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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ Marcus AureliusView 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.


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

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"Saeculi Felicitas" means happy times, referring to the empire's new heirs. The two infants are the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Commodus and Antoninus, born 31 August 161, at Lanuvium, near Rome. Antoninus died at age four. Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius as emperor.
RS85787. Silver denarius, RIC III MA712; RSC II 191; BMCRE IV MA139; Hunter II p. 352, 16; SRCV II 5260, Choice VF, well centered, light toning, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.155 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, Sep 161 - 162 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICIT (era of good fortune), the twin infant boys Commodus and Antonius seated facing on a draped throne; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


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

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In 166, the war with Parthia was successfully ended. The Parthians left Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia, which both become Roman protectorates.
RS86786. Silver denarius, RIC III 159, RSC II 435, BMCRE IV 401 403, Szaivert MIR 140, SRCV II 4915, gVF, excellent portrait, toned, radiating flow lines, flan flaw on obverse (neck), obverse slightly off center, reverse struck with worn die, weight 3.531 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, summer - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR P XX IMP IIII COS III, Pax standing left, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, PAX in exergue; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, 161 - 169 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucia & Pieria, Syria

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Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The determined after an eagle snatched a piece of flesh from an altar where Seleukos was sacrificing. The exact site was indicated when he slew a boar following the eagle's flight.
RP85966. Bronze AE 25, RPC online IV 9261 (10 spec.), SNG Hunterian II 3206, SNG Fitzwilliam 5956, SNG Righetti 2108, Lindgren 2084, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, aF, brown patina, tight flan, marks and scratches, porous, weight 10.679 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 161 - 169 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP KAICAP ANTWNINOC, laureate head of Marcus Aurelius right, IOY low in right field; reverse AYOKPATΩP KAICAP OYHPOC, laureate of head of Lucius Verus right, ΛA low in right field; ex Alex G. Malloy; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. Genius' image is of a man usually with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a simpulum or patera in one hand, and most often a cornucopia in the other hand. Here Genius wears military garb and holds an aquila, a Roman legionary eagle, indicating he is Genius Exercitus, the genius of the army.
RB87540. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1302A (S), BMCRE VI A1911, Cohen III 648 (6f.), SRCV II 4813, Hunter II 62 var. (slight drapery), aF, dark patina, centered, scrape, scratches, weak legends, edge cracks, weight 26.393 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare-headed draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse TR POT VI COS II, Genius Exercitus (Spirit of the Army) standing slightly left, head left, sacrificing with patera in right hand over flaming and garlanded altar, aquila in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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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.
RS87536. Silver denarius, RIC III Pius A463(a), RSC II 676, BMCRE A837, Hunter II 19, Strack III A284, SRCV II -, VF, dark toning, light scratches, light corrosion, obv. slightly off center, minor edge flaw, weight 2.680 g, maximum diameter 17.5 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; $50.00 (€42.50)
 







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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).

Catalog current as of Saturday, November 17, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Marcus Aurelius