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

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

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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||sestertius|
The Temple of Divus Augustus was a major temple originally built to commemorate the deified first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was built between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, behind the Basilica Julia, on the site of the house that Augustus had inhabited before he entered public life in the mid-1st century B.C. It is known from Roman coinage that the temple was originally built to an Ionic hexastyle design. However, its size, physical proportions and exact site are unknown. Provincial temples of Augustus, such as the much smaller Temple of Augustus in Pula, now in Croatia, had already been constructed during his lifetime. Probably because of popular resistance to the notion, he was not officially deified in Rome until after his death, when a temple at Nola in Campania, where he died, seems to have been begun. Subsequently, temples were dedicated to him all over the Roman Empire. The last known reference to the temple was on 27 May 218. At some point thereafter it was completely destroyed and its stones were presumably quarried for later buildings. Its remains are not visible and the area in which it lay has never been excavated.
SL97997. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1004, BMCRE IV 2063, Cohen II 805, Hunter II 352, Banti 406, SRCV II 4235, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5 (605513-014); Tiber patina, weight 26.07 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 158 - 159 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head right; reverse TEMPLVM DIV AVG REST, octastyle temple set on podium of four steps, seated facing statues of Divus Augustus and Livia within, standing figure (Divus Augustus?) between two reclining figures on pediment, quadriga at peak of roof, acroteria (Romulus on left, Aeneas bearing Anchises on right) at corners of roof, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields, COS IIII below; ex Heritage auction 61210 (16 May 2021), lot 99129; ex CNG e-auction 247 (12 Jan 2011), lot 287 (realized $1,300 plus fees); NGC| Lookup; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00
 


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

|Lycaonia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Lystra,| |Lycaonia||AE| |23|NEW
Lystra, mentioned six times in the New Testament, was on an ancient road from Ephesus, to Sardis, to Antioch in Pisidia, to Iconium, to Lystra, to Derbe, through the Cilician Gates, to Tarsus, to Antioch in Syria, and then to points east and south. The city was visited several times by the Paul the Apostle, along with Barnabas or Silas. There Paul met a young disciple, Timothy. The site of Lystra is believed to be located 30 kilometres south of the city of Konya (Iconium in the New Testament), north of the village of Hatunsaray. A small museum within the village of Hatunsaray displays artifacts from ancient Lystra.
RP97243. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online IV.3 7263 (7 spec.); SNG Righetti 1465; vA Lystra p. 516; vA Lycaoniens -, SNGvA -; SNG BnF -; BMC Lycaonia -; SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, VF, attractive dark green paint, earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off part of legends, weight 7.914 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lystra mint, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse MINERVAE COL LVSTRA, Athena standing, facing, head left, wearing Corinthian helmet, holding patera over lighted altar and spear, shield at feet right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 910; rare, and rare city; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|
Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
RS97455. Silver denarius, RIC III 175; RSC II 284; BMCRE IV p. 95, 657; Strack III 191; cf. SRCV II 4067 (TR P XI), VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, long closed flan crack, weight 3.091 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Annona standing left holding stalks of grain over modius left and anchor; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1247; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|
The pulvinar (plural pulvinaria) was a special couch used for displaying images of the gods, that they might receive offerings at ceremonies such as the lectisternium or supplicatio. In the famous lectisternium of 217 B.C., on orders of the sibylline books, six pulvinaria were arranged, each for a divine male-female pair, identified by Livy as follows:

Jupiter-Juno
Neptune-Minerva
Mars-Venus
Apollo-Diana
Vulcan-Vesta
Mercury-Ceres
RS97454. Silver denarius, RIC III 137, RSC II 345, BMCRE IV 536, Strack III 165, SRCV II 4079, VF, toned, flow lines, die wear, edge splits, weight 2.612 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, horizontal fulmen (thunderbolt) on draped pulvinar (throne) of Jupiter and Juno; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1246; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
Cybele was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion."Cybele
RX92509. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T14962; Dattari-Savio 2689; Geissen 1778; Milne 2330; BMC Alexandria p. 121, 1042; Emmett 1600/20 (R1), aF, well centered, porous, edge splits, beveled obverse edge, weight 24.026 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 156 - 28 Aug 157 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse Cybele seated left on throne flanked by two seated lions, wearing chiton and peplos, phiale in right hand, resting arm on drum, L - K (year 20) flanking high across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

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


REFERENCES|

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

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