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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.


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On June 11, 173, during the Marcomannic Wars (166–180), the Roman army in Moravia was outnumbered and surrounded by the Quadi, suffering from the extreme heat, out of water, and on the verge of defeat. Dio writes, "many clouds gathered and a mighty rain, not without divine interposition, burst upon them...when the rain poured down, at first all turned their faces upwards and received the water in their mouths; then some held out their shields and some their helmets to catch it, and they not only took deep draughts themselves but also gave their horses to drink...while those on the one side were being drenched and drinking, the others [Quadi] were being consumed by fire [lightning] and dying." The Romans were soon victorious. Marcus was saluted imperator for the seventh time and the "miracle of the rain" was memorialized on Marcus Aurelius' column. In 174, Marcus Aurelius officially conferred the title Fulminata (Thundering) to the Legio XII Fulminata.Miracle_in_the_Rain
RS87651. Silver denarius, RIC III 273, RSC II 261, BMCRE IV 571, SRCV II 4906, Hunter II -, EF, nice portrait, bold strike, sharp detail, flow lines, coppery spots, edge cracks, weight 2.925 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 172 - Dec 173 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III, Victory walking right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


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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)
 


Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 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; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

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Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire, it was known as Caesarea and was the Metropolis (capital) of Late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in 525, it became Justinopolis. Despite the name changes, the old native name persisted. When Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.

ETBΠP is the date, year 182 of Caesarea. The era began in 19 B.C. when the city was visited by Augustus, refounded and renamed Caesarea, dating this coin to 163 - 164 A.D.
RP88143. Bronze trihemiassaria, Ziegler 181; SNG Levante 1392; SNG Cop 42; Lindgren-Kovacs 1427; BMC Lycaonia p. 33, 13; SNG BnF 2031, aF, green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 9.502 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 163 - 164 A.D.; obverse CEBAC ANTΩNEINOY KAI OYHP OMONOIA, Aurelius, scroll in left, and Verus, both togate, clasping right hands; reverse KAI TΩN ΠPOC TΩ ANAZAPB, decastyle temple, star in pediment, ET BΠP (year 182 Era of Caesarea) in exergue; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; scarce; $55.00 (€46.75)
 







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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 Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Marcus Aurelius