trajanus, his cousin, then of praetorian rank, but afterwards emperor, and of Caelius Attianus, a knight. He then grew rather deeply devoted to Greek studies, to which his natural tastes inclined so much that some called him 'Greekling. . . .' In the 105-106 second Dacian war, Trajan appointed him to the command of the First Legion, the Minervia, and took him with him to the war; and in this campaign his many remarkable deeds won great renown. . . . On taking possession of the imperial power
Hadrian at once resumed the policy of the early emperors and devoted his attention to maintaining peace throughout the world. . . . [I]n this letter to the Senate he apologized because he had not left it the right to decide regarding his accession, explaining that the unseemly haste of the troops in acclaiming him emperor was due to the belief that the state could not be without an emperor. . . . He was, in the same person, austere and genial, dignified and playful, dilatory and quick to act, niggardly and generous, deceitful and straightforward, cruel and merciful, and always in all things changeable. . . . Hadrian's memory was vast and his ability was unlimited ; for instance, he personally dictated his speeches and gave opinions on all questions. He was also very witty. . . ."

After this Hadrian departed for Baiae, leaving Antoninus at Rome to carry on the government. But he received no benefit there, and he thereupon
sent for Antoninus, and in his presence he died there at Baiae on the sixth day before the Ides of July.

According to Eutropius: After the death of Trajan, AELIUS HADRIAN was made emperor, not from any wish to that effect having been expressed by Trajan himself, but through the influence of Plotina, Trajan's wife; for Trajan in his life-time had refused to adopt him, though he was the son of his cousin. He also was born at Italica in Spain. Envying Trajan's glory, he immediately gave up three of the provinces which Trajan had added to the empire, withdrawing the armies from Assyria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, and deciding that the Euphrates should be the boundary of the empire. When he was proceeding, to act similarly with regard to Dacia, his friends dissuaded him, lest many Roman citizens should be left in the hands of the barbarians, because Trajan, after he had subdued Dacia, had transplanted thither an infinite number of men from the whole Roman world, to people the country and the cities; as the land had been exhausted of inhabitants in the long war maintained by Decebalus.

He enjoyed peace, however, through the whole course of his reign; the only war that he had, he committed to the conduct of a governor of a province. He went about through the Roman empire, and founded many edifices. He spoke with great eloquence in the Latin language, and was very learned in the Greek. He had no great reputation for clemency, but was very attentive to the state of the treasury and the discipline of the soldiers. He died in Campania, more than sixty years old, in the twenty-first year, tenth month, and twenty-ninth day of his reign. The senate was unwilling to allow him divine honours; but his successor Titus Aurelius Fulvius Antonius, earnestly insisting on it, carried his point, though all the senators were openly opposed to him.
1 commentsBlindado
AeliusAsAnnona.jpg
1bg Aelius29 viewsCaesar, 136-138

As

Bare head, right, AELIVS CAESAR
Pannonia standing and holding a standard, PANNONIA SC

RIC 1071

According to the Historia Augusta (note: scholars view this biography in the text as among those particularly suspect regarding veracity): Aelius Verus was adopted by Hadrian at the time when, as we have previously said, the Emperor's health was beginning to fail and he was forced to take thought for the succession. He was at once made praetor and appointed military and civil governor of the provinces of Pannonia ; afterwards he was created [in AD 136] consul, and then, because he had been chosen to succeed to the imperial power, he was named for a second consulship. . . . [I]n the province to which he had been appointed he was by no means a failure ; for he carried on a campaign with
success, or rather, with good fortune, and achieved the reputation, if not of a pre-eminent, at least of an
average, commander.

Verus had, however, such wretched health that Hadrian immediately regretted the adoption, and since he often considered others as possible successors, he might have removed him altogether from the imperial family had Verus chanced to live longer. . . .

Verus was a man of joyous life and well versed in letters, and he was endeared to Hadrian, as the malicious say, rather by his beauty than by his character. In the palace his stay was but a short one; in his private life, though there was little to be commended, yet there was little to be blamed. Furthermore, he was considerate of his family, well-dressed, elegant in appearance, a man of regal beauty, with a countenance that commanded respect, a speaker of unusual eloquence, deft at writing verse, and, moreover, not altogether a failure in public life.

This sad little flan looks a bit tubercular, like the subject of the portrait.
Blindado
AntonPiusAsWreath.jpg
1bh Antoninus Pius49 views138-161

As

Laureate head, right, ANTONINUS AVG PIVS PP TR P XI
Wreath, PRIMI DECENALIS COS IIII SC

RIC 171

According to the Historia Augusta: Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus Pius. . . was born at an estate at Lanuvium on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of October in the twelfth consulship of Domitiaiiand first of Cornelius Dolabella. . . . In personal appearance he was strikingly hand-
some, in natural talent brilliant, in temperament kindly; he was aristocratic in countenance and calm in nature, a singularly gifted speaker and an elegant scholar, conspicuously thrifty, a conscientious land-holder, gentle, generous, and mindful of others' rights. He possessed all these qualities, moreover, in the proper mean and without ostentation, and, in fine, was praiseworthy in every way and, in the minds of all good men. . . . He was given the name of Pius by the senate, either because, when his father-in-law was old and weak, he lent him a supporting hand in his attendance at the senate. . . or because he spared those men whom Hadrian in his ill-health had condemned to death, or because after Hadrian's death he
had unbounded and extraordinary honours decreed for him in spite of opposition from all, or because, when Hadrian wished to make away with himself, by great care and watchfulness he prevented him from so doing, or because he was in fact very kindly by nature and did no harsh deed in his own time. . . .

The manner of his adoption, they say, was some what thus : After the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had adopted and named Caesar, a day was set for the meeting of the senate, and to this Arrius Antoninus came, supporting the steps of his father-in-law. For this act, it is said, Hadrian adopted him. But this could not have been the only reason for the adoption, nor ought it to have been, especially since Antoninus had always done well in his administration of public office. . . .

After his accession to the throne he removed none of the men whom Hadrian had appointed to office, and, indeed, was so steadfast and loyal that he retained good men in the government of provinces for terms of seven and even nine years. He waged a number of wars, but all of them through his legates. . . . With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own. As a result, the provinces all prospered in his reign, informers were abolished, and the confiscation of goods was less frequent than ever before. . . .

He died in the seventieth year of his age, but his loss was felt as though he had been but a youth. . . . On the second day, as he saw that his condition was becoming worse, in the presence of his prefects he committed the state and his daughter to Marcus Antoninus. . . .
Blindado
LVerusAsTrophies.jpg
1bl Lucius Verus113 views161-169

As
166-167

Laureate head, right, L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX
3 trophies, TR P VII IMP III[I] COS III

RIC 1464

Son of Aelius Caesar and adopted son of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius elevated his adoptive brother to co-ruler in 161. The Parthians launched an attack against Roman Syria that it had planned before the death of Pius, and Marcus, with the agreement of the Senate, dispatched Lucius to deal with the crisis. According to the Historia Augusta, "Verus, of course, after he arrived in Syria, lived in luxury at Antioch and Daphne, although he was acclaimed imperator while waging the Parthian war through legates." This coin's reverse honors his military victory over the Parthians in 165.

The Historia Augusta describes Verus: He was physically handsome with a genial face. His beard was allowed to grow almost in Barbarian style. He was a tall man, his forehead projected somewhat above his eyebrows, so that he commanded respect. . . In speech almost halting, he was very keen on gambling, and his way of life was always extravagant.
Blindado
VA15279.jpg
30-01 - AELIO (136 - 138 D.C.)78 viewsAR Denario 18 mm 3.3 gr.

Anv: "L AELIVS CAESAR" - Cabeza desnuda viendo a derecha.
Rev: "TR POT COS II" - Pietas (La Piedad) estante a der. ante un altar, levantando su mano der. y sosteniendo su vestido con izq. "PIETAS" en los campos.

Acuñada 137 D.C.
Ceca: Roma
Rareza: S

Referencias: RIC Vol.II #438 Pag.393 - RSC Vol.II #36 Pag. 163 - BMCRE Vol.II #989 - Cohen Vol.II #36 Pag.261 - DVM #4/2 var. Pag.133 - Sear RCTV Vol.II #3971 Pag.199 - St. Vol.I #389 - Hill UCR #840
2 commentsmdelvalle
RIC_438_Denario_Aelio.jpg
30-01 - AELIO (136 - 138 D.C.)19 viewsAR Denario 18 mm 3.3 gr.

Anv: "L AELIVS CAESAR" - Cabeza desnuda viendo a derecha.
Rev: "TR POT COS II" - Pietas (La Piedad) estante a der. ante un altar, levantando su mano der. y sosteniendo su vestido con izq. "PIETAS" en los campos.

Acuñada 137 D.C.
Ceca: Roma
Rareza: S

Referencias: RIC Vol.II #438 Pag.393 - RSC Vol.II #36 Pag. 163 - BMCRE Vol.II #989 - Cohen Vol.II #36 Pag.261 - DVM #4/2 var. Pag.133 - Sear RCTV Vol.II #3971 Pag.199 - St. Vol.I #389 - Hill UCR #840
mdelvalle
TiberiusTributePennyRICI30RSCII16aSRCV1763.jpg
703a, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-2148 viewsSilver denarius, RIC I 30, RSC II 16a, SRCV 1763, gVF, Lugdunum mint, 3.837g, 18.7mm, 90o, 16 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM, Pax/Livia seated right holding scepter and branch, legs on chair ornamented, feet on footstool; toned. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Tiberius (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Introduction
The reign of Tiberius (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships.

. . . .

Early life (42-12 B.C.)
Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on 16 November 42 B.C. to Ti. Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. Both parents were scions of the gens Claudia which had supplied leaders to the Roman Republic for many generations. . . [I]n 39 B.C., his mother Livia divorced Ti. Claudius Nero and married Octavian, thereby making the infant Tiberius the stepson of the future ruler of the Roman world. Forever afterward, Tiberius was to have his name coupled with this man, and always to his detriment.

. . . .

Accession and Early Reign (A.D. 14 - 23)
The accession of Tiberius proved intensely awkward. After Augustus had been buried and deified, and his will read and honored, the Senate convened on 18 September to inaugurate the new reign and officially "confirm" Tiberius as emperor. Such a transfer of power had never happened before, and nobody, including Tiberius, appears to have known what to do. Tacitus's account is the fullest. . . Rather than tactful, he came across to the senators as obdurate and obstructive. He declared that he was too old for the responsibilities of the Principate, said he did not want the job, and asked if he could just take one part of the government for himself. The Senate was confused, not knowing how to read his behavior. Finally, one senator asked pointedly, "Sire, for how long will you allow the State to be without a head?" Tiberius relented and accepted the powers voted to him, although he refused the title "Augustus."

. . . .

Tiberius allowed a trusted advisor to get too close and gain a tremendous influence over him. That advisor was the Praetorian Prefect, L. Aelius Sejanus, who would derail Tiberius's plans for the succession and drive the emperor farther into isolation, depression, and paranoia.

Sejanus (A.D. 23-31)
Sejanus hailed from Volsinii in Etruria. He and his father shared the Praetorian Prefecture until A.D. 15 when the father, L. Seius Strabo, was promoted to be Prefect of Egypt, the pinnacle of an equestrian career under the Principate. Sejanus, now sole Prefect of the Guard, enjoyed powerful connections to senatorial houses and had been a companion to Gaius Caesar on his mission to the East, 1 B.C. - A.D. 4. Through a combination of energetic efficiency, fawning sycophancy, and outward displays of loyalty, he gained the position of Tiberius's closest friend and advisor.

. . . .

[I]n a shocking and unexpected turn of events, [a] letter sent by Tiberius from Capri initially praised Sejanus extensively, and then suddenly denounced him as a traitor and demanded his arrest. Chaos ensued. Senators long allied with Sejanus headed for the exits, the others were confused -- was this a test of their loyalty? What did the emperor want them to do? -- but the Praetorian Guard, the very troops formerly under Sejanus's command but recently and secretly transferred to the command of Q. Sutorius Macro, arrested Sejanus, conveyed him to prison, and shortly afterwards executed him summarily. A witch-hunt followed. . . All around the city, grim scenes were played out, and as late as A.D. 33 a general massacre of all those still in custody took place.

Tiberius himself later claimed that he turned on Sejanus because he had been alerted to Sejanus's plot against Germanicus's family. This explanation has been rejected by most ancient and modern authorities, since Sejanus's demise did nothing to alleviate that family's troubles.

. . . .

The Last Years (A.D. 31-37)
The Sejanus affair appears to have greatly depressed Tiberius. A close friend and confidant had betrayed him; whom could he trust anymore? His withdrawal from public life seemed more complete in the last years. Letters kept him in touch with Rome, but it was the machinery of the Augustan administration that kept the empire running smoothly. Tiberius, if we believe our sources, spent much of his time indulging his perversities on Capri.

. . . .

Tiberius died quietly in a villa at Misenum on 16 March A.D. 37. He was 78 years old. There are some hints in the sources of the hand of Caligula in the deed, but such innuendo can be expected at the death of an emperor, especially when his successor proved so depraved. The level of unpopularity Tiberius had achieved by the time of his death with both the upper and lower classes is revealed by these facts: the Senate refused to vote him divine honors, and mobs filled the streets yelling "To the Tiber with Tiberius!" (in reference to a method of disposal reserved for the corpses of criminals).

Tiberius and the Empire
Three main aspects of Tiberius's impact on the empire deserve special attention: his relative military inertia; his modesty in dealing with offers of divine honors and his fair treatment of provincials; and his use of the Law of Treason (maiestas).

. . . .

Conclusion
. . . Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the entire article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan. Used by permission.

"Some of the things he did are hard to believe. He had little boys trained as minnows to chase him when he went swimming and to get between his legs and nibble him. He also had babies not weaned from their mother breast suck at his chest and groin . . . "
(Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Trans. Robert Graves. London: Penguin Books, 1979. XLIV).

Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denarius type is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible(Joseph Sermarini).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
766Hadrian_RIC763.JPG
763 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 134-38 AD Jupiter34 viewsReference.
RIC 763; C. 861;BMC 1521; Strack 671

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
laureate head right

Rev.IOVI CVSTODI S C below
Jupiter, naked to waist, seated left on throne, holding thunderbolt in right hand and vertical sceptre in left.

