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A brass sestertius of Marcus Aurelius showing Mercury in his temple. Coin Type:Brass sestertius of Marcus Aurelius, Caesar 139-161 CE, Augustus 161-180 CE
Mint and Date: Rome, 173 CE.
Size and Weight: 29mm x 30mm, 24.8g
Laureate, cuirassed bust right.
Reverse: IMP VI COS III around; S C across fields.
Mercury standing left on a pedestal, holding caduceus and purse, within a tetrastyle temple. On the pediment, symbols associated with Mercury; a snake which probably represents a turtle, a cock, a ram, a winged helmet, a caduceus and a purse.
Exergue: RELIG AVG
Ref: RCV (2002) 4996 var (bust type); RIC III Marcus Aurelius 1076.
BW Ref: Marcus Aurelius 022.
Click on the picture for a larger scale view of the coin

Note: The temple of Mercury was near the Circus Maximus. Its appearance on this coin could relate to a battle in which a thunderstorm both refreshed the Roman troops (Legio XII Fulminata) and frightened the Danubians who they were fighting. This was officially ascribed to the intervention of Mercury, who had been invoked by an Egyptian priest.

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