A new Antoninus Pius sestertius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    As part of my effort to "rebuild" the Roman section of the collection, I recently acquired this nice sestertius of Antoninus Pius, featuring Annona on the reverse. When I'm drawn to a particular coin, it is hard to apply the breaks. This is part of the continuing saga for me.

    In addition to a pleasing green-brown patina, this coin has a nicely centered portrait of Antoninus Pius and a decently centered reverse depicting Annona, stepping to the right on a prow, holding a rudder to the right and a bowl of grain to the left, all done in a nice style.

    Roman Empire, 156-157AD
    AE Sestertius
    Antoninus Pius (born 86, died 161AD)
    Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, Laureate head right, drapery on shoulder.
    Reverse: TR POT XX COS IIII, Annona standing right, holding rudder, left foot on prow.
    RIC 980 Rome
    Good VF
    Exceptional light/dark green patina, excellent portrait and overall grade.

    25.4 grams

    D-Camera Antoninus Pius sestertius Rome Anona Standing 156-57 AD RIC 980 Rome 25.4g 3-7-21.jpg

    The reverse of this coin, showing the goddess Annona, the goddess of the grain supply, holding a rudder and stepping on a the prow of a ship is a clear reference to Rome's dependence on the flow of grain from the East, notably from Egypt. Further, this coin associates Antoninus Pius with the continuation of this essential connection. As with so much coinage, both ancient and modern, politics is combined with not only religion, but also the message of continuing economic security and wellbeing of the society at large, in this case, food.
    akeady, Curtisimo, Andres2 and 23 others like this.
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Lovely sestertius. It has great style to it.

    This inspired me to poke around my Antoninus Pius holdings to seek out Annona. These aren't pretty, but here they are:

    This is a bare-headed as that seems to be a bit scarce. It came in an eBay lot of mostly provincials, all of which had been harshly cleaned, unfortunately:

    Antoninus Pius - As Annona lot Sep 2020 (0).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ As
    (140-144 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [ANT]ONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP TR [P COS III], bare head right / ANNO[NA AVG] S-C, Annona standing right, holding corn-ears & cornucopiae; modius to left, ship prow to right.
    RIC III 675 var. (bare head).
    (9.09 grams / 24 mm)
    eBay Sep. 2020 Lot @ $5.00

    Attribution Note:
    Found two auctions with bare head variety:
    Bertolami: May 14, 2012 Auction 5, Lot 564
    Savoca: Feb. 24, 2018 Fifth Blue Auction, Lot 1121

    Another as - this is horrific. The worst of an eBay lot, but I was able to identify it - it is the same as the first one, but with the more common laureate bust:

    Antoninus Pius as Annona July 2020 lot (0).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ As
    (140-144 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP TR P COS III], laureate head right / ANNO[NA AVG] S-C, Annona standing right, holding corn-ears & cornucopiae; modius to left, ship prow to right.
    RIC III 675.
    (10.92 grams / 26 mm)
    eBay July 2020 Lot @ $3.75

    Here is a dupondius with a desert patina and a chunk missing:

    Antoninus Pius - Dupondisu Annona seat Feb 2020 (0r).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ Dupondius
    (151-152 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, radiate head right / POT
    XV COS IIII, SC, ANNONA AVG in exergue, Annona seated l. holding corn-ears over modius with corn-ears and cornucopiae.
    RIC 898; Cohen 51.
    (10.27 grams / 25 mm)

    Finally, a sestertius - one RIC number over from the OP:

    Antoninus Pius - Sestertius Annona Sep 2018 (0).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (157-158 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP II, laureate head right / TR POT XXI COS IIII S-C, Annona standing left, holding rudder on prow and corn ears over modius.
    RIC 981; Sear 4254
    (24.45 grams / 30 mm)
    Curtisimo, Tony1982, cmezner and 11 others like this.
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Annona was a very popular subject for many sestertii and other denominations.

    Nice assortment.
    Tony1982 and Marsyas Mike like this.
  5. bcuda

    bcuda El Ibérico loco Supporter

    Beautiful Sestertius , I love it.
    Here is my Antonius Pius


    Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD)
    AE Sestertius Struck 143 AD
    TRP COS III, laureate head
    Rev: IMPERATOR II, Fides
    standing front, looking right,
    holding corn ears and dish of
    fruit. S-C across fields.
    26.08 grams. RIC III 716;
    Cohen 426; BMCRE 1608; Sear 4181.
    Curtisimo, Andres2, Tony1982 and 13 others like this.
  6. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Great coin, congratulations! I like the style.

    I bought an Ant. Pius sestertius around this time last year:

    Ant Pius sest.jpg
    Curtisimo, Andres2, Tony1982 and 12 others like this.
  7. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member


    A very nice coin , one of my favorite emperors too.

    Two suggestions: no drapery on shoulder that I can see, and date on rev. appears to be XX-I not XX. The Annona standing type was struck in both of those years.
    robinjojo likes this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    You're right! My omission. I will correct the label.

    curtislclay likes this.
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

  10. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Very handsome looking coin! has great detail.
    I wish we had more information about this enigmatic emperor.

    here are a few of my Antoninus coins...


    Sestertius of Antoninus with I believe Ceres on reverse.

    Sestertius of Antoninus with him in triumphal chariot on reverse.


    Sestertius with reverse of Antoninus as Sol.

    Sestertius with reverse honoring the senate

    As with reverse of crossed cornucopiae.
    Zebucatt, Curtisimo, svessien and 9 others like this.
  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I just posted my half-dozen Antoninus Pius coins over on the "Death of Antoninus Pius" thread; there's one with Annona on the reverse:

    Antoninus Pius AR Denarius, 149 AD. Obv. Laureate head right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII / Rev. Annona standing left holding corn ears over modius left and anchor right, COS IIII. RIC III 175, RSC II 284, BMCRE 657. 19.5 mm., 3.242 g.

    Antoninus Pius denarius COMBINED.jpg
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  12. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Not pretty either, but it is what it is :cool:

    Æ As, Rome, 151 - 152 AD
    In 151 - 152 AD Antoninus Pius celebrated his third “quinquennalia” = XV.
    Salus festival was celebrated on March, 30 together with Pax, Concordia, and Janus.

    25 x 27 mm, 10.822 g
    RIC III Antoninus Pius 900a; Cohen 729; BMC 1904; Sear 4311;

    Ob.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XV laureate head of Antoninus Pius to r.
    Rev.: SALVS AVG Salus standing l., holding scepter in l. hand and patera in r. hand, feeding a snake coiled around altar. In ex. COS IIII across field S - C

    upload_2021-3-7_23-47-6.png upload_2021-3-7_23-47-20.png
    Zebucatt, octavius, Curtisimo and 7 others like this.
  13. Tony1982

    Tony1982 Well-Known Member

    very nice ,i have the same coin . You can’t go wrong with a nice chunky sestertius! B98A6B1F-A805-4985-B6E9-953A04B2DBB6.jpeg
    Zebucatt, robinjojo, octavius and 6 others like this.
  14. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you all for your wonderful posts and coins.

    I hope to post more coins as I go through the collection, and new coins make their appearances, in the near future.
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