25.05 gr
33 mm
6h

Note.
IOVI CVSTODI as Jupiter protector, protecting the health of Hadrian and Aelius
okidoki
1210Hadrian_RIC763.jpg
763 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 134-38 AD Jupiter26 viewsReference.
RIC 763; C. 861;BMC 1521; Strack 671

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bare head right

Rev. IOVI CVSTODI S C below
Jupiter, naked to waist, seated left on throne, holding thunderbolt in right hand and vertical sceptre in left.

21.96 gr
32.50 mm
6h

Note.
IOVI CVSTODI as Jupiter protector, protecting the health of Hadrian and Aelius
2 commentsokidoki
Antoniniano Claudio Gótico RIC 261.jpg
94-20 - CLAUDIO GÓTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)80 viewsAE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 15 x 16 mm 1.2 gr.

Anv: "DIV[O CLAVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CONSEC]RATIO" - Altar llameante decorado con cuatro cajones y un punto en cada cajon.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, indudablemente en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: RIC Vol.V Parte I #259 Pag.233 - Sear RCTV (1988) #3228 - Cohen Vol.VI #50 Pag.135 - DVM #44/1 Pag.256 - Nor.#1829 - Göbl#99 mOa
1 commentsmdelvalle
Antoniniano Claudio Gótico RIC 266.jpg
94-21 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)69 viewsAE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 14 x 13 mm 2.2 gr.

Anv: "[DIVO CLAVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CONSE]CRATIO" - Aguila parada de frente con su cabeza hacia la derecha y sus alas extendidas.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, indudablemente en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: RIC Vol.V Parte I #266 Pag.234 - Sear RCTV (1988) #3227 -Cohen Vol.VI #41 Pag.134 - DVM #44/2 Pag.256 - Nor.#1115 - Göbl#98 mOa
mdelvalle
Antoniniano Claudio Gótico RIC 273.jpg
94-23 - CLAUDIO GÓTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)58 viewsAE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 14 mm 1.7 gr.

Anv: "[DIVO CLAVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "FIDES [MILITVM]" - Fides (La Fidelidad) de pié de frente, viendo a izquierda, portando un estandarte militar en mano derecha y una lanza en la izquierda.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, indudablemente en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: RIC Vol.V Parte I #273 Pag.235 - Cohen Vol.VI #94 Pag.139
mdelvalle
RIC_Incierta_Minimus_Claudio_II_Altar_1.jpg
94-35 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)7 viewsANTIGUA FALSIFICACIÓN ó ACUÑACIÓN NO OFICIAL
AE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 17 mm 2.0 gr.

Anv: "DIVO CLAVDIO" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CONSECRATIO]" - Altar llameante decorado.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.
También se acuñaron en Las Galias e Hispania.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: Sim. RIC Va #261 P.233, Sim. Sear RCTV '88 #3228, Sim. Sear RCTV III #11462 P.412, Sim.Cohen VI #50 P.135 (Nota), Sim.DVM #44/1 Pag.256
mdelvalle
RIC_Incierta_Minimus_Claudio_II.jpg
94-36 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)8 viewsAE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 15 x 16 mm 1.2 gr.

ANTIGUA FALSIFICACIÓN ó ACUÑACIÓN NO OFICIAL
AE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 15 mm 1.2 gr.

Anv: "DIV[O CLAVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CONSEC]RATIO" - Altar llameante decorado con cuatro cajones y un punto en cada cajon.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.
También se acuñaron en Las Galias e Hispania.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: Sim. RIC Va #261 P.233, Sim. Sear RCTV '88 #3228, Sim. Sear RCTV III #11462 P.412, Sim.Cohen VI #50 P.135 (Nota), Sim.DVM #44/1 Pag.256
mdelvalle
RIC_Incierta_Minimus_Claudio_II_Fides.jpg
94-40 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)9 viewsANTIGUA FALSIFICACIÓN ó ACUÑACIÓN NO OFICIAL
AE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 14 mm 1.7 gr.

Anv: "[DI]VO CL[AVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "FIDES [MILITVM]" - Fides (La Fidelidad) de pié de frente, viendo a izquierda, portando un estandarte militar en mano derecha y una lanza en la izquierda.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.
También se acuñaron en Las Galias e Hispania.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: Sim. RIC Va #273 Pag.235 - Cohen Vol.VI #94 Pag.139 - Sear RCTV III Nota Pag.413
mdelvalle
RIC_Incierta_Minimus_Claudio_II_Aguila_1.jpg
94-45 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)9 viewsANTIGUA FALSIFICACIÓN ó ACUÑACIÓN NO OFICIAL
AE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 14 x 13 mm 2.2 gr.

Anv: "[DIVO CLAVDIO]", Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CON]SEC[RATIO]", Aguila parada de frente con su cabeza hacia la derecha y sus alas extendidas

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.
También se acuñaron en forma irregular en Las Galias e Hispania.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: Sim.RIC Va #266 P.234, Sim.Sear RCTV III #11459 P.412 y Nota P.413, Sim.Cohen VI #41 P.134, Sim.DVM #44/2 P.256
mdelvalle
RIC_Incierta_Minimus_Claudio_II_Aguila.jpg
94-46 - CLAUDIO GOTICO (268 - 270 D.C.)9 viewsANTIGUA FALSIFICACIÓN ó ACUÑACIÓN NO OFICIAL
AE Minimus? (Pequeño módulo) 14 x 13 mm 2.2 gr.

Anv: "[DIVO CLAVDIO]" - Cabeza radiada viendo a derecha.
Rev: "[CONSE]CRATIO" - Aguila parada de frente con su cabeza hacia la derecha y sus alas extendidas.

IMITACIÓN ITALIANA, Después de la revuelta de Mont Caelius (Una de las 7 colinas de Roma, hoy Celio) de Roma en 271 D.C., los monetarios de la ciudad perdieron su estatus de monetarios oficiales, sin embargo continuaron acuñando moneda, en Italia del norte, así pasaron a ser simples falsificadores.
También se acuñaron en forma irregular en Las Galias e Hispania.

Acuñada después de 271 D.C.
Ceca: No oficial

Referencias: Sim.RIC Va #266 P.234, Sim.Sear RCTV III #11459 P.412 y Nota P.413, Sim.Cohen VI #41 P.134, Sim.DVM #44/2 P.256
mdelvalle
Antoninus_Pius_R617_portrait.jpg
AD 138-161 - ANTONINVS PIVS9 viewsAntoninus Pius

Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, 19 September 86 – 7 March 161, was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the "Five Good Emperors".

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
Aelius.jpg
Aelius147 viewsBust of Aelius in the Louvre Museum, Paris. Photo by me taken in May 2014.Masis
aelius.jpg
Aelius (136 - 138 A.D.)61 viewsAR Denarius
O: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right.
R: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in left, cornucopia in right.
Rome Mint, 137 A.D.
3.16g
18mm
SRCV II 3973, RIC II Hadrian 430, RSC II 50, BMCRE III Hadrian 969
6 commentsMat
Aelius_RIC_H430.JPG
Aelius (as Caesar), 136 - 138 AD 51 viewsObv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head of Aelius facing right.

Rev: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus in right hand and a cornucopia in left.

Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, 137 AD

3.2 grams, 18 mm, 180°

RIC II Hadrian 430, RSC 50, S3973, VM 5/1
2 commentsSPQR Coins
lg_aelius_01.jpg
Aelius (Caesar)107 viewsAelius (Caesar)
AE As 12.20g / 24.5mm
Ob: L AELIVS CAESAR - Bare head right
Rv: T R POT COS II, S-C - Spes advancing left, holding flower in right hand, raising hem of skirt with left
Rome (136-138 AD)
Ref: RIC (Hadrian) 1067, Cohen 59, BMC 1931
2 commentsScotvs Capitis
00742.jpg
Aelius (RIC 1065, Coin #742)1 viewsRIC 1065, AE AS, Rome, 137 AD
OBV: L AELIVS CAESAR; Bare head right.
REV: TR POT COS II S C; Fortuna-Spes standing left, holding flower in right and cornucopia in left
SIZE: 25.5mm, 11.78g
MaynardGee
1476_Aelius_Alexandria.jpg
Aelius - Alexandria10 viewsBI tetradrachm
137 AD
head right
Λ AIΛIOC__KAICAP
Homonoia half left, holding cornucopia and patera over altar
ΔHMEΞO_V_C VΠAT B
RPC III 6141; Emmett 135
ex Roma
Johny SYSEL
aelius_-_ric_1067.jpg
Aelius - RIC 1067 c27 viewsAelius Caesar
AE Dupondius.
L AELIVS CAESAR, bare-headed, draped bust right /
TR POT COS II S-C, Spes standing left, holding flower and raising hem of robe.
xokleng
016.jpg
Aelius AE As151 viewsRIC II 1071v (Hadrian); Cohen 25v; BMC 1936; Sear 3988v
12.90 g, 27 mm
L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
TR POT COS II, S-C across, Pannonia standing facing, head right, holding standard, PANNONIA below. (The name PANNONIA is usually across the fields).
Scarce
2 commentsMark Z2
Aelius_1_REV_opt.jpg
AELIUS AE As, RIC 1071, Pannonia104 viewsOBV: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
REV: TR POT COS II, S-C and PANNO-NIA across, Pannonia standing facing, head left, holding standard
23.5g, 30mm

Minted at Rome
Legatus
aelius_01.jpg
Aelius AR Denarius85 viewsObv: L AELIVS CAESAR - Bare head right.
Rev: TR POT COS II - Concordia seated left, holding patera and leaning arm on cornucopia set on base.
Mint: Rome
Year: 137 AD
Ref: RIC II 436 (Hadrian)
oa
Aelius_Sestertius_RIC_1055.JPG
Aelius Caesar Sestertius RIC 105587 viewsAE Sestertius
Aelius Caesar, 136-138AD, Rome Mint
Obverse: AELIVS CAESAR, Bare head right
Reverse: TR POT COS II, Spes standing holding flower and raising the hem of her skirt.
RIC 1055
31mm, 22.9gm
Jerome Holderman
aelius_k.jpg
Aelius Caesar, b. AD 101, d. 1387 viewsÆ as, 26mm, 10.2g; 6h; Rome mint, AD 137.
Obv.: L AELIVS CAESAR; Bare head right.
Rev.: TR POT COS II, S-C, Fortuna-Spes holding cornucopia and rudder in left hand, flower in right.
Ref.: RIC II 1065, p. 482, Scarce.
Notes: Aleg
John Anthony
IMG_6468e.JPG
Aelius Denarius - Concordia (RIC 428)49 viewsAR Denarius
Rome, 137 AD
3.13g

Obv: Bare bust of Lucius Aelius Caesar (R)
L AELIVS CAESAR TR P COS II

Rev: CONCORDIA , Concordia standing left,
holding patera and double cornucopiæ, and leaning on a column.

RIC 428
1 commentsKained but Able
123.jpg
Aelius Denarius - Felicitas (RIC 430)112 viewsAR Denarius
Rome, 137 AD
3.25g

Obv: Bare bust of Lucius Aelius Caesar (R)
L. AELIUS CAESAR

Rev: FELICITAS standing (L)
holding Caduceus in R hand & Cornucopia in L.
TR PO-T COS II

RIC 430, RSC 50

Ex. Collection of Professor James E. Seaver (1918 - 2011). Professor Seaver taught ancient history at the University of Kansas and was a keen opera lover, hosting his own radio show on the subject "Opera is my Hobby" for nearly 60 years. He was a passionate collector of ancient coins, amassing over 5,000 Greek & Roman coins, often using them to aid his teaching. The Seaver collection was auctioned in 2011.
3 commentsKained but Able
Aelius.jpg
Aelius Denarius A.D. 136-138, RIC 428var, RSC 14b48 viewsL AELIVS CAESAR TR P COS II, bare head right / CONCORDIA, Concordia standing left, leaning on column, holding patera and cornucopiae.
Maximum Diameter:
Weight:
3 commentsTheEmpireNeverEnded
Aelius.jpg
Aelius RIC II 434 (Hadrian)3 viewsL AELIUS CAESAR
AR denarius 18 mm, 3.10g
Bare head right
TR POT COS II
Salus standing left, holding scepter and patera, feeding snake entwined about alter
1 commentsnovacystis
4299_4300.jpg
Aelius, As, TR POT COS II8 viewsAE As
Aelius
Caesar: 136 - 137AD
25.5 x 24.5mm
O: L AELIVS CAESAR; Bare head, right.
R: TR POT COS II; Spes holding flower in right hand and rudder on globe in left hand, facing left.
Exergue: S, left field; C, right field.
Rome Mint
RIC 1065; Sear V 3991; Cohen 64.
Aorta: 59: B2, O1, R6, T14, M1.
Mark Reid/The Time Machine CICF 2013
April, 2013 4/29/17
Nicholas Z
0122-210np_noir.jpg
Aelius, Denarius - *136 viewsRome mint, AD 137
L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
TR POT COS II, Spes standing left holding flower and lifting skirt
3.25 gr
Ref : Cohen # 55, RCV # 3977
Potator II
4.jpg
Aelius, Laodiceia ad Lycum, Zeus Aseis with goat, AE2731 viewsLaodiceia ad Lycum AE27
Obv: ΛOVKIOC AIΛIOC KAICAP, bare head right;
Rev: ACЄIC ΛAOΔIKЄΩN, Zeus Aseis standing left, right hand above goat
B.M.C. 25. 311,201
areich
aelius_(hadrian)430.jpg
Aelius, RIC II, (Hadrian) 43027 viewsAelius, Caesar 136-138
AR - denarius, 3.36g, 18.6mm, 180°
Rome, AD 137
obv. L AELIVS - CAESAR
Bare head r.
rev. TR POT - COS III
Felicitas, in long garment and mantle, stg. l., holding cornucopiae in l. arm and in raised r. hand caduceus
ref. RIC II, (Hadrian) 430; C. 50; BMRC II, 969; SRCV II, 3973
scarce, VF
From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!
Jochen
00691.jpg
Aelius, under Hadrian (RIC 435, Coin #691)8 viewsRIC 435 (Sarce), AR Denarius, Rome 136 - 138 AD.
OBV: L AELIVS CAESAR; Bare head right.
REV: T R POT COS II; Spes walking left holding flower and raisning robe.
SIZE: 19.2mm, 2.74g
MaynardGee
Aelius__Caesar,_AD_136-138__Æ_As.png
Aelius. Caesar, AD 136-138.38 viewsÆ As (24 mm, 9.76 gr). Rome mint. Struck under Hadrian.
Bare head right / Spes advancing left, holding flower and lifting skirt of dress.VG, brown patina.
3 commentsSam
aelius.jpg
Aelius: COS II PIETAS6 viewsL. Aelius Verus Caesar. Denarius, 18 mm. obv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right 
rev: TR POT COS II PIE-TAS, Pietas standing left sacrificing over altar. L. Aelius Verus Caesar was the first heir of Hadrian nominated in August 136 A.D. Aelius assumed COS II on 1 January 137. He died of Tuberculosis on 1 January 138 A.D. RIC 438, RSC 36, BMC 989Podiceps
AntoSe92.jpg
Antoninus Caesar, RIC (Hadrian) 1081, sestertius of AD 138 (Concordia)108 viewsÆ Sestertius (24.81g, Ø 32mm, 12h), Rome mint, struck under Hadrian in AD 138.
Obv.: IMP T AELIVS CAESAR ANTONINVS, bare head of Antoninus facing right.
Rev.: TRIB POT COS (around) CONCORD (in ex.) S C (in field), Concordia seated left and holding a patera; cornucopiae under her seat.
RIC (Hadrian) 1081 var. (draped bust); Cohen 131 (4 fr.); Strack (Hadrian) 898 (2 collections); BMC (Hadrian) p.550 *; Banti 53 (one single specimen - coll. Paris - without plate); RCV 4156

