Featured Antoninus Pius Dupondius - A Portrait Piece

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by thejewk, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    "Well, then, I will not govern you either, if he has become in your eyes base and hostile and a public foe. For in that case you will, of course, soon annul all his acts, of which my adoption was one."

    Cassius Dio attributes these words to the mouth of Antoninus Pius on the senate's refusal to deify his adoptive father, Hadrian. According to Dio and the Historia Augusta, Hadrian had been responsible for the 'illegal' deaths of a number of senators, and at the time of his death there were other senators waiting to be executed. Antoninus pardoned these men, claiming that Hadrian was already resolved to do the same before his passing.

    Compared to Hadrian's frosty and distant relationship with the senate, being a man who extensively toured his empire and invested heavily in works across many of the provinces, Antoninus spent almost his entire reign in close proximity to Rome and supposedly lived as humble a life as is possible given his situation.

    He initially refused to be hailed Augustus by the senate until they relented and deified his adoptive father, and afterwards was named Pius in recognition of his familial piety.

    Antoninus Pius Dupondius Genio.jpg
    RIC 660A - Sear 4275
    GENIO SENATVS - Genius of the Senate, togate, standing left holding branch and short sceptre
    26mm, 12.12g, Dupondius, 142AD
    Ex. Naville Live Auction 40 Lot 702, 27/05/2018

    I find the story of Antoninus Pius' refusal of the title of Augustus an irresistible tale that seems to indicate his character quite well, even though we must always be wary of the veracity of the historical sources around the time of the Antonines. I hopefully will be adding one of the coins of 138AD featuring a bare headed Antoninus without the titles Augustus or Pius in the near future, but I couldn't resist buying this one for the superb portraiture, brilliantly expressive Genius of the Senate, and the 'Tiber patina' which is unlike anything else in my collection.

    Please share your coins with your favourite portraits, 'Tiber patinas', or anything else you feel is appropriate.
    dlhill132, octavius, TIF and 33 others like this.
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  3. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Nice coin! I love the gaze and the beautiful detail on the face. Furthermore, nice and interesting historical background.
    cmezner, Roman Collector and thejewk like this.
  4. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    thejewk, Nice score with a beautifully engraved portrait :D. I was lucky to score a nice bronze coin about the same size & weight of your dupondius years ago, only my coin was struck in Antioch, Syria from the collection of Richard McAlee, & pictured in his book.

    Ant. Pius, AD 138-9, 26 mm, 12.47 gm, MA 555i.jpg
    Antioch, Syria, Antoninus Pius, AD 138-9, AE 12.47 gm, 26 mm. McAlee 555j
    dlhill132, octavius, TIF and 15 others like this.
  5. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    That's a stunner Al, here's my example of the same type in much rougher condition with a terrible photo I need to redo: Antoninus Pius Antioch.jpg
    dlhill132, octavius, Ryro and 11 others like this.
  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Your coin is worthy of better photos :).
    thejewk likes this.
  7. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Lovely dupondius!

    Coins of Antoninus as Caesar do show up from time to time, and often have exceptional portraiture:
    Antoninus pius caesar diana standing.jpg

    I don't recall ever seeing one of him as Augustus but without the Pius title. They exist but are probably quite rare, as all of this would have taken place within a couple months of him taking office. You do have to be careful, as there is an early reign issue that doesn't have PIVS on the obverse, but it's there on the reverse.
    dlhill132, octavius, Ryro and 15 others like this.
  8. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Finn235, Wonderful portrait on this small coin, especially being bare-headed :D.
    thejewk likes this.
  9. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Funny you mention that, I almost did exactly what you warn against. A 138AD denarius with the expected obverse legend, with AVG and PIUS on the reverse. Still an interesting type, however, so I should really have both eventually.
  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Lovely coins. Here is a very worn Genio Senatus denarius:

    Antoninus Pius - GEN SENATVS Mar 19 (0).jpg

    Antoninus Pius Denarius
    (c. 140-143 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III, bare head right / GENIO SENATVS, Genius of the Senate standing left, holding branch and rod.
    RIC 61a; RSC 398.
    (2.68 grams / 18 mm)

    Not sure this is a Tiber Patina, exactly, but I really liked the surfaces on it -

