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Aes Grave
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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
ROMVLO AVGVSTO - This dedicatory legend is inscribed on a large brass of Antoninus Pius. The type depictures the warlike founder of Rome, in a military habit, marching with a spear in his right hand and a trophy on his left shoulder

(the same type is also found on coins of Hadrian). Nevertheless, as Havercamp (in Num. Regin. Christin.) observes, this comparison, whether of Hadrian or of Antonine with Romulus is by no means too suitable either to the one or the other; for neither had followed the example of Romulus by enriching himself with booty personally won from an enemy in the field.

By senatorial adulation, however, it would seem, that allusion is made on the medals of both emperors to victories gained by their generals abroad. We learn, indeed, from Capitolinus, that Antonine's love of peace and tranquility did not prevent him from employing the Roman arms in repressing such wars as occasionally broke out in the provinces and other more distant countries. Per legalos suos plurima bella gessit, are the first words of that historian in the passage of this emperor's life, where he states the defeat of the Britons by Lollius Urbicus, and the construction of another wall of turf, to restrain their incursions. By means of presidents and lieutenants, Antonine also comelled the Moors to sue for peace; kept down the insurrectionary spirit of the Germans, Dacians, and Jews; put an end to rebellions in Achaia and Egypt; and stopped the hostile progress of the Alani and other barbarous tribes.

Eckhel observes that this type of Romulus appears to have been chosen on account of the singularly fond attachment of Antoninus Pius for the religious antiquities and customs of the city, a fondness which embraced even the prodigies recorded in its early history. It seemed good, therefore, to the moneyers, that this emperor, who endeavoured to revive, by every means in his power, a love for the country which had been carried to the height of greatness by so many wonders, should be held up as another Romulus; that is, as a ROMVLVS AVGVSTVS; although by reason of his pacific policy and pious character he should rather have been assimilated to Numa.

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