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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., Edessa(?), Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Edessa(?),| |Mesopotamia|, drachm
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 Silver drachm, unpublished variety, cf.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 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, sestertius
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenized image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RB91587. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1417, SRCV II 4976, RIC III 1033 var. (no drapery), Cohen III 281 var. (same), Hunter II 163 var. (same), MIR 18 232-6/30 var. (same), VF, nice portrait, green patina, tight flan, light marks, slight porosity, weight 23.418 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse IMP VI COS III (imperator 6 times, consul 3 times), Roma seated left on low seat, helmeted and draped, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, oval shield at side ornamented with head of Medusa, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $219.00 SALE |PRICE| $197.00
 


|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 424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, 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
 


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
 


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, denarius
Two days before his death, Antoninus was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria, about twelve miles (19 km) from Rome. He ate Alpine cheese at dinner quite greedily. In the night he vomited; he had a fever the next day. The day after that, 7 March 161, he summoned the imperial council, and passed the state and his daughter to Marcus. The emperor gave the keynote to his life in the last word that he uttered when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password - "aequanimitas" (equanimity). He then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died. His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus (surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months).
RS91219. Silver denarius, RIC III MA431; RSC II 156; Szaivert MIR 18 24-4/10; BMCRE IV p. 393, 48; Hunter II 4; SRCV II 5192, aVF/F, well centered, light toning, flow lines, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.395 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 161 A.D.; obverse DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle standing right on garlanded altar, wings open, head turned back left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucia & Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Marcus| |Aurelius| |and| |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleucia| |&| |Pieria,| |Syria|, AE 25
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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, sestertius
In 165, the Parthians sued for peace after the Romans captured Artaxata, Seleucia on the Tigris, and Ctesiphon. Unfortunately the returning army brought with them a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague. The plague significantly depopulated the entire Roman Empire.
RB94222. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1147, BMCRE IV 1506, Hunter II 216, Cohen III 419, SRCV II 4989, aF, well centered on a squared flan, porous, weight 23.317 g, maximum diameter 32.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 174 - autumn 175 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG GERM TR P XXIX, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG VI IMP VII COS III (the 6th liberalitas by the Emperor, imperator 7 times, consul 3 times), Liberalitas standing left, raising counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $38.00 SALE |PRICE| $34.20
 







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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 Friday, February 21, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Marcus Aurelius