    Ant Pius Salus Sep 2019 (1).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (144 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS [PP TR P COS] III, Laureate head right / DES [III]I S-C, Salus standing left, holding rudder on globe and feeding serpent rising from altar to left.
    RIC 749; Cohen 348.
    (26.05 grams / 29 mm)

    "...During the year AD 144, Salus was by far the commonest type, which is an indication that the emperor suffered from serious illness in this period." FORVM
  11. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Your coin is superb, museum quality.
    thejewk likes this.
  12. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    That is a coin with an amazing portrait! Lovely! I recently acquired an Antoninus Pius denarius, with the temple of divus Augustus and Livia reverse. I will post it another time, i have not taken a picture of it.
    Here is another coin of AP, it's an as with a nice black/green patina. Interesting is that this coin is not that much found on ACsearch (7 hits, when searching on the RIC number). Your dupondius gets 12 hits. Its with more bronze coins of the adoptive emperors. I had an As of Marcus Aurelius (sold it recently), only 5 hits. Not that I am much interested in rarity, it's just something I have noticed.

  13. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Great coin and the denomination I'm missing at the moment in my own set...
    Not only is the obverse portrait of AP really nicely detailed the reverse of Genius looks like his twin!....Lovely coin congrats!
    thejewk likes this.
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice write-up and a beautiful dupondius! Here's a fairly recent acquisition. Antoninus Pius COS IIII Annona denarius Modius right.jpg
    dlhill132, Ryro, Marsyas Mike and 6 others like this.
  15. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius. Rome

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right / COS [IIII], emperor seated left on platform; to right, soldier standing left, holding spear; to left, Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus and cornucopiae; at foot of platform, citizen standing right, holding out fold of toga; S-C across fields, LIBERALITA(S) AVG (IIII) in exergue.

    RIC 774; BMCRE 1688

    This has an interesting reverse - holding out the fold of one's toga
    was a formal pose adopted when petitioning the Emperor, although
    I don't know how this custom arose.
  16. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That is a good point. The obvious, standard answer is that the fold was used to catch the coins dispensed by the emperor via Liberalitas. Some will show a coin or several coins in the air heading to the fold. I am unaware of any evidence whether or not that the Liberalitas distributions actually involved a formal ceremony including coin tossing/catching but the scene is common to several reigns. This is Commodus as Caesar. rc2430b00976lg.JPG

    My Trajan sestertius is so worn that it only serves to show he used the type.

    CNG has many:
    The Hadrian below is unusual in showing coins being poured into the fold from a cornucopia.
    dlhill132, Ryro, Marsyas Mike and 8 others like this.
  17. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Excellent OP AP ;)
    And the Liberalitas type coins shown are very interesting

    Here's my AP/thunderbolt sestertius

    Antoninus Pius, Sestertius - Rome mint, AD 140/144
    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right
    PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM, winged thunderbolt, S - C in field
    25.86 gr, 31 mm
    Ref : Cohen #682, RCV # 4208, RIC III # 618

  18. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RI Antoninus Pius 138-161 BCE AR Denarius.jpg
    RI Antoninus Pius 138-161 BCE AR Denarius
  19. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Beautiful OP coin and many interesting types shown on this thread.

    I do have a rough Divus sestertius showing his column, erected after his death in 161AD.

    Pius Pillar MERGE.jpg
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Some great examples of Pius coins and the OP dupondius is fantastic.
    thejewk likes this.
  21. cmezner

    cmezner Supporter! Supporter

    Awesome the OP Dupondius and all the above Pius coins !
    Don't now what is a Tiber patina :confused:

    Unfortunately, my Genio Senatus Dupondius is set in a frame and I have not yet decided if I want or should remove it.
    This is the obverse - it is impossible to weight it or take a clear picture of the reverse:
    26 x 27 mm

    Have two Sestertius as Caesar and both seem to have the same(?) countermark on the ear:
    Æ Sestertius, Rome, 151 - 152 AD
    31 mm, 22.73 g
    Ref.: RIC III Antoninus Pius 891; BMCRE 1891; Cohen 50;
    Rev.: TR POT XV - COS IIII Annona seated l., with corn ears and cornucopiae, modius at feet; in field, S C; in ex. ANNONA AVG
    upload_2019-12-10_18-56-57.png upload_2019-12-10_18-57-8.png
    32 x 33 mm, 21.10g
    upload_2019-12-10_18-58-9.png upload_2019-12-10_19-12-37.png
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