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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

|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 (656.00)


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 (254.20)


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
This type of reverse usually indicates the birth of a prince, and we would normally assume the boy and girl on the reverse represent children of the emperor. Hadrian and Sabina, however, had no children.
RB97380. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE III 1372 (also with slight drapery), RIC II-3 988, Strack 629a, Banti 442, Cohen II 819, Hunter II 447, SRCV II 3602, VF, well centered, Tiber patina, light corrosion, weight 22.258 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, long neck, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse HILARITAS P R (Joy of the Roman People), Hilaritas standing half left, head left, palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, at her feet on left a small nude boy standing right also holding the palm frond, at feet on right a dressed small girl standing left and reaching up touching Hilaritas' drapery, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; ex Ammon Shahar Collection; $220.00 (180.40)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
This obverse legend is listed in references with reverses depicting three, four, or five soldiers. Specimens with six soldiers on the reverse in Cohen III, RIC III, and noted in BMCRE IV (refs. Cohen) all have the obverse legend, M COMMODVS ANT AVG P BRIT FELIX. The four specimens on Coin Archives with six soldiers all share the same obverse legend with our coin. Perhaps RIC III copied an error by Cohen?
RB97213. Orichalcum sestertius, Hunter II 126 var. (same obv. die, 5 soldiers), RIC III 468d (R) var. (obv. leg.), Cohen III 138 var. (same), BMCRE IV 579 var. (4 soldiers, note), F, green patina, tight flan cutting off reverse legend, weight 23.587 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 186 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XI IMP VII COS V P P, Commodus standing left on platform, haranguing six soldiers, three legionary standards on the far side of soldiers, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields, FID EXERCIT (loyalty of the army) in exergue; rare; $200.00 (164.00)


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.||sestertius|
Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RB97215. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1317; BMCRE IV p. 548, 1027; Cohen III 87; Banti 61; Hunter II 53 var. (cuirassed), SRCV II, F, glossy dark green patina, weight 21.167 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 161 - Dec 162 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES L AVREL VERVS AVG, bare head right; reverse TR POT II COS II (holder of tribune power for 2 years, consul two times), Fortuna seated left, feet on footstool, holding tiller of rudder (on globe?) in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided low across field, FORT RED (Fortuna Redux) in exergue; $180.00 (147.60)


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

|Cappadocia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||didrachm|
Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazama. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RP97230. Silver didrachm, RPC III 3004 (25 spec.); Sydenham Caesarea 196; BMC Galatia p. 55, 69; SNG Fitzwilliam 5435; Metcalf Cappadocia 64c & Hoard 314 - 333, pl. 17 - 18, aVF, as found thick black toning, light scratches, tight flan, weight 5.970 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 210o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate and draped bust right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATO ς (consul 6 times), bust of Artemis left, in chiton, spear upward in right hand, phiale in left hand; ex Zeus Numismatics auction 11 (1 Aug 2020), lot 502; $160.00 (131.20)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia||AE| |27|
The title Neokoros, designating a guardian of a temple of the imperial cult, was highly prized and advertised on the coins of many cities. Tarsos was the first city in Cilicia to receive the title, during the reign of Hadrian, not long after 130 A.D. This first temple dedicated to the cult of Hadrian is named in the reverse legend. A second imperial temple was dedicated to Commodus during his reign, before August 191. The B (the Greek number two) indicates this second neokorie. The Kommodeios isolympic worldwide festival was held in honor of this temple. Commodus probably honored Tarsos because its chief god was Hercules, and Commodus had come to believe he was Hercules reincarnated.
RP97264. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online IV.3 T5845, SNG Levante Supp. 260, SNG BnF 1466, SNGvA 5997, Waddington 4636, VF, nice green patina, uneven slightly off-center strike with parts of legends weak or unstruck, weight 11.189 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 30o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC AYP KOMO∆OC CEB, mantled bust right, wearing demiurgic crown; club of Hercules behind; reverse A∆P KOM - TAP MHO (Hadrianeia, Kommodeios - Tarsos Metropolis), agonistic crown inscribed KOMO∆EI, OIKO/VME (Kommodeios worldwide) in two lines above, B / NEWKO (two neokorie) in two lines below; ex Zeus Numismatics, auction 11 (01 Aug 2020), lot 453; $160.00 (131.20)


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

|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 (123.00)


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
Hadrian was born in Hispania. The origin of the name Hispania is much disputed and the evidence for the various speculations is very weak. Two theories hold it to be of Punic derivation, from the Phoenician language of colonizing Carthage. In Hebrew, "i-shfania" means "island of the rabbit." Punic-Phoenician and Hebrew are both Canaanite languages and therefore closely related to each other. The name Hispania may be derived from an ancient Punic name identifying the place as a land of rabbits. Another theory holds the name is derived the word from the Phoenician word "span," meaning hidden, indicating a hidden, that is, a remote, or far-distant land. Although missing on this specimen, the rabbit in this series has been used as evidence to support the first theory.
RB97212. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE III 1748 (no rabbit), RIC II-3 1664 (S), Cohen II 832 (no rabbit), Cohen II 840 (rabbit right), Hunter II -, SRCV II -, aF, dark brown patina, edge crack, light scratches and deposits, tooling on reverse legend, weight 23.335 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse HISPANIA, Hispania reclining left, olive branch in extended right hand, left arm on rocks, rabbit (if any, worn) right on near side of rocks, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $140.00 (114.80)


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

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS97457. Silver denarius, RIC III 784, BMCRE IV 322, RSC II 70, Hunter II 70, SRCV II 5491, VF, toned, radiating flow lines, tight flan, light marks/scratches, light porosity, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1276; $140.00 (114.80)




  







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