Numismatic note: Even though RIC rates this type as scarce only, in reality it is extremely rare: BMC only refers to C.131 (Paris), there is no specimen in B.M.); Strack lists this type in only 2 of the 30 collections, questioning one: Berlin (?; bare head); the other specimen is in Paris (draped bust, bare head; illustrated in Vol.II, plate XVII-898: same rev. die). This means that, apart from Strack's questionable Berlin specimen, all references refer to a single specimen in the Paris Cabinet des Médailles. See also Strack Vol.III, p. 316, note 6a, referring to Cohen 637 (RIC Hadr. 1078), which is probably a duplicate of Coh. 131, but without the CONCORD legend visible in exergue (exactly as on this specimen). A special variety exists with Spes figurine on back of throne, noted by Strack in his description: "Concordia s.n.l. (Spes.Füllh.) m. Schale" but not illustrated. However such a specimen now in coll. F. Diederik.

Historical note: After Aelius, the intended successor of Hadrian, suddenly died on New Year's day of AD 138, Hadrian adopted T. Aurelius Antoninus to fill the place. This coin belongs to one of the issues struck between 25 February and the death of Hadrian on 10 July 138 AD which announces the new Caesar.
1 commentsCharles S
ANTOAS10-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 533a, As of AD 139 (Fortuna) 147 viewsÆ As (10.6.02g, Ø27m, 12h), minted AD 139, Rome
Obv.: IMP T AEL CAES HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS, bare head right
Rev.: P M TR POT COS II around, S C in field, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder and cornucopiae.
RIC 533; Cohen 651; Strack 753; BMCRE IV 1137.
ex old British collection (1996)

This type belongs to the second issue after the accession of Antoninus Pius. The names of Aelius and Hadrianus were added to his title to honour his adoptive father who had been deified on Antoninus' insistence and which earned him the title "Pius". In later issues the names of Aelius and Hadrianus will be dropped in later issues to reappear in his fourteenth to fifteenth tribunician year.
Charles S
1132_Caracalla_Laodicea.jpg
Caracalla - Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia7 viewsAE 36
Lucius Aelius Pigres asiarch
211-217 AD
laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right from behind
AVT·KAI M·AYP'AN·_TΩNEINOC·CEB
Agnostic table with prize urn and palm on top; knives at sides; kantharos under table
EΠI Λ AIΛ ΠI_ΓPHTOC ACIAP
ΛAOΔIKEΩN / NEΩKOPΩN
27,1g
ex Aurea
Johny SYSEL
commodus.jpg
Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.37 viewsL Aelius Aurelius Commodus was the son of emperor Marcus Aurelius and empress Faustina II. Caesar in 177 A.D., Commodus succeeded his father as Augustus in 180. His rule of twelve years quickly degenerated into debauchery, paranoia and insanity. He actually believed he was Hercules reincarnated and participated in gladiatorial contests. The empire was directed by his unscrupulous favorites while the emperor amused himself in whatever decadent way he saw fit. His assassination in 192 A.D. was viewed as a blessing by most Romans of the day.

Silver denarius, RIC 160, BMC 227, RSC 966, Fair, 1.720g, 16.6mm, 180o, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT - P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVT AVG PMTR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Virtus standing left, Victory in right, resting left hand on shield, spear leaning on left arm;
Dumanyu2
762NN409.jpg
Cr 433/2 AR Denarius M. Junius Brutus25 viewsAR Denarius 54 bce Rome 4.09 gm 17.5 mm
o: BRVTVS, downwards behind head of L. Iunius Brutus r, border of dots
r: AHALA, downwards behind head of C. Servilius Ahala r, border of dots
Junia 30; Servilia 17; Sydenham 932

This type has always puzzled me. It clearly depicts the two anti-tyrants in the Junia family tree, L. Junius Brutus and C. Servilius Ahala. (Crawford uses the phrase "tyrannicides", but Brutus did not kill Tarquin and Ahala seems to have sucker-stabbed Maelius in anger.) Young Brutus, or whatever his name was when he was a moneyer, clearly chose to put them on his coins at the time when Pompey's prominence in the state was at its peak; Caesar was in Gaul or Britain, and could not help him. This decision as to coinage, therefore, seems to me extremely unhealthy. Roughly the same number of dies have been identified for both of Brutus's moneyer issues, so it is unlikely that this type is an indiscretion that was quickly withdrawn. So, was Brutus being played or deployed by Pompey against Caesar? Pompey was ostentatiously NOT claiming the dictatorship, so why "warn" him, especially when a "warning" from a 30-ish year old aspiring politician who maybe had held a staff officer's post would not likely impress Pompey, "the teenage butcher"? Worth, I think, exploring a bit.
2 commentsPMah
BalbinusAnt.jpg
Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus56 viewsBalbinus AR Antoninianus. 4.86g, 22mm Rome, AD 238.
O: IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
R: FIDES MVTVA AVGG, (Mutual Fidelity of the Augusti) clasped right hands.
- RIC 11; RSC 6.
3 commentsNemonater
DiadF.jpg
Diadumenian133 viewsDiadumenian, as Caesar. 218 AD. AR Denarius 3.04 g. 2nd emission, July AD 217-March 218

O: M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed and draped bust right
R: PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Diadumenian standing half-left, head right, holding standard and sceptre; two standards behind.
RIC IV 102 (Macrinus); BMCRE 87 (Macrinus); RSC 3.

Marcus Opellius Diadumenianus was born in 208. According to Aelius Lampridius, quoted below, the boy was so named because he was born with a diadem formed by a rolled caul.

“Now let us proceed to the omens predicting his imperial power — which are marvellous enough in the case of others, but in his case beyond the usual wont. 4 On the day of his birth, his father, who then chanced to be steward of the greater treasury, was inspecting the purple robes, and those which he approved as being brighter in hue he ordered to be carried into a certain chamber, in which two hours later Diadumenianus was born. 2 Furthermore, whereas it usually happens that children at birth are provided by nature with a caul, which the midwives seize and sell to credulous lawyers (for it is said that this bring luck to those who plead), 3 this child, instead of a caul, had a narrow band like a diadem, so strong that it could not be broken, for the fibres were entwined in the manner of a bow-string. 4 The child, they say, was accordingly called Diadematus, but when he grew older, he was called Diadumenianus from the name of his mother's father, though the name differed little from his former appellation Diadematus.”

His father Macrinus was hailed as Augustus in 217. Diadumenian, in turn, received the titles of Caesar and Prince of the Youth. He was also given the name Antoninus after the assassinated emperor Caracalla.

These titles are seen on this example as ANT and PRINC IVVENTVTIS.

When the armies of Elagabalus revolted at Emesa on May 16, 218, Macrinus traveled to the praetorian fortress at Apamaea to shore up (buy) support and to raise Diadumenian to the rank of Augustus. Still, Macrinus’ armies were defeated outside Antioch in less than a month.

10 year old Diadumenian was captured while fleeing to Zeugma and executed shortly thereafter. He reigned as Caesar for 13 months and as Augustus for less than one.

Although the Senate never confirmed Diadumenian’s title as Augustus, there is extremely rare silver (one or two pieces?) with Diadumenian as emperor. It is believed that a large issue was struck, only to be immediately recalled and melted down when the news of Macrinus’ defeat reached Rome.
5 commentsNemonater
DiadumenianStandards.jpg
DIADUMENIAN68 viewsDIADUMENIAN (Caesar, 217-218). Denarius. 2.53 g. 20mm, Rome mint.
O: M OPEL DIADVMENIAN CAES, Bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Diadumenian standing left, holding baton; two signa to right.
-RIC 107.

1st emission of Macrinus, AD 217, only three examples in the Reka Devnia hoard.

Diadumenian's three main types as Caesar exactly correspond to Macrinus' three issues, which for their part can be approximately dated on the basis of the titles they bear and their volumes of issue as revealed by the Reka Devnia hoard. So Diadumenian's dates derive from those estimated for Macrinus.

Marcus Opellius Diadumenianus was born in 208. According to Aelius Lampridius, quoted below, the boy was so named because he was born with a diadem formed by a rolled caul.

“Now let us proceed to the omens predicting his imperial power — which are marvellous enough in the case of others, but in his case beyond the usual wont. 4 On the day of his birth, his father, who then chanced to be steward of the greater treasury, was inspecting the purple robes, and those which he approved as being brighter in hue he ordered to be carried into a certain chamber, in which two hours later Diadumenianus was born. 2 Furthermore, whereas it usually happens that children at birth are provided by nature with a caul, which the midwives seize and sell to credulous lawyers (for it is said that this bring luck to those who plead), 3 this child, instead of a caul, had a narrow band like a diadem, so strong that it could not be broken, for the fibres were entwined in the manner of a bow-string. 4 The child, they say, was accordingly called Diadematus, but when he grew older, he was called Diadumenianus from the name of his mother's father, though the name differed little from his former appellation Diadematus.”

His father Macrinus was hailed as Augustus on April 8, 217. Dio Cassius tells us that Diadumenian was named Caesar and Prince of the Youth by the Senate in May 217 as soon as news of Macrinus' accession reached Rome. A little later, Dio continues, news arrived that Diadumenian had independently been proclaimed Caesar by the soldiers at Zeugma, as he was on his way from Antioch to join Macrinus in Mesopotamia, and that he had also assumed Caracalla's name Antoninus. Hence this first short issue of coins in Rome is with the titles Caesar and Prince of the Youth, but still without Antoninus.

When the armies of Elagabalus revolted at Emesa on May 16, 218, Macrinus traveled to the praetorian fortress at Apamaea to shore up (buy) support and to raise Diadumenian to the rank of Augustus. Still, Macrinus’ armies were defeated outside Antioch in less than a month.

10 year old Diadumenian was captured while fleeing to Zeugma and executed shortly thereafter. He reigned as Caesar for 13 months and as Augustus for less than one.

Although the Senate never confirmed Diadumenian’s title as Augustus, there is extremely rare silver (one or two pieces?) with Diadumenian as emperor. It is believed that a large issue was struck, only to be immediately recalled and melted down when the news of Macrinus’ defeat reached Rome.
5 commentsNemonater
D847.jpg
Domitia RIC 847115 viewsAR Cistophorus
Rome mint (for Asia), 82 AD (Domitian)
Obv: DOMITIA AVGVSTA; Bust of Domitia, draped r., hair massed in front and in long plait behind
Rev: VENVS AVG; Venus stg. r., leaning on column, with helmet and spear
RIC 847 (R). BMC 256. RSC 19. RPC 870 (8 spec.). BNC 226.
Ex CNG E424, 11 July 2018, lot 471.

A brief issue of cistophori were struck for Domitia as Augusta under Domitian in 82. Venus leaning on column was the sole reverse type chosen for her rare cistophori. The style and six o'clock die axis point to Rome as the home mint. K. Butcher and M. Ponting's metal analysis reveal they were struck from a different stock of metal than contemporary Rome mint denarii, possibly from recycled older denarii. At 80% silver fineness these early cistophori were likely struck before Domitian's major coinage reform of 82 when the denarius was raised to nearly 100% fineness.

Domitia Longina was the daughter of the famed Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo who was commanded to commit suicide by Nero for alleged treason. Domitian courted and married Domitia soon after Vespasian's accession, despite her already being the wife of Aelius Lamia. It was a good match - distancing the Flavians from the reign of Nero and uniting them to a beloved general's family. Soon after Domitian become emperor, Suetonius tells us he briefly divorced Domitia because of an adulterous affair she had with the actor Paris. Dio claims Domitian actually considered executing her but was persuaded from doing so by the praetorian prefect Ursus. He soon reunited with her after a brief separation alleging the people demanded it. Where this coin fits into that time frame is hard to tell. We don't know exactly when the divorce occurred or how long it lasted. However, it is likely this coin was struck after their reconciliation and can be seen as symbolically strengthening Domitia's position at court.

Struck in fine early style.
9 commentsDavid Atherton
EB0432_scaled.JPG
EB0432 Aelius Caesar / Felicitas5 viewsAelius Caesar, AR Denarius, 137-138 AD.
Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right.
Rev: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae.
References: RIC 430, RSC 50, BMC 969.
Diameter: 18mm, Weight: 3.091 grams.
EB
EB0433_scaled.JPG
EB0433 Aelius Caesar13 viewsAelius Caesar AE Dupondius or As.
Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare-headed, draped bust right
Rev: TR POT COS II S-C, Spes standing left, holding flower and raising hem of robe
References: RIC 1067c, Cohen 57
Diameter: 25mm, Weight: 13.051 grams
EB
aelius_alexandria_k.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, Aelius Caesar, AD 136-138.3 viewsBI Tetradrachm, 23mm, 13.16 g, 12h; Dated Cos. 2 (AD 137).
Obv.: Bare head right.
Rev.: Homonoia standing left, holding cornucopiae and patera over garlanded altar.
Reference: Köln 1271; Milne 1539; Emmett 1350.
From The John A. Seeger Collection, CNG 172 Lot 136, 16-274-281
John Anthony
RIC_Hadrian_SRCV_-_PM_genius.jpg
Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus) (117-138 A.D.)5 viewsSRCV ---, RIC II 88-90, Van Meter 46/5.
AR Denarius, 2.86 g., 18.94 mm. max., 0°
Rome mint, 119-122 A.D.
Obv: IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder.

