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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Year of 5 Emperors ▸ PertinaxView Options:  |  |  | 

Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

Publius Helvius Pertinax was the son of a humble charcoal-burner. After a successful career in the military, as a senator and then as praefect of the city of Rome, he reluctantly accepted the throne offered by the murderers of Commodus. Pertinax immediately began a campaign of reform, which made him quite unpopular. After 86 days in office, a group of mutinous Praetorians broke into the palace and murdered Pertinax.


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Pertinax was the son of a humble charcoal-burner. After a successful career in the military, as a senator and then as praefect of the city of Rome, he reluctantly accepted the throne offered by the murderers of Commodus. After a reign of only 86 day he was murdered by mutinous guards.

Opis was the wife of Saturn, and also his sister and the daughter of Caelus. Her children were Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta. When Saturn learned of a prophecy that his and Opis' children would overthrow him as leader, he ate his children one by one after they were born. Opis, being the loving mother that she was, could not just stand by and let the last of her children be eaten by her husband. So, she wrapped a rock in swaddling clothes, and fed that to Saturn instead of Jupiter. Opis then went on to raise Jupiter, and then helped him free his siblings from their father's stomach.
SH82706. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 54; cf. RSC III 33a; RIC IV 8a (R2); BMCRE V p. 4, 19 (Rome); Hunter III 6; SRCV II 6045 (all but Bickford-Smith, Rome mint), F, nice portrait, porous, legends weak, tight irregular flan, weight 2.508 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse OPI DIVIN TR P COS II, Ops (plenty) seated left on throne with ornamented back, two stalks of grain in right hand, leaning back on left hand resting on the edge of the seat behind; rare; $500.00 (425.00)


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Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
SH10699. Silver denarius, RIC IV 11a, BMCRE V 13, RSC III 43, SRCV II 6046, gVF, weight 3.52 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROVID DEOR COS II (to the foresight of the gods, consul for the second time), Providentia standing left raising her right hand toward a star, left hand on breast; very rare (R2); SOLD


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Pertinax was the son of a humble charcoal-burner. After a successful career in the military, as a senator and then as praefect of the city of Rome, he reluctantly accepted the throne offered by the murderers of Commodus. After a reign of only 86 day he was murdered by mutinous guards.
SH72991. Silver denarius, RIC IV 13a (R2), BMCRE V 25, RSC III 56, Hunter III 7, SRCV II 6048, EF, excellent portrait, toned, weight 3.180 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse VOT DECEN TR P COS II, Pertinax standing left, veiled, sacrificing over lit altar from a patera in right; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DIVVSPERTINPIVSPATER
DIVVSPERTPIVSPATER
IMPCAESPHELVPERTINAVG
IMPCAESPHELVPERTINAXAVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bickford-Smith, R. "The imperial mints in the east for Septimius Severus: it is time to begin a thorough reconsideration" in RIN XCVI (1994/1995), pp. 53-71.
Calic, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, 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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
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).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 16, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Pertinax