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    Description

    Awe-Inspiring Aurelius Aureus

    Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). AV aureus (20mm, 7.25 gm, 2h). Rome, AD 165. ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Marcus right / P M TR P X-IX IMP II COS III, Felicitas standing left, right foot set on globe, holding short caduceus in right hand and cornucopia in left. RIC 133. Calic├│ 1894a (same dies). BMCRE 362. An absolutely stunning aureus, in the highest grade assigned by NGC. NGC Gem MS 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    Marcus Aurelius was born in AD 131 into a patrician family of Spanish origin. At an early age, Marcus earned the patronage of the emperor Hadrian and was formally schooled at the Imperial court. He subsequently was adopted by Hadrian's successor, Antoninus Pius, along with Lucius Verus and, when Antoninus died in AD 161, the two assumed the title of Augustus together. The years AD 162-165 were consumed in ferocious conflict with the Roman Empire's only large, civilized neighbor, the Parthian Kingdom, a war that first erupted in the buffer state of Armenia. This aureus gives Marcus the title Armeniacus -- "Conqueror of Armenia," as the result of a campaign under the nominal command of Lucius Verus; the true commander of the eastern expedition, Avidius Cassius, would much later make an abortive attempt to seize the throne for himself.  The quality of numismatic portraiture attained a high level under the Antonine rulers, as exemplified by the superb effigy seen here. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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