Rev: P M TR P C-OS III (=Pontifex Maximus Tribunitia Potestas/High priest and holder of Tribunitian power), Genius standing facing, head left, sacrificing from patera in right over lit and garlanded altar, two stalks of grain in left.

RIC rarity __, Van Meter VB2.
Stkp
RIC_Hadrian_SRCV_3250_PM____aequitas.jpg
Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus) (117-138 A.D.)5 viewsSRCV 3250, RIC II 80, Van Meter 46/11.

AR Denarius, 3.10 g., 18.0 mm. max., 180°

Rome mint, 119-122 A.D.

Obv: IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder.

Rev: P M TR P C-OS III (=Pontifex Maximus Tribunitia Potestas/High priest and holder of Tribunitian power), Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB2.
Stkp
Hadrian_Salus-1a.jpg
Hadrian * Salus, Æ Dupondis, 117-138 AD140 views
Publius Aelius Hadrianus * Salus, Bronze Dupondis

Obv: IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG P M TR P COS III, radiate bust right, light drapery on far (left) shoulder.
Rev: SALVS PVBLICA / S C, Salus standing left, right foot on globe, holding patera in right hand, and rudder in her left.

Exergue: Empty

Mint: Rome
Struck: 117-138 AD.

Size: 26.56 mm.
Weight: 12 grams
Die axis: 180 degs.

Condition: Apparent in photo. Some unfortunate wear & perhaps some shock damage to the portrait face, but in all, a rather lovely bronze with good, clear strike on both sides.

Refs:*
Cohen 1358
Sear 2668
BMC 1237
RIC 604a

1 commentsTiathena
Aelius-Denar-PIETAS-RIC[Had]432.jpg
III/b-AELIUS - 001 Denar RIC[Had]/43222 viewsAv) L AELIVS CAESAR
Bare head right

R) TR POT COS II
Pietas standing left holding arm over altar

Weight: 3,6g; Ø:17mm; Reference: RIC II[Hadr.]/432; ROME mint, struck ca. 137 A.D.
sulcipius
Aelius-As-Spes-RIC[Had]1067.jpg
III/b-AELIUS - 002 As RIC II[Had]/106723 viewsAv) L AELIVS CAESAR
Bare head right

Rv) TR POT COS II SC
Spes to the left, holding flower and raisung skirt

Weight: 9,92g; Ø: 27mm; Reference: RIC II[Hadr.]/1067; Rome mint; struck ca. 137 A.D.

sulcipius
Clipboard7~4.jpg
Ionia, Smyrna. Lucilla AE 24. Nemeses standing vis-à-vis. p Aelius Arizelos.39 viewsLucilla, wife of Lucius Verus, 164 - 177. AE24 of p Aelius Arizelos, 175-177.
Obv: LOVKILLA CEBASTH Draped bust of Lucilla r.
Rev: CTPARIZ HL Vo CMVPN AIWN Nemesis in long robe standing r. holding bridle in his lowered left hand , pulling garment at the neck towards a second Nemesis in long robe standing l., tablet in l., also pulling garment at the neck. Rare.
ancientone
IMG_2370wp.jpg
Italy, Rome, Mausoleum of Hadrian and Pons Aelius151 viewsbuilt between 135 AD and 139 AD
bridge was built in 134 AD

Hadrian and Sabina,
Antoninus Pius and Faustina,
Lucius Verus,
Marcus Aurelius,
Commodus,
Septimius Severus and
Caracalla were buried here.
Johny SYSEL
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great71 viewsArch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 AD. Dedicated in 315 AD, it is the latest of the extant triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.

General Description
The arch is 21 m high, 25.7 m wide and 7.4 m deep. It has three archways, the central one being 11.5 m high and 6.5 m wide, the lateral archways 7.4 m by 3.4 m each. The lower part of the monument is built of marble blocks, the top (called attic) is brickwork revetted with marble. A staircase formed in the thickness of the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, in the end towards the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum. It has been suggested that the lower part of the arch is re-used from an older monument, probably from the times of the emperor Hadrian (Conforto et al., 2001; for a defence of the view that the whole arch was constructed in the 4th century, see Pensabene & Panella). The arch spans the Via Triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph. This route started at the Campus Martius, led through the Circus Maximus and around the Palatine Hill; immediately after the Arch of Constantine, the procession would turn left and march along the Via Sacra to the Forum Romanum and on to the Capitoline Hill, passing both the Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus. During the Middle Ages, the Arch of Constantine was incorporated into one of the family strongholds of ancient Rome. Works of restoration were first carried out in the 18th century; the last excavations have taken place in the late 1990s, just before the Great Jubilee of 2000.

Decoration
The decoration of the arch heavily uses parts of older monuments, which are given a new meaning in the context of the Constantinian building. As it celebrates the victory of Constantine, the new "historic" friezes illustrating his campaign in Italy convey the central meaning: the praise of the emperor, both in battle and in his civilian duties. The other imagery supports this purpose: decoration taken from the "golden times" of the Empire under Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius places Constantine next to these "good emperors", and the content of the pieces evokes images of the victorious and pious ruler. Another explanation given for the re-use is the short time between the start of construction (late 312 at the earliest) and the dedication (summer 315), so the architects used existing artwork to make up for the lack of time to create new one. As yet another possible reason, it has often been suggested that the Romans of the 4th century lacked the artistic skill to produce acceptable artwork and therefore plundered the ancient buildings to adorn their contemporary monuments. This interpretation has become less prominent in more recent times, as the art of Late Antiquity has been appreciated in its own right. It is, of course, possible that a combination of two or all three of those explanations are correct, as they are not mutually exclusive.

Attic
Above the middle archway, the main inscription (see below) takes the most prominent place of the attic. It is identical on both sides of the arch. Flanking the inscription on both sides, there are pairs of relief panels above the minor archways, 8 in total. They were taken from an unknown monument erected in honour of Marcus Aurelius, and show (north side, left to right) the emperor's return to Rome after the campaign (adventus), the emperor leaving the city and saluted by a personification of the Via Flaminia, the emperor distributing money among the people (largitio), the emperor interrogating a German prisoner, (south side, left to right) a captured enemy chieftain led before the emperor, a similar scene with other prisoners, the emperor speaking to the troops (adlocutio), and the emperor sacrificing pig, sheep and bull. Together with three panels now in the Capitoline Museum, the reliefs were probably taken from a triumphal monument commemorating Marcus Aurelius' war against the Sarmatians from 169 - 175, which ended with his triumphant return in 176. On the largitio panel, the figure of Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus has been eradicated after the latter's damnatio memoriae. On top of each of the columns stand marble statues of Dacian prisoners from the times of Trajan, probably taken from the Forum of Trajan. From the same time date the two large (3 m high) panels decorating the attic on the small sides of the arch, showing scenes from the emperor's Dacian Wars. Together with the two reliefs on the inside of the central archway, they came from a large frieze celebrating the Dacian victory. The original place of this frieze was either the Forum of Trajan, as well, or the barracks of the emperor's horse guard on the Caelius.

Main Section
The general layout of the main facade is identical on both sides of the arch. It is divided by four columns of Corinthian order made of Numidian yellow marble (giallo antico), one of which has been transferred into the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and was replaced by a white marble column. The columns stand on bases showing victory figures on front, and captured barbarians and Roman soldiers on the sides. The spandrels of the main archway are decorated with reliefs depicting victory figures with trophies, those of the smaller archways show river gods. Column bases and spandrel reliefs are from the times of Constantine. Above each lateral archway are pairs of round reliefs dated to the times of emperor Hadrian. They display scenes of hunting and sacrificing: (north side, left to right) hunt of a boar, sacrifice to Apollo, hunt of a lion, sacrifice to Hercules, (south side, left to right) departure for the hunt, sacrifice to Silvanus, hunt of a bear, sacrifice to Diana. The head of the emperor (originally Hadrian) has been reworked in all medaillons: on the north side, into Constantine in the hunting scenes and into Licinius or Constantius I in the sacrifice scenes; on the south side, vice versa. The reliefs, c. 2 m in diameter, were framed in porphyry; this framing is only extant on the right side of the northern facade. Similar medaillons, this time of Constantinian origin, are placed on the small sides of the arch; on the eastern side, showing the Sun rising, and on the western side, the Moon, both on chariots. The main piece from the time of Constantine is the "historical" relief frieze running around the monument under the round panels, one strip above each lateral archway and at the small sides of the arch. These reliefs depict scenes from the Italian campaign of Constantine against Maxentius which was the reason for the construction of the monument. The frieze starts at the western side with the "Departure from Milan". It continues on the southern, "outward" looking face, with the siege of a city, probably Verona, which was of great importance to the war in Northern Italy; also on that face, the Battle of Milvian Bridge with Constantine's army victorious and the enemy drowning in the river Tiber. On the eastern side, Constantine and his army enter Rome; the artist here has avoided to use the imagery of the triumph, as Constantine probably did not want to be shown triumphant over the Eternal City. On the northern face, looking "towards" the city, two strips with the emperor's actions after taking possession of Rome: Constantine speaking to the citizens on the Forum Romanum, and distributing money to the people.

Inner Sides of the Archways
In the central archway, there is one of the large panels of Trajan's Dacian War on either wall. Inside the lateral archways, eight portraits busts (two on each wall), destroyed to such an extent that it is not possible to identify them any more.

Inscriptions
The main inscription reads:

IMP · CAES · FL · CONSTANTINO · MAXIMO · P · F · AVGUSTO · S · P · Q · R · QVOD · INSTINCTV · DIVINITATIS · MENTIS · MAGNITVDINE · CVM · EXERCITV · SVO · TAM · DE · TYRANNO · QVAM · DE · OMNI · EIVS · FACTIONE · VNO · TEMPORE · IVSTIS · REM-PUBLICAM · VLTVS · EST · ARMIS · ARCVM · TRIVMPHIS · INSIGNEM · DICAVIT

Which means in English:

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.

The words instinctu divinitatis ("inspired by the divine") have been much commented. They are usually read as sign of Constantine's shifting religious affiliation: The Christian tradition, most notably Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea, relate the story of a vision of the Christian god to Constantine during the campaign, and that he was victorious in the sign of the cross at the Milvian Bridge. The official documents (esp. coins) still prominently display the Sun God until 324 AD, while Constantine started to support the Christian church from 312 on. In this situation, the vague wording of the inscription can be seen as the attempt to please all possible readers, being deliberately ambiguous, and acceptable to both pagans and Christians. As was customary, the vanquished enemy is not mentioned by name, but only referred to as "the tyrant", drawing on the notion of the rightful killing of a tyrannical ruler; together with the image of the "just war", it serves as justification of Constantine's civil war against his co-emperor Maxentius.

Two short inscriptions on the inside of the central archway transport a similar message: Constantine came not as conqueror, but freed Rome from occupation:

LIBERATORI VRBIS (liberator of the city) - FUNDATORI QVIETIS (founder of peace)

Over each of the small archways, inscriptions read:

VOTIS X - VOTIS XX SIC X - SIC XX

They give a hint on the date of the arch: "Solemn vows for the 10th anniversary - for the 20th anniversary" and "as for the 10th, so for the 20th anniversary". Both refer to Constantine's decennalia, i.e. the 10th anniversary of his reign (counted from 306), which he celebrated in Rome in the summer of 315 AD. It can be assumed that the arch honouring his victory was inaugurated during his stay in the city.




John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Mausoleum  of Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Mausoleum of Hadrian33 views- Castel St.Angelo
(Hadrian's Mausoleum) -
This building has had a checkered history. Originally a dynastic tomb, it was converted into a fortress, then became a noble dwelling and finally a papal residence; between times it served as a barracks, a prison and a museum.
Hadrian (117-38 AD) built a tomb in Domizia's gardens that was to become the dynastic sepulcher of the Antonines. Work started in 123 but was only completed in 139, after's death. The Pons Aelius (the predecessor of the Ponte Sant'Angelo 239), inaugurated in 134, linked the monument to the Campo Marzio.

The Sepulchral Chamber. The present entrance (which is about 10 feet above the level of the ancient one) leads via a short corridor to a square hall. The semicircular niche hollowed out in the back wall was probably intended to contain a statue of Hadrian. On the right is a spiral ramp leading to the cella (mortuary chamber), the heart of the monument. In this square room, which was originally faced with marble, the funerary urns of Emperor Hadrian and his wife, sabina.

Sant'Angelo was Rome's most important fortified area, anyone who held it had virtually the whole town at his mercy. Consequently, its history reflected the city's turbulent internal conflicts. Between the 10th and 11th centuries it passed into the hands of the most powerful noble families before suffering a massive attack by the Roman people, who made up their minds to demolish it in 1379.

Fortifications and Modifications. Under Nicholas III the castle became papal property. Most of the alterations to the building carried out between the pontificates of Nicholas V (1447-55) and Urban VII (1623-44) had a military purpose. Access to the subterranean galleries was blocked, two towers were built at the entrance and four bastions at the corners, a moat was dug, pentagonal ramparts were erected with five small forts (today no longer standing) and, finally the Corridoio or Passetto, the fortified passageway linking St Peter's to the castle, was strengthened
John Schou
061n.jpg
Laureate bust right and ΛAM124 viewsSYRIA: COMMAGENE. Tiberius. Æ 29 (Dupondius). A.D. 19-21. Obv: (TI•CAESAR•DIVI•AVGVSTI•F•AVGVS-TVS). Laureate head right; 2 countermarks: (1) on bust, (2) on lower part of bust. Rev: (PONT•MAXIM•COS•III•IMP•VII) •TR•POT(•XXII). Two crossed cornucopiae, between which winged caduceus. Ref: RPC 3868; RIC 90. Axis: 360°. Weight: 11.27 g. Note: Struck after Tiberius annexed Commagene in A.D. 19. CM(1): Laureate bust right, in circular punch, 6 mm.Howgego 111iv (7 pcs). CM(2): ΛAM in rectangular punch, 10 x 4.5 mm. Howgego 549 (1+2? pcs). Note: Howgego speculates that alternative readings are possible, although this specimen certainly appears to read ΛAM, which may refer to L. Aelius Lemia, legate of Syria A.D. 21-32. Collection Automan.Automan
Commodus_S5930.JPG
Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, 177 - 192 AD22 viewsObv: M A KOM ANTω CЄB ЄVCЄB, laureate head right

Rev: Bust of Selene (Moon goddess) facing left, large crescent before. L / Λ, reginal year 30.

