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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors

Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
SH93043. Gold aureus, Calic 2066 (same rev. die); RIC III MA699; BMCRE IV MA129 note; Cohen III 146; SRCV II 5242; Hunter II -, gVF, light marks on edge, weight 6.763 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right, hair in bun at the back; reverse LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, wreath in right hand, long scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 80 (04 Aug 2019), lot 563; ex Roma Numismatics 14 (27 Jan 2019), lot 761; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 106 (09 May 2018), lot 973; ex Roma Numismatics sale XIV (21 Sep 2017), 761 (realized 4,600 plus fees); extremely rare; $5200.00 (4680.00)


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

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Nerva maintained that he had liberated Rome from the tyranny of Domitian and restored a constitutionally-based regime. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. and many Mexican coins.
SH94036. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 86, BMCRE III 112, BnF III 100, Cohen II 114, SRCV II 3050, Hunter I -, Choice gVF, well centered, nice portrait, mottled patina, scattered tiny pits, weight 19.627 g, maximum diameter 34.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people), Libertas standing left, pileus liberatis (freedom cap) in right hand, staff in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $1570.00 (1413.00)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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"Trajan, having crossed the Ister by means of the bridge, conducted the war with safe prudence rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of the campaign he himself performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his troops ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, after being carried, badly wounded, from the battle in the hope that he could be healed, when he found that he could not recover, rushed from his tent (for his injury had not yet reached his heart) and, taking his place once more in the line, perished after displaying great feats of valor." -- Roman History by Cassius Dio
SH92857. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 461b, BMCRE III 970, RIC II 598 (S), Cohen II 499, SRCV II -, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, nice toned brass surfaces, legends and centers weak, closed crack, weight 25.570 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 103 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan on horseback left, spear vertical in right hand, reins and small Victory in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $560.00 (504.00)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB92463. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, well centered on a squared flan, light bumps and scratches, weight 26.206 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 330o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, right hand extended over flaming altar at feet on left, incense box in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $500.00 (450.00)


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

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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB92442. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 993; Strack III 1129; BMCRE IV p. 342, * (refs Strack); Hunter II 342; SRCV II -; Cohen II -, gVF, superb portrait and reverse style, attractive toned brass surfaces, marks, some porosity, tight flan, weight 11.118 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII (holder of Tribunitian power 21 years, consul 4 times), Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain downward in right hand, modius at feet left overflowing with grain, rudder in left hand resting on prow at feet on right, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 (270.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.
JD93012. Bronze AE 32, Hendin 836, SNG ANS 766, Rosenberger 24, Kadman Caesarea 27, F, green patina, grainy, earthen deposits, weight 18.384 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAES AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL I FL AVG, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing right with oxen, Nike flying left above holding wreath, CAESAREN in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); $300.00 (270.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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On 8 or 9 August 117, Trajan, age 63, died at Selinus, Cilicia while en route from Mesopotamia to Italy. On his death bed, he adopted Hadrian as his successor. The Roman Empire reached its maximum territorial extent at the time of Trajan's death. Hadrian soon abandoned indefensible parts of Mesopotamia to the Parthians.Rome's greatest extent 117 A.D.

RS92429. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 54 (S), BMCRE III 18, RSC II 248a, Hunter II 10 var. (no cuirass), Strack II 13, SRCV II -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, attractive portrait, attractive toning, flow lines, light marks, mild porosity, light die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.128 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 11 Aug 117 - Dec 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN HADRIANO AVG DIVI TRA, laureate and cuirassed bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse PARTH F DIVI NER NEP P M TR P COS, Concordia seated left on throne, patera in right hand, resting left elbow on statue of Spes, cornucopia under chair, feet on footstool, CONCORD in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $250.00 (225.00)


Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
RB92433. Copper as, RIC II-3 2700, BMCRE III 1931, Hunter II 20, Strack II 895, SRCV II 3993, Cohen II 57, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, porosity, light corrosion, light deposits, weight 13.051 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, group 2, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, lifting skirt drapery with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field just below center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $250.00 (225.00)


Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS92435. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 2634, RSC II 50, BMCRE III Hadrian 969, SRCV II 3973, Strack II 391, Hunter II 2, F, attractive portrait, nice toning, well centered on a tight flan, light scratches, flan edge a little ragged with small edge splits, weight 3.091 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, caduceus in left hand, cornucopia in right hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $240.00 (216.00)


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

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




  







Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
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Adoptive Emperors