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

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

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

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

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||sestertius|
In 165, the Parthians sued for peace after Lucius Verus captured Artaxata, Seleucia on the Tigris, and Ctesiphon. The war began in 162, when Parthia invaded Syria and Armenia. Unfortunately the victorious army returned bringing a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague, which significantly depopulated and greatly weakened the Roman Empire.
RB112563. Orichalcum sestertius, SRCV II 5010, RIC III 931 corr. (obv legend), BMCRE IV 1289, MIR 18 142-6/30, Hunter II 120, Cohen III 807, aVF, nice green patina, attractive portrait, centered but tight squared flan cutting off much of legends, weight 19.773 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, summer - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XX IMP IIII COS III, Victory standing facing, looking right, nude to waist, hanging shield inscribed VIC PAR on palm tree; from the Collection of Dr. Jregen Buschek; $225.00 (207.00)


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

|Faustina| |Jr.|, |Faustina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |146| |-| |Winter| |175/176| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Marcus| |Aurelius||denarius|
Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS112535. Silver denarius, RIC III MA677; RSC II 99; BMCRE IV MA91; SRCV II 5252; Hunter II, p. 351, 4 var. (bust, pearls), Choice VF, radiating flow lines, well centered, toned, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.565 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 150o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas (fertility) standing half right, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, infant in extended left hand; $190.00 (174.80)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |25|
Kadman Caesarea plate V, 53 is from the same dies. No other examples know to FORVM are from the same dies. Kadman listed it as otherwise unpublished, attributed it to Lucius Verus and read the obverse legend as IMP CAES L AVR VERVS AVG ARM. This portrait does favor Lucius Verus. On the Kadman coin the legend clearly starts IMP CAES but the rest is obscure (at least in the photo). On our coin the right side legend is much clearer and certainly ends ONINVS AVG. The combined legible obverse legend is IMP CAES [... ANT]ONINVS AVG, appropriate for Marcus Aurelius.
RP111377. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online IV.3 T6318, BMC Palestine p. 22, 83 ff.; SNG ANS 778 f.; SNG Righetti 2383; SNG Hunt II 3560; Kadman I pl. V, 53, aVF, nice dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, obv. off center, small edge split, weight 14.564 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima (Keisaria, Israel) mint, 7 Mar 161 - 17 Mar 180 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG (all As shaped as ANT), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse COL PRIMAE FL AVG CAESAR, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; $160.00 (147.20)


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

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||denarius|
In 174, Faustina the Younger accompanied her husband, Marcus Aurelius, on various military campaigns. She was loved by the Roman soldiers and Aurelius gave her the title Mater Castrorum (Mother of the Camp).
RS112678. Silver denarius, RIC III 316; RSC II 341; Hunter II p. 318, 66; BMCRE IV 613 var. (...AVG GERM TR P XXIX); cf. SRCV II 4912 (IMP VIII), Choice VF, toned, well centered, edge crack, weight 2.485 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 174 - Autumn 175 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIX, laureate head right; reverse IMP VII COS III, Roma standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, Victory standing left holding wreath in Roma's extended right hand, inverted vertical spear in left hand; from the Collection of Dr. Jregen Buschek; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00 ON RESERVE


Attaea, Mysia, Late 2nd Century A.D.

|Other| |Mysia|, |Attaea,| |Mysia,| |Late| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |18|
Attaea appears to be known only from its coinage. Its site is uncertain but, based on coin finds, may be Dikeliky, Turkey.
RP111827. Bronze AE 18, SNGvA 7203, SNG BnF 136, von Fritze Mysiens 357, Waddington 5744, RPC IV.2 online -, SNG Cop -, aVF, nice green patina, light corrosion, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 5.102 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Attaea (Dikeliky, Turkey?) mint, reign of Marcus Aurelius(?), late 2nd century A.D.; obverse IEPA CVNKΛHTOC, draped bust of the youthful Senate right; reverse ATTAITΩN, youthful male figure (founding hero?) standing right, beardless, with short hair, left foot on cippus, upper body bent forward, arms crossed resting both on left thigh; $100.00 (92.00)