Billon tetradrachm, Alexandria mint, 189 - 190 AD

10.8 grams, 23 mm, 0°

S5930
SPQR Coins
Commodus_V_1079.JPG
Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, 177 - 192 AD22 viewsObv: AY KOMMOΔVC ANTONINOC, laureate head of Commodus facing right.

Rev: ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOAEITΩN, Homonia standing left, wearing a kalathos on her head, holding a patera and a cornucopia.

Æ 18, Philippopolis, Thrace

4.2 grams, 19.31 mm, 0°

Varbanov III 1079 (var. with kalathos)
SPQR Coins
AeliusRIC_II_439c.jpg
Lucius Aelius Caesar43 viewsAelius. Caesar, AD 136-138. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.15 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Hadrian, AD 137.
O: L AELIVS CAESAR, Bare head left
R: TR POT COS II around, PIE-TAS across, Pietas standing right, dropping incense onto lighted and garlanded altar to right and holding acerrum.
-RIC II 439c (Hadrian) R2; RSC 36a.

"The life of Ceionius Commodus, also called Aelius Verus, adopted by Hadrian after his journey through the world, when he was burdened by old age and weakened by cruel disease, contains nothing worthy of note except that he was the first to receive only the name of Caesar." - Historia Augusta
5 commentsNemonater
magnesia_ad_sipylum_commodus_BMC60.jpg
Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum, Commodus, BMC 6026 viewsCommodus, AD 180-192
AE 30, 14.18g
struck under strategos Aelius Kodratus(?)
obv. AVT KAI MAR - AVRH KOMODOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rv. EPI CTRA A KOD - RA / MAGNHTWN CIPVLO
Kybele in long clothes, wearing mural crown, stg. l. in biga, drawn by two lions with raised r.
fore-feet, holding reins in r. hand and holding in l. hand unknown object(?)
Ref.: BMC 60
S+/about SS, brown-olive patina, some overall roughness, holed
Jochen
AntPiusSestBetrothal.jpg
MAFJ1 The Betrothal of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior38 viewsAntoninus Pius

Sestertius
ca 140

Laureate head of Antoninus Pius, right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III
CONCORDIAE - Antoninus Pius standing right on left, holding Concordia, shaking hands with Faustina I to right; Marcus Aurelius and Faustina below in center, also shaking hands.

RIC 601

Marcus Annius Verus was born in Rome in 121. He was first betrothed to the daughter of Aelius Caesar, but after Aelius' death, Antoninus Pius adopted him. He took the name Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus.

The Historia Augusta records: Marcus Antoninus was a man who devoted himself to philosophy throughout his life and he excels all the principles in purity of character. His father was Annius Verus, who died during his praetorship. . . . His mother was Domitia Lucilla, daughter of the consul Calvisius Tullus. . . .He was brought up partly in the place where he was born and partly in the house of his grandfather Verus, next to the Lateran Palace. He was to marry his first cousin, Annia Faustina. . . . He assumed the toga of manhood in his fifteenth year [134] and at once was betrothed, at Hadrian's wish, to the daughter of Lucius Commodus. . . . After Hadrian's death, Pius immediately got his wife to ask Marcus if he would break off his betrothal to the daughter of Lucius Commodus and marry their own daughter Faustina (whom Hadrian had wanted to marry Commodus' son, even though he was badly matched in age). After thinking the matter over, Marcus replied he was willing. When this was arranged, Pius designated Marcus to be consul with himself [139]. . . and gave him the name of Caesar.

Marcus, at least, was given a choice, and would already have known Faustina well. One can imagine that Faustina, if she was old enough to grasp the implications, was relieved at the prospect of marrying the studious young man rather than someone far older than her.
1 commentsBlindado
LVerusAsTrophies~0.jpg
MAFJ6 Brother and Emperor6 viewsLucius Verus

As
166-167

Laureate head, right, L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX
3 trophies, TR P VII IMP III[I] COS III

RIC 1464

Son of Aelius Caesar and adopted son of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius elevated his adoptive brother to co-ruler in 161. At that time, according to the Historia Augusta, "To Lucius, legally his brother, he betrothed his daughter Lucilla. In honor of this union, they gave orders that new institutions of boys and girls, named after them, should be added to the state child-welfare scheme."

The Parthians launched an attack against Roman Syria that it had planned before the death of Pius, and Marcus, with the agreement of the Senate, dispatched Lucius to deal with the crisis. According to the Historia Augusta, "Verus, of course, after he arrived in Syria, lived in luxury at Antioch and Daphne, although he was acclaimed imperator while waging the Parthian war through legates." This coin's reverse honors his military victory over the Parthians in 165.

When Lucius returned to Rome, according to the Historia Augusta, "Lucius requested that Marcus should triumph with him. Lucius requested further that the sons [Commodus and M. Annius Verus] of Marcus should be called Caesars. But Marcus had such great moderation that, although he triumphed together with Lucius, yet after Lucius' death he called himself Germanicus only, because he had won that name for himself in his own war. At the triumph, moreover, they let Marcus' children of both sexes ride with them, even the unmarried girls." A family affair!
Blindado
Marcus Aurelius.jpg
Marcus Aurelius42 viewsMarcus Aurelius was recognized by the emperor Hadrian as a fine and capable youth and was betrothed to the daughter of Aelius. The emperor 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.

Silver denarius, RIC 185, RSC 208, BMC 459, gF, Rome mint, 2.723g, 19.1mm, 0o, 168 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse FORT RED TR P XXII IMP V COS III, Fortuna seated left holding rudder in right and cornucopia in left; wavy, fire damaged flan;
Dumanyu2
New 2.jpg
Maybe Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus or Aelius37 viewsMaybe Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus or AeliusJohn Schou
edessa_GordianIII_BMC159.jpg
Mesopotamia, Edessa, Gordian III, BMC 15916 viewsGordian III, AD 238-244
AE 19, 5.46g, 19.31mm, 330°
struck AD 242-244
obv. AVTOK K M ANT GORDIANOC CEB
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, radiate, r.
rev. ABGAROC - BACILEVC
bearded bust of Aelius Septimius Abgar XI. Phraates, draped and wearing Parthian tiara, diademed, r.
ref. BMC 159; SNG Copenhagen 227
about VF, dark green patina with sandy encrustations

Abgar was king of the kingdom of Osrhoene at the Upper Euphrat in Mesopotamia, situated between the Roman and the Parthian empire. The inhabitants, the Orrhoei, were relatives of the Nabataeans. Their capital city was Edessa. This name has been given to the city by Seleukos I Nikator referring to the capital of Makedonia.
Jochen
P_Paetus.jpg
P. Aelius Paetus - AR denarius6 viewsRome
²143 BC
¹138 BC
head of Roma right wearing winged helmet
X
Dioscuri riding on horses right holding spears and reins; stars over their heads
P·PAETVS
ROMA
¹SRCV I 110, Crawford 233/1, Sydenham 455, RSC I Aelia 3
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
4,0g
ex Sol

Unusual full nominative form of monetal's name. Moneyer was grandson of Q. Aelius Paetus, consul 167 BC.
Johny SYSEL
AR 46 D.jpg
P. Aelius Paetus Roman Republic Denarius31 viewsDenarius. P. Aelius Paetus, 138 BC. Helmeted hd. of Roma r., X behind. Rev. Dioscuri galloping r., P PAETVS below, ROMA in ex. RRC 233/1. CRR 455. RSC Aelia 3.Tanit
0079.jpg
P. Aelius Paetus, Denarius8 viewsRRC 233/1
138 bc

Av: Helmeted head of Roma r. behind, X
Rv: The Dioscuri galloping r. below, P PAETVS in ex. [RO]MA

Ex ACR auction 16, lot 356; 17. June 2015
Norbert
sept_sev_pautalia_honeratus_snake.JPG
Pautalia Septimius Severus Honeratus snake34 viewsSeptimius Severus

Pautalia

Caelius Honeratus (196)

AE 32 12.00g

Ob: AVT ∙ K ∙ Λ ∙ CEΠTI / [CEVHPOC Π CEBA
Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right

Rev: HΓE KAIΛIOY ONEPATOY OVΛΠIAC ΠAVTAΛI
Ex: AC

coiled serpent between two trees

Ruzicka 263; Mionnet- ; BMC- ; Varbanov (E) II 4652 (depicted)
rennrad12020
Aelius_01.jpg
RIC 2, p.392, 430 - Aelius, Felicitas 19 viewsAelius as Caesar
136-138 AD
AR Denarius
Obv.: L AELIVS - CAESAR, Head bare right.
Rev.: TR PO T - COS II Felicitas standing left holding caduceus and cornucopia
Ag, 3.12g, 17mm
Ref.: RIC 430
Ex HJB
shanxi
aelius.jpg
Roman Aelius As184 viewsAE As
Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
Rev: TR POT COS II S-C, Spes walking left holding flower & hitching skirt.

RIC 1065, Cohen 64.
2 commentsTanit
Aelius 1 D.jpg
Roman Aelius Sestertius39 viewsAE Sestertius.

Obv.:L AELIVS CAESAR
Rev.:TR POT COS II PANNONIA S C, Pannonia, towered, stg. front, head l., holding vexillum and gathering up dress.

RIC (Hadrian) 1059
Scarce
Tanit
EGYPT,_Alexandria__Aelius_.png
Roman Empire , EGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius.24 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius. Caesar, AD 136-138. Æ Drachm (33.85mm, 23.29g).
Bareheaded and draped bust right / Homonoia enthroned left, holding patera; cornucopia at side of throne. aVG, attractive red patina.
Sam
aelius.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - AELIUS28 viewsAelius, Caesar - 136-138 A.D. As (25mm). Obverse: AELIUS CAESAR, His bare and bearded head to the right. Reverse: TR POT COS II S-C, Spes advancing left, holding flower and raising slightly the drapery of her dress. Reference: RIC 1056. dpaul7
Caracalla_Laodicea~1.jpg
Roman Empire Provincial, Caracalla - Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia60 viewsAE 36
Lucius Aelius Pigres asiarch
211 - 217 AD
laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right from behind
AVT·KAI M·AYP'AN·_TΩNEINOC·CEB
Agnostic table with prize urn and palm on top; knives at sides; kantharos under table
EΠI Λ AIΛ ΠI_ΓPHTOC ACIAP
ΛAOΔIKEΩN / NEΩKOPΩN
ex Aurea
Johny SYSEL
Aelius.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aelius161 viewsAelius 136-138 A.D.

Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR
Rev: TR POT COS II
RIC 430
2 commentsBarry
016A.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aelius AE As79 viewsRIC II 1071v (Hadrian); Cohen 25v; BMC 1936; Sear 3988v
12.90 g, 27 mm
L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
TR POT COS II, S-C across, Pannonia standing facing, head right, holding standard, PANNONIA below. (The name PANNONIA is usually across the fields).
Scarce
Mark Z
aelius.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aelius Caesar, AR denarius138 views3 commentsOptimus
Aelius01.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aelius, Rome mint, struck 137 AD, AE As365 viewsL AELIVS CAESAR bare-headed bust right
TR POT COS II, S-C Spes standing left
RIC 1067, Cohen 57 (8 Fr.)
2 commentsdupondius
1~2.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Antoninus Pius, AE Sestertius24 viewsTitus Fulvius Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, AD 138-161.
Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right.
Reverse: TR POT COS II S-C, Pax standing left with branch and cornucopiae.

RIC 547
ggergo
ant.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Antoninus Pius, AR Denarius, RIC 449124 viewsMint:Roma
Betwin Feb/ Jul 138 AD
Dimensions:18mm/3.12grms, état:TTB+,Ref:RIC449
Third émission ,first officina
Obverse: IMP T AEL CAES-ANTONINVS
"Imperator Titus Aelius Caesar Antoninus"
Reverse: TRIB-POT-COS
"Tribunicia Potestate Consul"
RARE
Ref:RIC449, Cohen1060,RCV4135,Monnaies XXI n°2542
Conservation:SUP/TTB+
R
moneta romana
RRC243-1.jpg
RRC243/1 (Ti. Minucius C. f. Augurinus)50 viewsObv. Helmeted and winged head of Roma right, mark of value behind;
Rev. TI MINVCI CF – AVGVRINI; RO-MA around column surmounted by statue. At base, a stalk of grain on either side. L. Minucius Esquilinus standing right, M. Minucius Faesus standing left, holding lituus
18 mm, 3.91 grams
Rome, ca. 134 B.C.
References: RRC 243/1v; Syd. 494, RSC Minucia 9

Allusions: The obverse of the coin is traditional, but the reverse shows the achievements of the gens Minucia. Standing to the right and holding the lituus, M. Minucius Faesus was the first plebeian to be co-opted into the college of Augurs (300 B.C.), as soon as this was opened to non-patricians by the lex Ogulnia (Livy 10.92). Facing him stands L. Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus (cos. 458 B.C.), praefectus annonae 440-439 BC. During a famine, he accused Sp. Maelius of seeking regium by bribing the people with grain. The ancient sources are contradictory, though it would appear that, after Maelius’ death, Minucius distributed the grain himself, in his official capacity, at a rate of one as per modius. As a reward, the people – Dionysus of Halicarnassus claims it was the Senate – erected a statue in his honour near the Forum Boarium. A later tradition, spread by the plebeian Minucii, claimed that Esquilinus was originally a patrician, but that he changed his status to join the plebeians in order to become a Tribune of the People (Livy 4.13, Dion. Hal. 12.1-4; Pliny, NH 18.15; 34.21). It is likely that this story is a forgery, intended to give the gens Minucia quasi-patrician status and to enhance their popular image.

Interpretation: The coinage, minted around the time of the Gracchan crisis, thus bears popularis overtones. Whether this was a side-effect of the moneyer honouring his most famous ancestors, or an intended move remains unclear (arguments about the "propaganda" value of coins are ongoing).

Moneyer: Ti. Minucus is unknown except for his coins. The previous year, his brother, C. Minucius, had already minted a coin with a very similar reverse. The family is ancient, providing Rome with a consul as early as 497 B.C.

