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    Blazing Luster

    Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). AV aureus (21mm, 7.36 gm, 11h).  Rome, AD 163-164. ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS, draped and cuirassed bust of Marcus Aurelius right, bareheaded and seen from behind / P M TR P XVIII • IMP II COS III, Victory, nude to waist, standing right, placing oval shield inscribed VIC AVG on palm tree. RIC 88. BMCRE 267-8.  Cohen 467 (legend ends IMP II COS in error). Calicó 1885 (this coin illustrated). Deeply struck in sculptural high relief, with full, blazing luster. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice MS 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Spink (London, December 1992), lot 232. 

    Originally given the name Marcus Annius Verus, the future 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 Caesars assumed the title of Augustus together. Their joint reign was characterized by constant warfare against barbarians on the Empire's frontiers. Success against the Parthians in the East and the various Germanic tribes in the North was hard earned only after many years of continuous struggle. Verus died of a brain hemorrhage in AD 169, and several years transpired before Aurelius took another co-emperor, his natural son Commodus. The temperaments of father and son could not be more contrasting: Marcus was a philosopher whose embrace of the tenants of Stoic discipline would seem to clash sharply with the public image of a Roman emperor, while Commodus was a megalomaniac whose flamboyance and outlandish behavior mark him as among the most despised of Roman rulers.

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
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