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Ancients: Pescinnius Niger (AD 193-194). AR denarius (19mm, 2.71 gm, 1h). ...

2014 January 5 - 6 World & Ancient Coin Signature Auction - New York #3030

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Auction Ended On: Jan 6, 2014
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Waldorf Astoria - Norse Suite
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Rare Pescinnius Niger Variety
Pescinnius Niger (AD 193-194). AR denarius (19mm, 2.71 gm, 1h).  Caesarea, Cappadocia, AD 193-194. IM[P C]AES C PESC NIGER IVST AVG, laureate head of Niger right / IVSTITIA AVGVSTI, Justitia standing left, holding scales and cornucopia. RIC 47b (R3). RSC 47 (corrected). BMCRE 305 note. Very rare variant, with five or fewer examples known. Slightly weak strike, otherwise nearly Extremely Fine.

Pescinnius Niger made a name for himself in the reign of Commodus, when he led a successful military campaign against the Dacians. After being named Consul in AD 191, he was made governor of Syria, leading a substantial legionary force, and was thus well-positioned when word arrived of Commodus' assassination on the last day of AD 192. When Pertinax was murdered in turn less than two months later, Niger saw his opportunity and arranged for his troops to proclaim him emperor as a rival claimant to Pertinax's replacement, Didius Julianus. Rather than marching on Rome immediately, Niger remained in the east to solidify his power base. But his caution proved costly, as in the meantime the governor of Moesia, Septimius Severus, was proclaimed emperor by his troops, made a lightning march on Rome, and easily disposed of Julianus. Severus induced the Senate to declare Niger a public enemy and marched against him in the fall of AD 193. Niger had the bigger army, but it suffered repeated defeats throughout early AD 194. After a final debacle at Issus in Northern Syria, Niger attempted to flee to Parthia, but was captured and executed by one of Severus' generals.

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