On this coin: Probably ex-jewellery, soldered at the top.
Syltorian
Old_Kilpatrick,_West_Dunbartonshire_-_Antonine_Wall.JPG
Scotland, Antonine Wall, Distance Slab24 viewsThese inscribed stones, known as distance slabs, are unique in the Roman Empire. They celebrate the work of the legions which constructed the Antonine Wall in Scotland. Evidence suggests that the slabs, all made of local sandstone, were set into stone frames along the length of the Wall and are likely to have faced South into the Empire.
Nineteen of these slabs are known of so far, the elaborate carving on many of them celebrating the culmination of a successful campaign by the triumphant Roman army.

IMP C T AE HADRIANO ANTONINO AVG PIO P P VEX LEG XX VV FEC PP IIII CDXI
"For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of his Country, a detachment of the Twentieth Valient and Victorious Legion built this over a distance of 4411 feet"

This slab was found at Old Kirkpatrick, West Dunbartonshire and is now in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.
*Alex
Found_at_Hutcheson_Hill,_West_Dunbartonshire_near_Cleddans_.jpg
Scotland, Antonine Wall, Distance Slab22 viewsThese inscribed stones, known as distance slabs, are unique in the Roman Empire. They celebrate the work of the legions which constructed the Antonine Wall in Scotland. Evidence suggests that the slabs, all made of local sandstone, were set into stone frames along the length of the Wall and are likely to have faced South into the Empire.
Nineteen of these slabs are known of so far, the elaborate carving on many of them celebrating the culmination of a successful campaign by the triumphant Roman army.

IMP C T AE HADRIANO ANTONINO AVG PIO P P VEX LEG XX VV FEC PP III
"For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of his Country, a detachment of the Twentieth Valient and Victorious Legion built this over a distance of 3000 feet"

This slab was found at Hutcheson Hill, near Cleddans, West Dunbartonshire and it is now in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.
*Alex
Found_near_Bridgeness,_Bo__ness,_West_Lothian.JPG
Scotland, Antonine Wall, Distance Slab22 viewsThese inscribed stones, known as distance slabs, are unique in the Roman Empire. They celebrate the work of the legions which constructed the Antonine Wall in Scotland. Evidence suggests that the slabs, all made of local sandstone, were set into stone frames along the length of the Wall and are likely to have faced South into the Empire.
Nineteen of these slabs are known of so far, the elaborate carving on many of them celebrating the culmination of a successful campaign by the triumphant Roman army.

IMP CAES TITO AELIO HADRI ANTONINO AVG PIO P P LEG II AVG PER M P IIIIDCLII FEC
"For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of his Country, the Second Augustan Legion completed 4652 feet"

This slab was found at Bridgeness, Bo'ness in 1868, it is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
*Alex
HADRIAN_CONSECRATIO.JPG
Struck A.D.139 under Antoninus Pius. DIVUS HADRIAN. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome20 viewsObverse: DIVVS HADRIANVS AVG. Bare head of Hadrian facing right.
Reverse: CONSECRATIO. Eagle standing facing on globe, head turned left.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.2gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC II : 389b
VERY RARE.

The Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome was completed in the year this coin was struck, the emperor Antoninus Pius cremated the body of Hadrian and placed his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius in the tomb.
The mausoleum was originally a towering decorated cylinder topped with a garden and a golden quadriga. The building, used by the popes in later centuries as a fortress and castle, is known today as the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is situated in Parco Adriano, Rome and is now a museum.
2 comments*Alex
HadrianAequitasAR_denarius.jpg
[903a] Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.93 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II 228 var (bust type), gVF, Rome, 2.849g, 17.8mm, 180o, 134 A.D.; Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, head right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, scepter in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy of FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Hadrian (A.D. 117-138)
Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

So Edward Gibbon concluded the first paragraph of his massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to a period which he also styled the happiest of mankind's history. Hadrian was the central figure of these "five good emperors," the one most responsible for changing the character and nature of the empire. He was also one of the most remarkable and talented individuals Rome ever produced.

The sources for a study of Hadrian are varied. There is no major historian for his reign, such as Tacitus or Livy. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, the first surviving life in a series intended to continue Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. The most convincing view is that which sees the whole as the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the most wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for the Hadrianic period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Contemporaries or near-contemporaries of Hadrian, such as Arrian, Fronto, Pausanias, and Plutarch, are also useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, and legal writings are extremely important. Archaeology in all its aspects contributes mightily to any attempt to probe the character of a man and emperor whose personality and thoughts defy close analysis and understanding.

Early Life and Career
Hadrian was born on January 24, 76. Where he saw the light of day was, even in antiquity, matter for debate. Italica, in Hispania Baetica, was the birthplace of Trajan and was also considered that of Hadrian. But the HA reports that he was born in Rome, and that seems the more likely choice, since it is the more unexpected. The actual place of one's birth was, however, unimportant, since it was one's patria which was crucial. Hadrian's ancestors had come to Spain generations before, from the town of Hadria in Picenum, at the end of the Second Punic War. Italica's tribus, to which Hadrian belonged, was the Sergia. His father, P. Aelius Afer, had reached the praetorship by the time of his death in 85/86, his mother, Domitia Paulina, came from a distinguished family of Gades, one of the wealthiest cities in the empire. His sister Paulina married Servianus, who played a significant role in Hadrian's career. Trajan was the father's cousin; when Afer died, Trajan and P. Acilius Attianus, likewise of Italica, became Hadrian's guardians.

At the age of about ten, Hadrian went to Italica for the first time (or returned, if he had been there earlier in his childhood), where he remained for only a brief time. He then returned to the capital and soon began a rapid rise through the cursus honorum; he was a military tribune of three different legions in consecutive years, a series of appointments which clearly marked him for a military career, and reached the consulate as a suffect at the age of 32, the earliest possible under the principate. At Trajan's death, he was legate of the province of Syria, with responsibility for the security of the east in the aftermath of Trajan's Parthian War.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of Hadrian's reign please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/hadrian.htm])

Literary and artistic achievements
Hadrian was a man of extraordinary talents, certainly one of the most gifted that Rome ever produced. He became a fine public speaker, he was a student of philosophy and other subjects, who could hold his own with the luminaries in their fields, he wrote both an autobiography and poetry, and he was a superb architect. It was in this last area that he left his greatest mark, with several of the empire's most extraordinary buildings and complexes stemming from his fertile mind. The anonymous author of the Historia Augusta described Hadrian as Fuit enim poematum et litterarum nimium studiosissimus. Arithmeticae, geometriae, picturae peritissimus.

He rebuilt Agrippa's Pantheon into the remarkable building that survives today, reconstructing the accustomed temple facade, with columns and pediment, but attaching it to a drum which was surmounted by a coffered dome. The latter was pierced by an oculus nine meters in diameter, which was the main source of illumination. Height and diameter were identical, 43.3 meters. The dome remained the largest in the world until the twentieth century. As was his custom, he replaced the original inscription of Agrippa on the architrave; seldom did he put his own name on a monument.

He also left his mark on almost every city and province to which he came. He paid particular attention to Athens, where he completed the great temple of Olympian Zeus, some six centuries after construction had begun, and made it the centerpiece of a new district of the city.

Hadrian's relationship with philosophers and other scholars was generally fractious. He often scorned their achievements while showing his own superiority. An anecdote about an argument which he had with the eminent philosopher and sophist Favorinus revealed the inequity of such disagreement. Although Favorinus was correct, he gave way to Hadrian, and when rebuked by friends, replied, "You advise me badly, friends, since you do not permit me to believe that he who commands thirty legions is the most learned of all."

Hadrian's literary taste inclined toward the archaic and the odd. He preferred Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Vergil, Coelius Antipater to Sallust, and disapproved of Homer and Plato as well. Indeed, the epic writer Antimachus of Colophon supplanted Homer in Hadrian's estimation. The biographer Suetonius held office under Hadrian but was discharged in 122 for disrespect to the empress. The historian Tacitus, who may have lived into Hadrian's reign, seems to have found no favor with the emperor.

His best known literary work is the short poem which he is said to have composed shortly before his death. These five lines have caused commentators much interpretative woe.

animula vagula blandula
hospes comesque corporis
quae nunc abibis in loca
pallidula rigida nudula
nec ut soles dabis iocos! (25.9)

"Little soul, wandering and pale, guest and companion of my body, you who will now go off to places pale, stiff, and barren, nor will you make jokes as has been your wont."
. . .

Reputation
Hadrian died invisus omnibus, according to the author of the Vita. But his deification placed him in the list of "good" emperors, a worthy successor to the optimus princes Trajan. Hadrian played a significant role both in developing the foreign policies of the empire and in its continuing centralization in administration. Few would disagree that he was one of the most remarkable men Rome ever produced, and that the empire was fortunate to have him as its head. When Aelius Aristides delivered his oration To Rome in 143, he had Hadrian's empire in mind when he said,

"But there is that which very decidedly deserves as much attention and admiration now as all the rest together. I mean your magnificent citizenship with its grand conception, because there is nothing like it in the records of all mankind. Dividing into two groups all those in your empire - and with this word I have indicated the entire civilized world - you have everywhere appointed to your citizenship, or even to kinship with you, the better part of the world's talent, courage, and leadership, while the rest you recognized as a league under your hegemony. Neither sea nor intervening continent are bars to citizenship, nor are Asia and Europe divided in their treatment here. In your empire all paths are open to all. No one worthy of rule or trust remains an alien, but a civil community of the World has been established as a Free Republic under one, the best, ruler and teacher of order; and all come together as into a common civic center, in order to receive each man his due.”

Scholarly work on the emperor, above all biographies, has been varied in quality. Much the best, as the most recent, is by A.R. Birley, who presents all that is known but underscores how much is conjecture, nay even guesswork. We still do not really know the man. An enigma he was to many while alive, and so he remains for us. Semper in omnibus varius; omnium curiositatum explorator; varius multiplex multiformis: these are descriptions of him from antiquity. They are still valid more than 1900 years after the emperor's death.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
2 commentsCleisthenes
AntoninusPiusAequitasSear4053.jpg
[904a] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.127 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138 to 161. Silver denarius. Sear-4053; gVF; Rome;16.4 x 17.9 mm, 3.61 g; issue of AD 138; Obverse : Head of Antoninus Pius right, with IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS around; Reverse : Aequitas standing left, holding scales and a cornucopiae, with AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II around. This is an interesting part of the Antoninus Pius series, struck in the first year of his reign, using his adoptive name of Hadrianus, and with the reverse inscription a continuation from the obverse.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



Cleisthenes
AntoPiusDenar.jpg
[904z] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.143 viewsAntoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D. Silver denarius, RIC 232, RSC 271, F, Rome, 1.699g, 17.3mm, 0o, 153 - 154 A.D. Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head right; Reverse: COS IIII, Fortuna standing right, cornucopia in left, long rudder on globe in right.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
MarcusAureliusLiberalitas_sestertius.jpg
[905a] Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.137 viewsMARCUS AURELIUS AE [b[Sestertius. RIC 1222. 30mm, 24.5g. Struck at Rome, 177 AD. Obverse: M ANTONINUS AVG GERM SARM TR P XXXI, laureate head right; Reverse: LIBERALITAS AVG VII IMP VIIII COS III P P, Liberalitas standing left holding coin counter & cornucopia, SC in fields. Nice portrait. Ex Incitatus. Photo courtesy of Incitatus.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 161-180)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University


Introduction and Sources
The Vita of the emperor in the collection known as the Historia Augusta identifies him in its heading as Marcus Antoninus Philosophus, "Marcus Antoninus the Philosopher." Toward the end of the work, the following is reported about him, sententia Platonis semper in ore illius fuit, florere civitates si aut philosophi imperarent aut imperantes philosopharentur (27.7), "Plato's judgment was always on his lips, that states flourished if philosophers ruled or rulers were philosophers." It is this quality of Marcus' character which has made him a unique figure in Roman history, since he was the first emperor whose life was molded by, and devoted to, philosophy (Julian was the second and last). His reign was long and troubled, and in some ways showed the weaknesses of empire which ultimately led to the "Decline and Fall," yet his personal reputation, indeed his sanctity, have never failed of admirers. Contributing to his fame and reputation is a slender volume of Stoic philosophy which served as a kind of diary while he was involved in military campaigns, the Meditations, a book which can be described as an aureus libellus, a little golden book.

The sources for understanding Marcus and his reign are varied but generally disappointing. There is no major historian. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, as well as those of Hadrian, Antoninus, Verus, and Avidius Cassius. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. In all likelihood, it is the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth-century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for our period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Marcus' teacher, Fronto, a distinguished orator and rhetorician, is extremely useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, legal writings, and some of the church writers, such as Tertullian, Eusebius, and Orosius, are very important. Archaeology and art history, with their interpretation of monuments, make the history of Marcus' principate literally visible and offer important clues for understanding the context of his actions.

Early Life
He was born M. Annius Verus on April 26, 121, the scion of a distinguished family of Spanish origin (PIR2 A697). His father was Annius Verus (PIR2 A696), his mother Domitia Lucilla (PIR2 D183). His grandfather held his second consulate in that year and went on to reach a third in 126, a rare distinction in the entire history of the principate, and also served Hadrian as city prefect. The youth's education embraced both rhetoric and philosophy; his manner was serious, his intellectual pursuits deep and devoted, so that the emperor Hadrian took an interest in him and called him "Verissimus," "Most truthful," by punning on his name. He received public honors from an early age and seems to have long been in Hadrian's mind as a potential successor. When Hadrian's first choice as successor, L. Ceionius Commodus, died before his adoptive father, the second choice proved more fruitful. The distinguished senator T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus, from Cisalpine Gaul, did succeed Hadrian, whose arrangements for the succession planned for the next generation as well. He required Antoninus to adopt the young Verus, now to be known as M. Aelius Aurelius Verus, as well as Commodus' son, henceforth known as L. Aelius Aurelius Commodus (PIR2 C606). The former was a bit more than seventeen years old, the latter was eight.

