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    Description

    Unrecorded Variety

    Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161). AV aureus (20mm, 6.98 gm, 5h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 139. IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS, bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust of Antoninus right, viewed from rear / AVG PIVS P M TR P COS II, Pietas standing right before altar, raising right hand and holding pyxis of incense in left. RIC 24 variant (draped bust). BMCRE 59 variant (same). Cohen --. Calic├│ 1482 variant (draped bust, viewed from side). Apparently an unrecorded variant! A coin of great elegance and refinement, with a noble portrait in sculptural high relief.

    This aureus was struck shortly after Antoninus's assumption of the titles Augustus and Pius, and the beginning of his second consulship on January 1, AD 139. It is commonly asserted, based on the biography of Antoninus in the Historia Augusta, that Antoninus engaged in a lengthy negotiation over the deification of his predecessor Hadrian with a recalcitrant Senate, which was upset by Hadrian's executions toward the end of his reign and more inclined to issue a damnatio against his name. Antoninus is said to have refused the title of Augustus and threatened to abdicate his position as Caesar unless the deification was carried out; the Senate, concerned over a possible civil war, finally relented. Mindful of Antoninus's efforts on behalf of his adoptive father, the Senate granted him the honorific Pius ("dutiful"). 


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
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