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    Description

    Imperial Liberality

    Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161). AV aureus (20mm, 7.24 gm, 12h). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 147-148. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head of Antoninus right / COS IIII, Liberalitas standing left, holding coin scoop in right hand and cornucopia in left arm, LIB - V across fields. RIC 138c. BMCRE 540. Calico 1575 (these dies). A stupendous aureus, perfectly struck and possessing lovely satiny surfaces.

    Though famously frugal, Antoninus Pius was not above maintaining his popularity by regular cash disbursements to the Roman populace (congiaria), personified by the goddess Liberalitas, who is shown here holding an object described variously as an abacus and a scoop for distributing coins. A congiarium is recorded at the outset of his reign, two more occurred in the period AD 140-143, a fourth was recorded in D 145, and a fifth occurred in AD 147 or 148, for which this aureus was struck. Tiberius is recorded to have given the first Imperial cash distribution, of 300 sesterces; Nero later upped the amount to 400, an amount which could have been given in the form of four gold aurei or 100 silver denarii. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2017
    7th-10th Friday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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