Career under Antoninus Pius
The long tenure of Antoninus Pius proved one of the most peaceful and prosperous in Roman history. The emperor himself was disinclined to military undertakings and never left Italy during his reign. Disturbances to the pax Romana occurred on the fringes of empire. Responses were decisive and successful, with legates in charge in the provinces. As a consequence, neither Caesar gained military experience nor was shown to the armies, a failing which later could have proved decisive and disastrous. Marcus rose steadily through the cursus honorum, holding consulates in 140 and 145, combining magistracies with priesthoods. He received the tribunicia potestas in 147, and perhaps also imperium proconsulare. Yet he never neglected the artes liberals. His closest contacts were with Fronto (c.95-c.160), the distinguished rhetorician and orator. His acquaintance included many other distinguished thinkers, such as Herodes Atticus (c.95-177), the Athenian millionaire and sophist, and Aelius Aristides (117-c.181), two of whose great speeches have survived and which reveal much of the mood and beliefs of the age. Yet it was Epictetus (c.50-c.120) who had the greatest philosophical impact and made him a firm Stoic. In the year 161 Marcus celebrated his fortieth birthday, a figure of noble appearance and unblemished character. He was leading a life which gave him as much honor and glory as he could have desired, probably much more than his private nature enjoyed, yet his life, and that of the empire, was soon to change. The emperor died on March 7, but not before clearly indicating to magistrates and senate alike his desire that Marcus succeed him by having the statue of Fortuna, which had been in his bedroom, transferred to Marcus. There was no opposition, no contrary voice, to his succession. He immediately chose his brother as co-emperor, as Hadrian had planned. From the beginning of the year they were joint consuls and held office for the entire year. Their official titulature was now Imperator Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus Augustus and Imperator Caesar L. Aurelius Verus Augustus. The military qualities adumbrated by the word Imperator were soon much in demand, for the empire was under pressure in the year 161 in Britain, in Raetia, and in the east, where Parthia once again posed a significant danger.

The Parthian War (161-166)
The incursion in northern Britain and the difficulties along the Danube were soon satisfactorily managed by legates. The danger in the East was of a different magnitude. Tensions between Rome and Parthia had intensified in the last years of Antoninus' reign over control of Armenia, the vast buffer state which had often aroused enmity between the two powers, since each wished to be able to impose a king favorable to its interests. With Antoninus' death and the uncertainty attendant upon a new emperor (in this case two, a dyarchy, for the first time in Rome's history), the Parthian monarch, Vologaeses III, struck rapidly, placed his own candidate upon the Armenian throne, and inflicted severe setbacks upon the Roman forces sent to oppose him. Marcus decided to send his colleague Lucius Verus, whose imperial prestige would underscore the seriousness of the empire's response. Verus lacked military experience and was sorely lacking in the attributes of leadership and command; further, he was notorious for being chiefly interested in amusements and luxury. But Marcus surrounded him with several of the best generals at the empire's disposal, chief among them Avidius Cassius (c.130-175) (PIR2 A1402). From 162 on, Rome's successes and conquests were extensive and decisive. Most of Parthia's significant cities and strongholds, such as Seleucia and Ctesiphon, were stormed and destroyed, and the army's movements eastward recalled the movements of Alexander the Great some five centuries earlier. By 166, Parthia had capitulated and a Roman nominee sat on the Armenian throne. The victory appeared to be the most decisive since Trajan's conquest of Dacia, but, when Verus returned to Italy with his triumphant army, there came also a devastating plague, which had enormous effect on all provinces.
As is the case with all ancient diseases, it is almost impossible to identify this one. In all likelihood, however, it was smallpox; how severe the toll was is debated. Clearly, it cast a pall over the triumph celebrated by the two emperors, who were honored with the titles Armeniacus and Parthicus. The last years of this decade were dominated by efforts to overcome the plague and provide succour to its victims. But already in 166, the German tribes smashed the Danubian limes, threatening the empire's stability and even existence, more than Parthia had ever done. The first campaigns were punctuated by the death of Verus in 169, leaving Marcus as sole emperor. And so began the most difficult period of his life.

The German Wars
Early in 169, the Marcomanni and Quadi crossed the Danube, penetrated the intervening provinces, and entered Italy. The culmination of their onslaught was a siege of Aquileia. The effect upon the inhabitants of the peninsula was frightful. This was the first invasion of Italy since the late second century B.C., when the Cimbri and Teutones had been separately crushed by Marius. Perhaps more vivid in the collective imagination was the sack of Rome by the Gauls in 387, when the city was saved only by the payment of ransom.
The two emperors hastened north, after a rapid mobilization of forces, which included the drafting of slaves, since the manpower potential of the empire had been so impaired by the consequences of the plague and the losses and troop commitments in the East. Verus died while in the north; Marcus returned to Rome with the body and gave his brother full honors. He then turned north again and began his counterattacks against the barbarians. He did not know it at the time, but he was destined to spend most of his remaining years on the northern frontier. The only interlude was caused by revolt in the east.

We have no record of Marcus' ultimate intentions in these campaigns, yet the various stages were clear. First and foremost, the enemy had to be driven out of Italy and then into their own territory beyond the Danube. He strove to isolate the tribes and then defeat them individually, so that the ultimate manpower superiority of the empire and its greater skill in warfare and logistics could more easily be brought to bear. It was a successful strategy, as one tribe after another suffered defeat and reestablished ties with Rome. But it was a time-consuming and expensive operation, requiring the recruitment of two new legions, II Italica and III Italica, the construction of many new camps, such as the legionary fortress at Regensburg, with success accruing year by year. He intended to create two new provinces, Marcomannia and Sarmatia, thereby eliminating the Hungarian Plain and the headwaters of the Elbe as staging areas for invasion.

This steady, slow progress was interrupted in 175 by the action of the distinguished general Avidius Cassius, governor of Syria, who claimed the empire for himself. Whether he responded to a rumor of Marcus' death or, as gossip had it, conspired with Marcus' wife, the emperor's response was quick and decisive. Leaving the northern wars, he traveled to the East, but Avidius was killed before Marcus arrived in the region. After spending time settling affairs and showing himself to some of the provinces, with particular attention shown to Athens, where he was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, as Hadrian and Verus had been. He returned to Italy and soon answered the call to duty once more on the northern frontier. He took with him as colleague his son Commodus, now merely sixteen years old but already long since marked out as his father's intended successor. The military campaigns proved successful, but in the spring of 180, when Marcus died, at least one more year of warfare was necessary for the attainment of the grand enterprise. Marcus recommended to Commodus continuation of the war, but the new emperor was eager to return to Rome and the ease and luxury of the imperial court and entered into a peace agreement. Never again was Rome to hold the upper hand in its dealings with the Germanic tribes beyond the now reestablished borders of the empire.

Administrative and Religious Policy
Marcus was a conscientious and careful administrator who devoted much attention to judicial matters. His appointments to major administrative positions were for the most part admirable. Difficult tasks were put in the charge of the most capable men; he was not afraid of comparison with his subordinates. Social mobility continued as it had been under his predecessors, with men from the provinces advancing into the upper echelons of the Roman aristocracy. Those of humble birth could make a good career; such a one was Pertinax (126-193), a gifted general, who in early 193 became emperor for a space of less than three months.

The judicial administration of Italy was put in the hands of iuridici, who represented the emperor and thus spoke with his authority. This was a practice which had been established by Hadrian but had been allowed to lapse by Antoninus. The centralization of government continued apace. The imperial finances were sorely stretched by the almost continuous wars. Trajan had brought great wealth, Decebalus' treasure, into the empire after his conquest of Dacia. No such profit awaited Marcus. When preparing for the northern wars, he auctioned off much of the imperial palace's valuables. In spite of the enormous expenses of war, Commodus found ample funds upon his accession as sole emperor for his expenditures and amusements.

Although Marcus was a devoted thinker and philosopher, he was deeply religious, at least outwardly. The state cult received full honor, and he recognized the validity of other people's beliefs, so that the variety of religions in the vast extent of the empire caused no difficulties for inhabitants or government, with one significant exception. The Christians were not hampered by any official policy; indeed the impact of the church spread enormously in the second century. Yet their availability as scapegoats for local crises made them subject to abuse or worse. There was violence against them in 167, and perhaps the worst stain on Marcus' principate stemmed from the pogrom of Christians in Lugdunum in southern France in 177. He did not cause it, nor, on the other hand, did he or his officials move to stop it. Indeed, Tertullian called him a friend of Christianity. Yet the events were a precursor of what would come in the century and a quarter which followed.

Building Programs and Monuments
Many of Marcus' predecessors transformed the face of the capital with their building programs, either by the vast range of their undertaking or by the extraordinary significance of individual monuments. Others did very little to leave a tangible mark. Marcus fell into the latter group. There is record of very few monuments for which he and his brother were responsible. Very early in their reign they honored the deceased Antoninus with a column in the Campus Martius, no longer in situ but largely surviving. The shaft, which seems not to have been sculpted, was used for the restoration of Augustus' obelisk, now in Piazza Montecitorio, in the eighteenth century. The base, which was sculpted on all four sides, is now on display in the Vatican Museum. The chief feature is the apotheosis of the emperor and his long deceased wife, the elder Faustina, as they are borne to heaven. Also presented on this relief are two eagles and personifications of the goddess Roma and of the Campus Martius, represented as a young male figure.

There were three arches which commemorated the military achievements of the two emperors. No trace has been found of an early monument to Verus. Two arches later honored Marcus, both of which have disappeared but have left significant sculptural remains. The eight rectangular reliefs preserved on the Arch of Constantine came from one arch. Similarly, the three reliefs displayed in the stairwell of the Conservatori Museum on the Capitoline Hill came from another. One relief has disappeared from the latter monument.

Certainly the best known monument of Marcus' principate is the column, which rises from Piazza Colonna. It is twin to Trajan's column in height and design, although the artistic craftsmanship of the reliefs which envelop the shaft is much inferior. The subject is Marcus' campaigns against the Marcomanni and Sarmati in the years 172-75. The most interesting panel represents the famous rainstorm, when the army, overwhelmed by drought, was suddenly saved by the divine intervention of rain. Although begun in the latter part of the decade, the column was not completed until 193, when Septimius Severus had become emperor.

The famous equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, which survived the centuries near San Giovanni in Laterano because the rider was identified as Constantine, no longer greets the visitor to the Capitoline, where Michelangelo had placed it in the sixteenth century. It was removed in the 1980s because pollution was destroying it. After careful treatment and restoration, it is now displayed within the museum, with a replica placed in the center of the piazza.

Although outside Rome, mention should be made of the monumental frieze commemorating Lucius Verus' victory over the Parthians in 165. It was an ornament of the city of Ephesus; the extensive sculptural remains are now in the Ephesus Museum in Vienna.

Family
As part of Hadrian's plans for his succession, when Ceionius Commodus was his choice, Marcus was betrothed to the latter's daughter. But when Ceionius died and Antoninus became Hadrian's successor, that arrangement was nullified and Marcus was chosen for the Emperor's daughter, the younger Faustina (PIR2 A716). She had been born in 129, was hence eight years younger than he. They were married in 145; the marriage endured for thirty years. She bore him thirteen children, of whom several died young; the most important were a daughter, Lucilla, and a son Commodus. Lucilla was deployed for political purposes, married first to Lucius Verus in 164, when she was seventeen, and then, after his death, to Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus of Antioch, a much older man who was an important associate of her father /ii]PIR2 C973). Commodus became joint-emperor with his father in 177 and three years later ruled alone.

Faustina's reputation suffered much abuse. She was accused of employing poison and of murdering people, as well as being free with her favors with gladiators, sailors, and also men of rank, particularly Avidius Cassius. Yet Marcus trusted her implicitly and defended her vigorously. She accompanied him on several campaigns and was honored with the title mater castrorum. She was with him in camp at Halala in southern Cappadocia in the winter of 175 when she died in an accident. Marcus dedicated a temple to her honor and had the name of the city changed to Faustinopolis.

Death and Succession
In early 180, while Marcus and Commodus were fighting in the north, Marcus became ill. Which disease carried him off we do not know, but for some days Marcus took no food or drink, being now eager to die. He died on March 17, in the city of Vindobona, although one source reports that it was in Sirmium. His ashes were brought to Rome and placed in Hadrian's mausoleum. Commodus succeeded to all power without opposition, and soon withdrew from the war, thereby stymieing his father's designs and ambitions. It was a change of rulers that proved disastrous for people and empire. Dio called the succession a change from a golden kingdom to one of iron and rust.

Reputation
Gibbon called Marcus "that philosophic monarch," a combination of adjective and noun which sets Marcus apart from all other Roman emperors. His renown has, in subsequent centuries, suffered little, although he was by no means a "perfect" person. He was perhaps too tolerant of other people's failings, he himself used opium. The abundance of children whom his wife bore him included, alas, a male who was to prove one of Rome's worst rulers. How much better it would have been if Marcus had had no son and had chosen a successor by adoption, so that the line of the five good emperors, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus, Marcus, could have been extended. It was not to be, and for that Marcus must accept some responsibility.

Yet he was a man of ability and a sense of duty who sacrificed his own delights and interests to the well-being of the state. He was capax imperii, he did his best, and history has been kind to him. As Hamlet said to Horatio, when awaiting the appearance of the ghost of his father,

"He was a man! Take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again." (I 2, 187-88)

His memory remains vivid and tactile because of the famous column, the equestrian statue, and his slender volume of thoughts, written in Greek, the Meditations, from which I choose two quotations with which to conclude:

"If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common. If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution; if this be so, the Universe is a kind of Commonwealth." (4.4)

"At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: 'I am called to man's labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for?'" (5.1; both in Farquharson's translation)

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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CommodusRSC190.jpg
[906a]Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.168 viewsCOMMODUS AR silver denarius. RSC 190. RCV 5644. 16.5mm, 2.3g. F. Obverse: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, bust of Commodus wearing lion skin in imitation of Hercules and Alexander the Great, facing right; Reverse: HER-CVL RO-MAN AV-GV either side of club of Hercules, all in wreath. RARE. Ex Incitatus.

