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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|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Primi Decennales - The first period of ten years. This epigraph (with COS. III. in a crown of oak) appears for the first time, either abridged or at full length, on coins, in all three metals, of Antoninus Pius, and afterward on those of his immediate successors, M. Aurelius and Commodus. These Decennales (says Eckhel) like the vota, whether suscepta or soluta, were doubtless celebrated for the health and safety of the reigning emperor. Recorded in the first instance during the reign of the Antonines, they afterward became a constantly recurring subject of numismatic inscription, and especially in the age of the Constantines. -- Dictionary of Roman Coins
RB92451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1016 (S), Cohen III 1034, BMCRE IV 1401, Hunter II - (p. cxxvi), SRCV II -, Nice F, attractive brown tone, nice portrait, spots of light corrosion, some bumps and marks, weight 24.890 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 170 - Dec 171 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SOLVTA DECENNALIVM, emperor standing half left, head left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming tripod altar on left, togate and veiled, a bull lying left at his feet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, records of only two specimens of this type on Coin Archives in the last two decades; scarce; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


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

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |20|
This coin may refer to an eclipse at Carrhae on 4 September 164. Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.
RP92089. Bronze AE 20, RIC IV-3 Online T8037 (2 spec.), BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, earthen encrustations, scratches, weight 6.171 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI[...], laureate head left; reverse KARHNWN ΦIΛOPWMEW, crescent horns upward, resting on a globe with fillets hanging from each side, star with six points above between the horns; ex Gerhard Rohde (9 Feb 2010); extremely rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $152.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit|, |denarius|
There are no clear breaks to the copper core but the lamination defects are typical of a plated fouree.
RS89769. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III AP424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV AP277, Hunter II 4, SRCV II 4786 (official, silver, Rome mint), VF, well centered, light toning, nice portrait of slightly unusual style, double strike, light marks, lamination defects, edge cracks, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, as caesar, c. 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), implements of the augurate and pontificate: secespita (knife), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug), lituus (augural staff), and simpulum (ladle); $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RB92932. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE VI AP606, RIC III AP1242(a) (S), Cohen III 233, SRCV II -, Hunter II -, aVF, nice youthful portrait, dark patina, some legend weak, corrosion, pitting, weight 24.572 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 145 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS II, bare head right; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing left, palm frond in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field; scarce; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Antiocheia, Pisidia, 138 - 161 A.D.

|Pisidia|, |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia,| |138| |-| |161| |A.D.|, |AE| |14|
Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP89331. Bronze AE 14, RPC Online IV.3 T7350 (10 spec.); Krzyzanowska pl. IV, table 8, VII/- (cf. 7-9); BMC Lycia p. 176, 1; SNGvA 4916, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, cleaning scratches. , weight 1.401 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, c. 138 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTIO-C-H, bare-headed, draped bust of Hermes (resemble young Marcus Aurelius as caesar) left, caduceus behind; reverse CO-LONI, cock walking right; ex CNG e-auction 400 (28 Jun 17), lot 528; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Securitas sits at ease, clearly relaxed, having nothing to fear. This was, of course, typical Roman propaganda. The reign of Marcus Aurelius was marked by military conflict. The rise of Germanic peoples became an increasing troubling reality for the Empire. The Antonine Plague broke out in 165 or 166 and devastated the population, causing the deaths of five million people within the Empire.
RS94648. Silver denarius, RIC III 348, RSC II 588, BMCRE IV 661 var. (raising drapery over head), Hunter II -, SRCV II -, aVF, light tone, flow lines, porosity, die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.055 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 175 - Dec 176 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARM, laureate head right; reverse SECVRIT PVB TR P XXX IMP VIII COS III, Securitas seated left, scepter in right hand, resting left arm on back of chair; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00 ON RESERVE


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In Fasti III, Ovid called Minerva the "goddess of a thousand works." She was worshiped throughout Italy, and when she eventually became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, she also became a goddess of battle. Unlike Mars, god of war, she was sometimes portrayed with sword lowered, in sympathy for the recent dead, rather than raised in triumph. In Rome, her bellicose nature was emphasized less than elsewhere. Her worship was also spread throughout the empire; in Britain, for example, she was syncretized with the local goddess Sulis, who was often invoked for restitution for theft.
RS94643. Silver denarius, RIC III A463(a), RSC II 676, BMCRE A837, Hunter II 19, Strack III A284, SRCV II -, gF, toned, nice portrait for the grade, flow lines, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 154 - 155 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare head right; reverse TR POT VIIII COS II, Minerva standing slightly left, head left, wearing crested helmet, owl in extended right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, grounded spear leaning on her forearm; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RS94652. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV AP894, RIC III AP473, RSC II 721, Hunter II 21, SRCV II -, VF, toned, flow lines, die wear, porosity, weight 3.289 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAES ANTON AVG PII F, bare head right; reverse TR POT XI COS II P P, Virtus in military dress, standing left, parazonium with hilt up in right hand, spear in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 160 A.D., Rome first started commercial manufacturing of soap. It was made with grease, lime and ashes. The earliest evidence of man using soap dates around 2800 B.C. The first soap makers were Babylonians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and later Greeks and Romans. They all made soap by mixing fat, oils and salts. Some early Roman soap included urine as an ingredient. Soap wasn't used for bathing or personal hygiene but was used for cleaning cooking utensils or goods. It may have been used for medicinal purposes.
RS94658. Silver denarius, RIC III AP483, RSC II 762; BMCRE IV p. 149, AP998; Hunter II, p. 281, 28; SRCV II 4797, aVF, well centered, light toning, rough surface, weight 3.260 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAES AVG PII F, bearded bare head right; reverse TR POT XIIII COS II, Minerva advancing right, helmeted, draped, wearing aegis, brandishing spear in right hand, round shield on left forearm; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Virtus (courage, valor) is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS94664. Silver denarius, RIC III AP473, RSC II 721, BMCRE IV AP893, Hunter II 21, Strack III A219, SRCV II 4793, F, light toning, well centered, light marks, some legend weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.760 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAES ANTON AVG PII F, bare head right; reverse TR POT XI COS II, Virtus standing slightly left, head left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, parazonium in extended right hand, vertical spear with point on both ends in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 




  



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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|

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).
Cayón, 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 frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
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 Münzprägung 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 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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