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    Description

    Antoninus Deified

    Divus Antoninus Pius (died AD 161). AV aureus (20mm, 7.31 gm, 6h). Rome, under Aurelius and Verus, AD 161-162. DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare head of Antoninus right / CONSECRATIO, triumphal quadriga atop garlanded funeral pyre of four tiers. RIC (Aurelius) 435. Calicó 1491b. BMC (Aurelius) 55. A gemlike piece, with remarkably deep strike and lustrous surfaces. NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 5/5.

    The death of Antoninus Pius in March, AD 161, after a tranquil reign of nearly 24 years, prompted this immediate deification and the largest commemorative coinage yet seen for any Roman ruler. This superb aureus falls within this series, depicting the magnificent funeral pyre upon which a wax effigy of Antoninus driving a triumphal quadriga was placed. At the conclusion of services, the pyre was set alight and an eagle released from the interior, symbolizing the emperor's soul ascending to the heavens. Later generations viewed Antoninus as the perfect emperor, and the tranquility of his reign took on the sheen of a lost golden age.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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