This coin refers to Commodus' belief that he was Hercules reincarnated. According to the historian Herodian, "he issued orders that he was to be called not Commodus, son of Marcus, but Hercules, son of Jupiter. Abandoning the Roman and imperial mode of dress, he donned the lion-skin, and carried the club of Hercules..." (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Commodus (A.D. 180-192)

Dennis Quinn

Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus, the son of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife-cousin Faustina, was born in Lanuvium in 161 AD. Commodus was named Caesar at the age of 5, and co-Augustus at the age of 17, spending most of his early life accompanying his father on his campaigns against the Quadi and the Marcomanni along the Danubian frontier. His father died, possibly of the plague, at a military encampment at Bononia on the Danube on 17 March 180, leaving the Roman Empire to his nineteen-year-old son.[[1]] Upon hearing of his father's death, Commodus made preparations for Marcus' funeral, made concessions to the northern tribes, and made haste to return back to Rome in order to enjoy peace after nearly two decades of war. Commodus, and much of the Roman army behind him, entered the capital on 22 October, 180 in a triumphal procession, receiving a hero's welcome. Indeed, the youthful Commodus must have appeared in the parade as an icon of new, happier days to come; his arrival sparked the highest hopes in the Roman people, who believed he would rule as his father had ruled.[[2]]

The coins issued in his first year all display the triumphant general, a warrior in action who brought the spoils of victory to the citizens of Rome.[[3]] There is a great deal of evidence to support the fact that Commodus was popular among many of the people, at least for a majority of his reign. He seems to have been quite generous.[[4]]. Coin types from around 183 onward often contain the legend, Munificentia Augusta[[5]], indicating that generosity was indeed a part of his imperial program. Coins show nine occasions on which Commodus gave largesses, seven when he was sole emperor.[[6]] According to Dio, the emperor obtained some of this funding by taxing members of the senatorial class.[[7]] This policy of munificence certainly caused tensions between Commodus and the Senate. In 191 it was noted in the official Actus Urbis that the gods had given Commodus to Populus Senatusque Romanus. Normally the phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus was used. [[8]] While the Senate hated Commodus, the army and the lower classes loved him.[[9]] Because of the bad relationship between the Senate and Commodus as well as a senatorial conspiracy,[[10]] Rome "...was virtually governed by the praetorian prefects Perennis (182-185) and Cleander (186-9)."[[11]]

Commodus began to dress like the god Hercules, wearing lion skins and carrying a club.[[12]] Thus he appropriated the Antonines' traditional identification with Hercules, but even more aggressively. Commodus' complete identification with Hercules can be seen as an attempt to solidify his claim as new founder of Rome, which he now called the Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. This was legitimized by his direct link to Hercules, son of Father Jupiter.[[13]] He probably took the title of Hercules officially some time before mid-September 192.[[14]]

While the literary sources, especially Dio, Herodian, and the Historia Augusta, all ridicule the antics of his later career, they also give important insight into Commodus' relationship to the people.[[15]] His most important maneuver to solidify his claims as Hercules Romanus was to show himself as the god to the Roman people by taking part in spectacles in the amphitheater. Not only would Commodus fight and defeat the most skilled gladiators, he would also test his talents by encountering the most ferocious of the beasts.[[16]]

Commodus won all of his bouts against the gladiators.[[17]] The slayer of wild beasts, Hercules, was the mythical symbol of Commodus' rule, as protector of the Empire.[[18]]

During his final years he declared that his age should be called the "Golden Age."[[19]] He wanted all to revel in peace and happiness in his age of glory, praise the felicitas Commodi, the glorious libertas, his pietas, providential, his victoria and virtus aeterna.[[20]] Commodus wanted there to be no doubt that this "Golden Age" had been achieved through his munificence as Nobilissimus Princeps. He had declared a brand new day in Rome, founding it anew in 190, declaring himself the new Romulus.[[21]] Rome was now to be called Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana, as noted above, and deemed "the Immortal," "the Fortunate," "the Universal Colony of the Earth."[[22]] Coins represent the archaic rituals of city-[re]foundation, identifying Commodus as a new founder and his age as new days.[[23]]

Also in 190 he renamed all the months to correspond exactly with his titles. From January, they run as follows: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius.[[24]] According to Dio Cassius, the changing of the names of the months was all part of Commodus' megalomania.[[25]] Commodus was the first and last in the Antonine dynasty to change the names of the months.


The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was called Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was deemed the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people were all given the name Commodianus.[[26]] The day that these new names were announced was also given a new title: Dies Commodianus.[[27]] Indeed, the emperor presented himself with growing vigor as the center of Roman life and the fountainhead of religion. New expressions of old religious thought and new cults previously restricted to private worship invade the highest level of imperial power.[[28]]

If Eusebius of Caesarea [[29]] is to be believed, the reign of Commodus inaugurated a period of numerous conversions to Christianity. Commodus did not pursue his father's prohibitions against the Christians, although he did not actually change their legal position. Rather, he relaxed persecutions, after minor efforts early in his reign.[[30]] Tradition credits Commodus's policy to the influence of his concubine Marcia; she was probably his favorite,[[31]] but it is not clear that she was a Christian.[[32]] More likely, Commodus preferred to neglect the sect, so that persecutions would not detract from his claims to be leading the Empire through a "Golden Age."[[33]]

During his reign several attempts were made on Commodus' life.[[34]] After a few botched efforts, an orchestrated plot was carried out early in December 192, apparently including his mistress Marcia. On 31 December an athlete named Narcissus strangled him in his bath,[[35]] and the emperor's memory was cursed. This brought an end to the Antonine Dynasty.


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
Alföldy, G. "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.

Aymard, J. "Commode-Hercule foundateur de Rome," Revue des études latines 14 (1936): 340-64.

Birley, A. R. The African Emperor: Septimius Severus. -- rev. ed.-- London, 1988.
________. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. London, 1987.

Breckenridge, J. D. "Roman Imperial Portraiture from Augustus to Gallienus," ANRW 2.17. 1 (1981): 477-512.

Chantraine, H. "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975): 1-31.

Ferguson, J. The Religions of the Roman Empire. Ithaca, 1970.

Fishwick, D. The Imperial Cult in the Latin West. Leiden, 1987.

Gagé, J. "La mystique imperiale et l'épreuve des jeux. Commode-Hercule et l'anthropologie hercaléenne," ANRW 2.17.2 (1981), 663-83.

Garzetti, A. From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192. London, 1974.

Grosso F. La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo. Turin, 1964.

Hammond, M. The Antonine Monarchy. Rome, 1956.

Helgeland, J. "Roman Army Religion," ANRW II.16.2 (1978): 1470-1505.

Howe, L. L. The Praetorian Prefect from Commodus to Diocletian (A. D. 180-305). Chicago, 1942.

Keresztes, P. "A Favorable Aspect of Commodus' Rule," in Hommages à Marcel Renard 2. Bruxelles, 1969.

Mattingly, R. The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. London, 1930.

Nock, A. D. "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947): 102-116.

Parker, H. M. D. A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337. London, 1935.
________. and B.H. Warmington. "Commodus." OCD2, col. 276.

Raubitschek, A. E. "Commodus and Athens." Studies in Honor of Theodore Leslie Shear. Hesperia, Supp. 8, 1948.

Rostovtzeff, M. I. "Commodus-Hercules in Britain," Journal of Roman Studies 13 (1923): 91-105.

Sordi, M. "Un senatore cristano dell'éta di Commodo." Epigraphica 17 (1959): 104-112.

Speidel, M. P. "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993): 109-114.

Stanton, G. R. "Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus: 1962-1972." ANRW II.2 (1975): 478-549.

Notes
[[1]] For a discussion of the circumstances surrounding the death of Marcus Aurelius, see A. R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius: A Biography -- rev. ed. -- (London, 1987), 210.
Aurelius Victor, De Caes. 16.4, writing around the year 360, claimed Aurelius died at Vindobona, modern Vienna. However, Tertullian, Apol. 25, who wrote some seventeen years after Marcus' death, fixed his place of death at Sirmium, twenty miles south of Bononia. A. R. Birley (Marcus Aurelius, 209-10) cogently argues Tertullian is much more accurate in his general description of where Marcus was campaigning during his last days.
For the dating of Marcus Aurelius' death and the accession of Commodus, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy (Rome, 1956), 179-80.

[[2]] For the army's attitude toward peace, the attitude of the city toward the peace, and the reception of the emperor and his forces into Rome, see Herodian, 1.7.1-4; for Commodus' subsequent political policies concerning the northern tribes, see G. Alföldy, "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.
For a commentary on the early years of Commodus in the public perception as days of optimism, see A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192 (London, 1974), 530. For a more critical, and much more negative portrayal, see the first chapter of F. Grosso, La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo (Turin, 1964).

[[3]]The gods Minerva and Jupiter Victor are invoked on the currency as harbingers of victory; Jupiter Conservator on his coins watches over Commodus and his Empire, and thanks is given to divine Providence (H. Mattingly, The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [London, 1930] 356-7, 366-7). In 181, new coin types appear defining the new reign of Commodus. Victory and peace are stressed. Coins extol Securitas Publica, Felicitas, Libertas, Annona, and Aequitas (ibid., 357).
By 186 Commodus is depicted as the victorious princes, the most noble of all born to the purple. Herodian (1.5.5) describes how Commodus boasted to his soldiers that he was born to be emperor. See also H. Chantraine, "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quatralschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975), 26. He is called Triumphator and Rector Orbis, and associated with the Nobilitas of Trojan descent (Mattingly, RIC III.359; idem, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. Volume IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [Oxford, 1940], clxii).

[[4]] Dio tells us that Commodus liked giving gifts and often gave members of the populace 140 denarii apiece (Cass. Dio, 73.16), whereas the Historia Augusta reports that he gave each man 725 denarii (SHA, Comm., 16.3).

[[5]]Mattingly, RIC, III.358.

[[6]] Idem., CBM, IV.clxxiv.

[[7]]Cass. Dio, 73.16.

[[8]]M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 113.

[[9]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.xii. Commodus was also popular amongst the northern divisions of the army because he allowed them to wield axes in battle, a practice banned by all preceding emperors. See, Speidel, JRS 83 (1993), 114.

[[10]]Infra, n. 34.

[[11]] H. Parker and B.H. Warmington, OCD2, s.v. "Commodus," col. 276; after 189, he was influenced by his mistress Marcia, Eclectus his chamberlain, and Laetus (who became praetorian prefect in 191 (Idem.).

[[12]]Herodian, 1.14.8. Hadrian appears on medallions in lion skins; but as far as the sources tell us, he never appeared in public in them. See J. Toynbee, Roman Medallions,(New York, 1986), 208.
He would often appear at public festivals and shows dressed in purple robes embroidered with gold. He would wear a crown made of gold, inlaid with the finest gems of India. He often carried a herald's staff as if imitating the god Mercury. According to Dio Cassius, Commodus' lion's skin and club were carried before him in the procession, and at the theaters these vestiges of Hercules were placed on a gilded chair for all to see (Cass. Dio, 73.17). For the implications of the golden chair carried in procession in relation to the imperial cult, see D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West, (Leiden, 1987-91 ), 555.

[[13]] H. M. D. Parker, A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337, (London, 1935), 34; For medallions that express the relationship between Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus extolling Hercules as a symbol of civic virtue, see Toynbee, Roman Medallions, 208. For a general statement on the symbolism of Hercules in the Antonine age, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy, 238.
For a discussion of Commodus' association with Hercules, see
Rostovtzeff, "Commodus-Hercules," 104-6.
Herodian spells out the emperor's metamorphosis in detail (1.14.8).

[[14]]See Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor," 114. He argues this general date because a papyrus from Egypt's Fayum records Hercules in Commodus' title on 11 October 192.

[[15]]For a preliminary example, Herodian writes (1.13.8), "people in general responded well to him."

[[16]]As Dio reports, Commodus, with his own hands, gave the finishing stroke to five hippopotami at one time. Commodus also killed two elephants, several rhinoceroses, and a giraffe with the greatest of ease. (Cass. Dio, 73.10), and with his left hand (ibid., 73.19). Herodian maintains that from his specially constructed terrace which encircled the arena (enabling Commodus to avoid risking his life by fighting these animals at close quarters), the emperor also killed deer, roebuck, various horned animals, lions, and leopards, always killing them painlessly with a single blow. He purportedly killed one hundred leopards with one hundred javelins, and he cleanly shot the heads off countless ostriches with crescent-headed arrows. The crowd cheered as these headless birds continued to run around the amphitheater (1.15-4-6; for Commodus' popularity at these brutal spectacles, see Birley, The African Emperor, 86) (and Dio tells his readers that in public Commodus was less brutal than he was in private [73.17ff]).

[[17]] According to Herodian (1.15-17), "In his gladiatorial combats, he defeated his opponents with ease, and he did no more than wound them, since they all submitted to him, but only because they knew he was the emperor, not because he was truly a gladiator."

[[18]]Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.360.

[[19]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[20]] Mattingly, RIC, III.361. For Commodus' propaganda of peace, see W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392.

[[21]] W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392-3. In 189 a coin type was issued with the legend Romulus Conditor, perhaps indicating he began the official renaming process during that year. For a discussion on Commodus as Romulus, see A. D. Nock, "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947), 103.

[[22]] HA, Comm. 7.1; Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[23]]Mattingly, RIC, III.361. See also, Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.386.

[[24]]The title Felix is first used by the emperor Commodus, and is used in the titles of almost all successive emperors to the fifth century. See, D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Leiden, 1987-91), 473.
HA, Comm., 12.315; Cass. Dio, 73.15; Herodian, I.14.9. These new names for the months seem to have actually been used, at least by the army, as confirmed by Tittianus' Altar. See M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 112.

[[25]] Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[26]]Legions:Idem.; the Grain fleet: SHA, Comm., 12.7. For a further discussion of Commodus' newly named fleet, see, A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines, 547. For coins issued extolling the fleet, see Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxix; RIC, III.359; the Senate: Cass. Dio, 73.15; the Imperial Palace: SHA, Comm., 12.7; the Roman People: Ibid., 15.5.

[[27]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[28]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxxxiv.

[[29]]Eusebius, Hist.Ecc., 5.21.1.

[[30]]For a discussion of the treatment of Christianity during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus as well as persecutions during the reign of Commodus, see Keresztes, "A Favorable Aspect," 374, 376-377.

[[31]]Herodian, 1.16.4; Dio, 73.4. A Medallion from early 192 shows Commodus juxtaposed with the goddess Roma, which some scholars have argued incorporates the features of Marcia. See, Roman Medallions, "Introduction." Commodus was married, however, to a woman named Crispina. He commissioned several coins early in his rule to honor her.

[[32]]The Christian apologist Hippolytus tells that she was a Christian (Philos. 9.2.12), Dio tells that she simply favored the Christians (73.4). Herodian does not take a stand on the matter either way (1.16.4).

[[33]]Cass. Dio, 73.15. He pronounces Commodus' edict that his rule should be henceforth called the "Golden Age."

[[34]]H. Parker and B.H. Warmington note that Commodus..."resorted to government by means of favorites...which was exacerbated by an abortive conspiracy promoted by Lucilla and Ummidius Quadratus (182)." (OCD2, col. 276).

[[35]]Herodian, 1.17.2-11; Dio Cass., 73.22; SHA, Comm.,17.1-2.

Copyright (C) 1998, Dennis Quinn. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact. Used by Permission.

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