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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.


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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"Saeculi Felicitas" means happy times, referring to the empire's new heirs. The two infants are the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Commodus and Antoninus, born 31 August 161, at Lanuvium, near Rome. Antoninus died at age four. Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius as emperor.
RS85787. Silver denarius, RIC III MA712; RSC II 191; BMCRE IV MA139; Hunter II p. 352, 16; SRCV II 5260, Choice VF, well centered, light toning, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.155 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, Sep 161 - 162 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICIT (era of good fortune), the twin infant boys Commodus and Antonius seated facing on a draped throne; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In 166, the war with Parthia was successfully ended. The Parthians left Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia, which both become Roman protectorates.
RS86786. Silver denarius, RIC III 159, RSC II 435, BMCRE IV 401 403, Szaivert MIR 140, SRCV II 4915, gVF, excellent portrait, toned, radiating flow lines, flan flaw on obverse (neck), obverse slightly off center, reverse struck with worn die, weight 3.531 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, summer - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR P XX IMP IIII COS III, Pax standing left, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, PAX in exergue; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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Posthumous commemorative struck by Marcus Aurelius' son, Commodus.
RS85773. Silver denarius, Szaivert MIR 18 p. 142, 482/4; RIC III C273 (S) var., RSC II 91 var., BMCRE IV C20 692 var. , Hunter II 3 var., SRCV II 5974 (all var. no wreath), Choice VF, well centered, attractive style, light tone, edge cracks, weight 2.921 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 180 A.D.; obverse DIVVS M ANTONINVS PIVS, bare head right; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle standing right on globe, head left, wreath in beak; rare variety; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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On 7 March 161, Antoninus Pius died and was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius who shared imperial power with Lucius Verus. Marcus retained the title Pontifex Maximus. Pontifex Maximus (Latin literally meaning "greatest bridge-maker") was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs and the most important position in the ancient Roman religion. This title was retained by the emperors of Rome until 17 December 384 when it was relinquished to Pope Siricius by the Roman Emperor Gratian.
RS87053. Silver denarius, RSC II 37a, BMCRE IV 209, RIC III 59, Hunter II 11 var., SRCV II - (on most Concordia's left are rests on a Spes statuette), Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, radiating flow lines, light golden toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.475 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 162 - Dec 163 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG, bare-headed bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse CONCORD AVG TR P XVII, Concordia seated left, feet on footstool, patera in right hand, left forearm resting on back of chair (no Spes statuette), cornucopia below seat, COS III in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann, auction 62, lot 1134 (part of); $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In 164, Marcus Aurelius gave his daughter Lucilla in marriage to his co-emperor Lucius Verus.
RS85768. Silver denarius, RIC III 112, RSC II 852c, BMCRE IV 257, Hunter II 16, SRCV II -, Choice VF, attractive portrait, toned, radiating flow lines, broad flan, small edge cracks, weight 3.517 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 163 - Dec 164 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR P XVIII COS III, Felicitas seated right on curule chair, long grounded caduceus vertical behind in right hand, cornucopia with tip turned outward in right hand; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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In 174, Marcus Aurelius officially conferred the title Fulminata (Thundering) to the Legio XII Fulminata.
RS87060. Silver denarius, RIC III 289, RSC II 298, BMCRE IV 596, Hunter II 62 var. (draped and cuirassed), SRCV II 4911 var. (captive seated left), VF, excellent portrait, some mint luster, radiating flow lines, a few light scratches and marks, obverse slightly off center, small edge cracks, weight 3.123 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 173 - Jun 174 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III, captive seated right at foot of trophy of captured arms, arms (spear and curved sword?) on the ground to right; ex Numismatik Naumann, auction 62, lot 1134 (part of); $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RS87063. Silver denarius, RIC III 261, RSC II 290, BMCRE IV 555, Hunter II 58, SRCV II -, VF, nice portrait, rose toning, centered on a tight flan, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.247 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III, Mars standing right, wearing helmet and military garb, inverted spear vertical behind in right hand, resting left hand on grounded oval shield; ex Numismatik Naumann, auction 62, lot 1134 (part of); $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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Virtus (courage, valor) is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS85769. Silver denarius, RIC III AP480e, RSC II 747a, BMCRE IV AP963, Strack III AP357, SRCV II 4796, Hunter II -, VF, well centered, radiating flow lines, die wear, a few marks, mild corrosion, edge cracks, weight 3.129 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, Dec 158 - Dec 159 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAES AVG PII F (Aurelius Caesar, dutiful son of Emperor Antonius), bare head right; reverse TR POT XIII COS II (holder of Tribunitian power for 13 years, consul 2 times), Virtus standing right, foot on helmet, resting on spear in right hand, parazonium in left; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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RIC III lists this type as common, but this is the first example handled by Forum, there are none on Coin Archives Wildwinds, Tantalus, or Coin Project. We found only two examples online: ANS 1956.127.872 and British Museum 1937.0607.14.
RS85770. Silver denarius, BMCRE II 604, RIC III 299, RSC II 314, Szaivert MIR 279, SRCV I 4907, Hunter II -, VF, nice portrait, well centered, radiating flow lines, small edge cracks, weight 3.315 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Jun - Dec 174 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP VII COS III, Mars marching right, nude but for helmet and cloak tied on belt at waist, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of arms in left hand over left shoulder; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

Click for a larger photo
"Saeculi Felicitas" means happy times, referring to the empire's new heirs. The two infants are the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Commodus and Antoninus, born 31 August 161, at Lanuvium, near Rome. Antoninus died at age four. Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius as emperor.
RS85788. Silver denarius, RIC III MA712; RSC II 191; BMCRE IV MA139; Hunter II p. 352, 16; SRCV II 5260, Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, nice portrait, light toning, light marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.356 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, Sep 161 - 162 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICIT (era of good fortune), the twin infant boys Commodus and Antonius seated facing on a draped throne; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 




  



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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 Sunday, June 24, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Marcus Aurelius