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    Gem Mint State Lucius Verus Gold Aureus in Fine Style

    Lucius Verus (AD 161-169). AV aureus (18mm, 7.34 gm, 6h). NGC Gem MS 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Rome, December AD 163-December AD 164. • L • VERVS AVG-ARMENIACVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Lucius Verus right, seen from behind / TR P IIII • IMP II COS II, Victory, half-draped, standing right, placing on a palm tree a shield inscribed VIC/AVG. RIC III (Marcus Aurelius) 525. Calicó 2177. Well struck from fresh dies of the finest style of the era, with needle-sharp detail and full, blazing luster throughout.

    When Antoninus Pius died in March, AD 161, Marcus Aurelius insisted that the Senate also grant his adoptive brother Lucius Verus the title of Augustus, for the first time giving the Empire two theoretically coequal rulers. Marcus had ample experience of government and was widely known to possess the sober qualities of an admirable emperor; Lucius, however, was thought of as a pleasure-loving lightweight. It has been theorized that Marcus intended Verus to serve as the handsome "public face" of the government while he himself retained most of the actual duties. The arrangement was immediately put to the test in AD 162, when the Parthians attacked Rome's eastern provinces. Lucius traveled eastward at the head of a large legionary task force to repulse the invasion and restore order, while Marcus remained in Rome. Rome's top generals served Lucius well and the Parthians were quickly expelled from Armenia, winning him the title Armeniacus. The following year, Roman forces counter-invaded and captured the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon; Lucius was granted the title Parthicus Maximus. He received a hero's welcome in Rome in AD 166 and basked in the glow of a triumph. In many ways this could be viewed as the high-water mark of Roman history, as the returning legions brought with them a virulent plague that rapidly spread throughout the Empire and decimated the population, contributing to the troubles that followed in rapid succession.




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    17th Friday
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