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    Description

    Germans 'Defeated'

    Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). Orichalcum sestertius (31mm, 26.00 gm, 12h). Rome, AD 177. M ANTONINVS AVGGERM SARM TR P XXXI, laureate head of Marcus right / IMP VIII COS III P P S - C, pile of German arms, armor and equipment, including scale cuirass, shields, spears, and war horns, DE GERMANIS below. RIC 1184. A fascinating type, well struck and detailed, with a pleasing deep green patina. Rare in this grade! NGC XF 5/5 - 4/5.

    Despite his peaceful nature and stoic principals, Marcus Aurelius spent 17 out of 19 years of his reign in warfare against the Roman Empire's enemies, principally Germanic tribes that began attacking the frontiers in AD 166. The invasions placed huge strains on the Roman state and were defeated only with the greatest difficulty, a precursor of the nearly continuous and devastating wars of the following century. Marcus decided the only long term solution was the complete subjugation of the major German tribes and the creation of two new Roman provinces beyond the Rhine and Danube frontiers, a process he pursued for nearly a decade. This sestertius was issued in AD 177, at a point when the German Marcomanni had been defeated in several battles and had been forced into seeming submission (the legend DE GERMANIS can be translated as "the Germans Defeated"). Marcus and his son Commodus celebrated a joint triumph for the victory in December of AD 176; however, soon afterward the war flared anew and Marcus was forced to return to his frontier armies, where he died of illness and exhaustion on March 17, AD 180. His son Commodus "declared victory and returned home," leaving the Germans unconquered and restive.  


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th-14th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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