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

|Other| |Lydia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Akrasos,| |Lydia||AE| |26|
Akrasos was probably located on the upper course of the Caicus River. The site remains unknown. Even which river was once called the Caicus is uncertain. It is believed to be the modern Bakircay River in Turkey. Nothing is known of the city beyond its coinage.
RP111751. Bronze AE 26, GRPC Lydia Acrasus 27, RPC Online IV.2 T2794, SNG Mun 19, BMC Lydia -, SNGvA -, Choice F, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porosity, weight 9.202 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, Acrasus (site unknown) mint, under Marcus Aurelius, c. 177 - 179 A.D.; obverse AV KAI Λ AVP KOMOΔ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse EΠI CTPA BACCOV AKPACIΩTΩ (authority of strategos Bassos, Akrasos), Hygieia on left, standing half right, feeding serpent from patera held in her arms; Asclepius on right, standing facing, head left, leaning on serpent-entwined staff; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 405; ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection ; $95.00 (87.40)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Aelia| |Capitolina| |(Jerusalem),| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |32|
In 132, a messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba started the Bar Kokhba revolt, a war of liberation for Judea against Rome. At first the rebellion was a success. The legion X Fretensis was forced to retreat from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, was destroyed. The Jews re-established their sacrifices and struck coins to celebrate their independence. The rebellion would last for only 30 months. By 135, the Romans had recaptured Jerusalem, Simon bar Kokhba was dead, and the majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery. Jerusalem was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina and an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. After these events, the Jews would remain scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
JD11646. Bronze AE 32, Sofaer 46; Meshorer Aelia 45; Kadman Aelia 50; Rosenberger 28; BMC Palestine p. 89, 36, aVF, nice portrait, weight 20.46 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) mint, 7 Mar 161 - 17 Mar 180 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG, bare-headed, draped bust right; reverse COL AEL CAP (Colonia Aelia Capitolina), Serapis seated left of throne, kalathos on head, long scepter in left hand, right hand extended over Kerberos seated at feet; very rare; SOLD


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||denarius|
In 163, the Roman general Statius Priscus reconquered Armenia. Artaxata was ruined.

According to Cassius Dio when Avidius Cassius (the governor of Egypt and Syria) was declared emperor by his legions in 175 A.D., it was Priscus who informed Emperor Aurelius. Cassius declared himself emperor at the behest of Aurelius' wife who convinced Cassius and his legions that the emperor had died. Aurelius quickly defeated Cassius and installed Priscus as governor of Syria.
SH53591. Silver denarius, RIC III 59, RSC II 37, BMCRE IV 209, Hunter II 11, SRCV II -, FDC, bold, sharp, fine style, light iridescent toning on sparkling mint luster, weight 3.399 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 162 - Dec 163 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG, bare head right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor) TR P XVII, Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, resting left arm on statuette of Spes set on cornucopia, COS III in exergue; ex H. S. Perlin Co.; SOLD


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Laodiceia ad Lycum, Phrygia, in Alliance with Smyrna, Ionia

|Laodicea| |ad| |Lycus|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Laodiceia| |ad| |Lycum,| |Phrygia,| |in| |Alliance| |with| |Smyrna,| |Ionia||medallion|
This alliance medallion celebrates the Harmony between Laodicea and Smyrna. Such alliances between cities inside of the Roman Empire were generally political or economic.
RB110374. Bronze medallion, BMC Phrygia p. 326, 275; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Mn -; SNG Tb -, F, well centered; green, red, brown and black dark patina; old cleaning marks, weight 26.314 g, maximum diameter 39.3 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Lycum (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, 7 Mar 161 - 17 Mar 180; obverse AV KAI M AVP - ANTONINOC·, laureate head right; reverse ΛAOΔIKEO-N - C-MYPNAION, Zeus Laodikeos standing half left, head left, wearing long chiton and himation, eagle in right hand scepter in left hand, flanked by the two Nemeses of Smyrna facing inward toward Nemeses, both clad in long chiton and peplos, plucking chiton from breast; ·OMONOIA· in exergue; this coin is the only specimen of the type on Coin Archives, huge 39 mm bronze!, ex Harlan Berk sale 216 (27 Jul 2021), lot 460; ex CNG sale 61 (23 Sep 2002), lot 1049; extremely rare; SOLD


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia

|Magnesia| |ad| |Meandrum|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.,| |Magnesia| |ad| |Maeandrum,| |Ionia||AE| |39|
Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an inland city of Ionia, located on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus. "..the temple of Artemis Leukophryene, which in the size of its shrine and in the number of its votive offerings is inferior to the temple at Ephesos, but in the harmony and skill shown in the structure of the sacred enclosure is far superior to it. And in size it surpasses all the sacred enclosures in Asia except two, that at Ephesos (to Artemis) and that at Didymoi (to Apollo)" -- Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 40.
RP79281. Bronze AE 39, RPC Online IV 2393 (1 specimen), Schultz Magnesia 130, SNGvA 2550, BMC Ionia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, F, much better than the only specimen in RPC Online, nice surfaces with slightest porosity, flan crack, weight 21.424 g, maximum diameter 38.8 mm, die axis 180o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, 7 Mar 161 - Feb 169 A.D.; obverse AVT K MA AVPH OYHPOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse cult statue of Artemis Leukophryene standing facing in center, flanked by two Nikes over shoulders crowning her, two eagles flanking at feet; all between Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus standing, facing each other, each wearing toga and raising right arm; MAGNHTΩN in exergue; ex Gitbud & Naumann, auction 28, lot 250; HUGE 38.8 mm bronze; very rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
KENOM Virtuelles Mnzkabinett- https://www.kenom.de
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Szaivert, W. Die Mnzprgung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus un Commodus (161-192). (Wien, 1984).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur rmischen Reichsprgung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprgung 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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