Boomer Simpson Posted December 6, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 6, 2022 (edited) Hello everyone, I wanted to show off my newest purchase and first denarius, a denarius of Antoninus Pius, my favorite emperor. I'm not an expert on Roman imperial history (yet) but I've done my research and found this period in particular fascinating. I posted about this coin before on CT, so if you're a member on that site I'll mostly just be rewriting what I wrote there. The Antonine Dynasty is such a prosperous period in history, with some of the most memorable emperors. I've been listening to a podcast called "Emperors of Rome" starting from Hadrian and now I'm on the third episode about Marcus Aurelius, and these three have had a mostly seamless transition between them. Hadrian shrunk the borders of the Empire, making it more defensible, and then went on a tour throughout the Empire, and was always restlessly traveling. He in particular was a Greece fanatic, having in his younger days earned the moniker "Graeculus". He even grew a beard, similar to that of Greek philosophers, and started a trend that lasted for quite a while. Antoninus Pius, after Hadrian had died, petitioned to have him deified, which eventually happened, and also saved senators from executions that had been ordered by Hadrian. These are two of the most agreed-upon reasons for Antoninus' name Pius. His rule was marked primarily by a quiet prosperity, free of many wars or civil unrest. Of course, there are always small insurrections and whatnot that the army needed to deal with such as un uprising of bandits in Mauretania, but there were no full-scale wars. Antoninus was unusual in the way that he used his own funds whenever he needed to travel and such. In this way he was also different from Hadrian, in that Hadrian always traveled and Antoninus led more of a frugal lifestyle. Of course, he was still living a lavish lifestyle being the emperor and all. Prosperity is a common theme throughout his rule, one of the most concrete examples being that he left the Empire with more funds than it had when Hadrian died. Now, the coin: This picture is taken from the dealer's listing, as is the caption: COS III (145-161), Rome. bust right Rs.Liberalitas l. with vexillum and cornucopia. I think both Liberalitas and the cornucopia are symbolic of Antoninus' reign, as both are symbols of prosperity. Especially the virtue of giving freely, Antoninus' frugality with the government's money is a prime example of this. The vexillum, which was used much in the same way as a standard, I was confused by originally. I didn't know why a military banner would be on the reverse of a coin of one of the most peaceful periods of the empire. I did some thinking, and I'm pretty sure that, because the military did construction during peacetime, this is symbolic of that. There was an earthquake in Asia Minor around five to 15 years prior to the minting of this coin, as well as one in 151-152. There are inscriptions thanking Antoninus for his help in this time of need, so it can be reasonably assumed that he sent the military to aid in their rebuilding. If this is the case, then the symbolism on the reverse is in reference to his solid administration and liberality to the Empire. The obverse portrait is also quite nice, and i like the simplicity of it. It's well-struck and centered, and overall makes this a nice coin. Let me know what you think, and post your denarii from the Antonine period! EDIT: The attribution has a typo, it is actually COS IIII instead of COS III Edited December 6, 2022 by Boomer Simpson Incorrect Attribution 19 1 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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