Unusual Military IssueAntoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. Aureus, 7.30g (6h). Rome, 140-4 AD. Obv: ANTONINVS - AVG PIVS P P Bust laureate, draped right, seen from side. Rx: TR - POT - COS III Emperor as Romulus advancing right in military dress, holding spear with points at both ends and trophy over shoulder. BM 238. Strack 71 (this bust variety in BM, Paris, Berlin, Milan). Calicó 1650 (this coin). Cohen 909 (Paris, 50 Fr.). RIC 90. This coin is somewhat unusual for the bust and reverse type. Some obverse die breaks in field. High relief portrait. Minor weak striking on reverse. Mint State.
Ex Artemide Aste, 18 December 2006, lot 109. Ex Biaggi Collection, unpublished photographs, 761.
This reverse type, since it is labeled ROMVLO AVGVSTO, "To the Augustan Romulus" on sestertii, may be interpreted as showing Pius as refounder of Rome and of Roman religion and morality, following in the footsteps of Augustus, who had also wanted the name Romulus (Strack, Antoninus Pius, p. 71).
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