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Dates of operation: c. 289 - 40 B.C. and 20 B.C. - 476 A.D. Mintmarks: R, RM, ROM, ROMA, ROMOB, VRB ROM, SMR.
Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.
193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in RomeSH89752. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 14a; Woodward, Didius, p. 79 (dies 11/E); Banti 1, Nice F, excellent portrait, attractive dark brown patina, typical tight flan, weight 18.230 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signum standard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex CNG e-auction 276 (21 Mar 2012), lot 420 (sold for $2520 including buyer's fees); rare; $1980.00 (€1742.40)
Balbinus, 22 April - 29 July 238 A.D.
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and make provision. She was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult of ancient Rome. Providentia apparently did not favor Balbinus. If he had a little foresight, he would have modified the chain of events that led to his murder after a reign of only 99 days.SH92614. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 19, BMCRE VI 34, Cohen V 24 (12 fr.), Hunter III 19, SRCV III 8499, Choice gVF, well centered, excellent portrait, squared flan as typical for the period, some light corrosion, tiny edge crack, weight 21.840 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 22 Apr - 29 Jul 238 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (to the foresight of the gods), Providentia standing half left, head left, wand downward over globe at feet in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection, ex H. Donald Collection; scarce; $1200.00 (€1056.00)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
Of this type, the Dictionary of Roman Coins says, "This is a finely designed coin in first brass [a sestertius]. The equestrian group is in a spirited style of workmanship, both horse and man. The Augustus raises aloft his right hand, and with his left holds the bridle of his generous steed, as setting out on him on some journey, about that vague period, his third consulate."SH89464. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 645 (S), BMCRE III 1313, Hunter II 436, Cohen II 590 var. (bust), SRCV II 3594, Choice VF, mottled turquoise and brown patina, well centered, nice portrait, legends a little weak, edge crack, weight 24.967 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, emperor on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute, reins in left hand, S - C divided low across field, EXPED AVG in exergue; Numismatik Naumann auction 72 (2 Dec 2018), lot 458; scarce; $580.00 (€510.40)
Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
"Trajan, having crossed the Ister by means of the bridge, conducted the war with safe prudence rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of the campaign he himself performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his troops ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, after being carried, badly wounded, from the battle in the hope that he could be healed, when he found that he could not recover, rushed from his tent (for his injury had not yet reached his heart) and, taking his place once more in the line, perished after displaying great feats of valor." -- Roman History by Cassius DioSH92857. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 461b, BMCRE III 970, RIC II 598 (S), Cohen II 499, SRCV II -, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, nice toned brass surfaces, legends and centers weak, closed crack, weight 25.570 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 103 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan on horseback left, spear vertical in right hand, reins and small Victory in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $560.00 (€492.80)
Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus
For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).RB92463. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, well centered on a squared flan, light bumps and scratches, weight 26.206 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 330o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, right hand extended over flaming altar at feet on left, incense box in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $500.00 (€440.00)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
In 89 A.D., Legio XIII Gemina was transferred to Dacia to help in the war against Decebalus.RS89799. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 669, BMCRE II 153, BnF III 147, RSC II 251, Hunter I 62, SRCV I 2732, gVF, excellent portrait, well centered, light toning, some reverse die wear, small edge crack, weight 3.291 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 88 - 13 Sep 89 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; ex CNG e-auction 304, lot 356; $350.00 (€308.00)
Roman Republic, M. Tullius, 120 B.C.
The wreath might represent an eclipse that occurred on 11 November 120 B.C., which the Romans declared indicated divine support for their recent victories in southern France. The reverse more likely commemorates the victories of Servius Tullius, the moneyer's ancestor, over the Sabines. He was the first Roman to be awarded the laurel wreath. The mark of value (X) on the reverse is very unusual.RR92757. Silver denarius, SRCV I 155, Sydenham 531, Crawford 280/1, RSC I Tullia 1, Choice aEF, beautiful style, attractive iridescent toning, light marks, weight 3.924 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 120 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, ROMA behind; reverse Victory in a quadriga right, reins in both hands, palm frond in left, wreath above, X below, M•TVLLI in exergue; $350.00 (€308.00)
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
In 146, Marcus Aurelius received the imperium proconsular and Faustina the Younger was given the title Augusta.SH73156. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1669, RIC III 767a, Strack III 974, Cohen II 320, Hill UCR 709, SRCV II 4168, VF, nice green patina, nice portrait, light scratches, tight flan, weight 22.051 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverse Antoninus in slow quadriga left, eagle-tipped scepter in left, reins in right, COS IIII / S C in two lines in exergue; $340.00 (€299.20)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
At the Circus Maximus, a stone platform (pulvinar) was raised high above the trackside seats with empty thrones (also called pulvinar) for the gods to watch the games. The imperial family watched from there, alongside the gods. In 81 A.D., Domitian took the title of Dominus (lord) built and a new, multi-story palace on the Palatine, connected to the Circus; he likely watched the games in autocratic style, from high above and barely visible to those below. Domitian's fate may have prompted Trajan's decision to build a new pulvinar in the stands where Rome's emperor could be seen and honored as part of the Roman community.RS92010. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 70 (C), RSC II 575, BMCRE II 15, BnF III 13, Hunter I 8, SRCV I -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, light toning, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 13 Sep - 31 Dec 81 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR P COS VII DES VIII P P, Pulvinar (throne) of Jupiter and Juno, square seat, draped with a tasseled cloth hanging in folds, surmounted by horizontal winged thunderbolt; ex FORVM (2008); $330.00 (€290.40)
Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.
In 249, Trajan Decius put down a revolt in Moesia and Pannonia. After his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, he marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip the Arab.RB92355. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 124a, Hunter III 54, Cohen V 87, SRCV III 9407, EF, superb portrait, brown tone, centered on a tight flan, reverse double struck, edge split, weight 11.916 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul 249 - Jun or Jul 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, cuirassed, slight drapery, bust right; reverse PANNONIAE, the two Pannoniae standing facing, looking away from each other, each holding a standard, S - C across fields; $300.00 (€264.00)