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    Gem MS ★ : Highest Possible NGC Grade

    Lucius Verus (AD 161-169). AV aureus (20mm, 7.26 gm, 6h).  Rome, AD 163-164. L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS, bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust of Verus right / TR P IIII IMP II COS II, Victory standing right, nude to waist, affixing shield inscribed VIC AVG to palm tree. RIC 523. BMCRE 294 note. Calic├│ 2175 (S3). A superb aureus, perfectly struck from fresh dies and displaying full, blazing luster. The highest NGC grade possible for an ancient coin and among the finest aurei we have yet offered! NGC Gem MS? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From the Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern. 

    When Antoninus Pius died in March, AD 161, the new Emperor 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. The arrangement was immediately put to the test in AD 162, when the Parthians invaded the Roman client state of Armenia and installed a puppet king. The Roman governor of Cappadocia attempted to deal with the invasion by leading a single legion (perhaps IX Hispana) into Armenia, but his army was trapped and massacred. For the first time in a generation, the Romans were forced to assemble a large military task force to reverse this humiliation. The two emperors determined that Marcus would remain in Rome while Lucius, the more physically robust of the imperial duo, took ostensible charge of the huge army and march east to confront the Parthians. Lucius took with him a large military and administrative staff, including his favorite freedmen, two senators, and a large contingent of the Praetorian guard. The imperial cortege adopted a leisurely route to the east, hitting all of the famed luxury resorts along the way, during which Lucius enjoyed the attentions of a beautiful mistress, Panthea of Smyrna. Meanwhile, the legionary task force under the general Statius Priscus raced ahead, invaded Armenia and expelled the Parthians. The Armenian capital of Artaxata was captured and a Roman ex-consul of Arsacid-Armenian descent, C. Julius Sohaemus, was named as the new king of Armenia. Though his personal role in the campaign was negligible, Lucius adopted the agnomen 'Armeniacus,' a title boldly stated on the obverse legend of this spectacular gold aureus, issued in AD 163-164.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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