This coin has an expressive and somewhat unusual portrait of Divus Marcus Aurelius, which really stood out to me. In most of his coinage, Marcus was shown with a stoic, dignified facial expression. In this portrait, he has an odd look on his face, as though he is startled or stunned at what he is seeing. I thought that this was a perfect symbol for this time period. To me, it looks like Marcus is looking out from beyond the grave at the future, and thinking "what is happening to my Empire?" (or maybe more accurately "what has my idiot son done now?"). Divus Marcus Aurelius. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.24 g). Consecration issue. Rome mint. Struck under Commodus, 180 AD. Bare head of Divus Marcus Aurelius right / Rev. CONSECRATIO, eagle standing right on globe, head left, wings spread. RIC III 273 (Commodus). CNG E-Auction 466, From the Phil Peck ("Morris") Collection The idea that the Empire immediately declined after Commodus took over of course isn't true. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it didn't collapse in a day either. But the ascension of Commodus, whose only real credential was that his father happened to be the emperor, was a huge change from nearly a century of wildly successful "Adoptive" emperors (Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius), who were chosen as emperor mostly (or at least partially) because they were competent and capable for the job. To be fair, unlike his predecessors, Marcus Aurelius was the only emperor that century to have an adult male heir to choose from, but his choice of Commodus as his successor turned out to be a terrible decision. This portrait showing the seemingly regretful, mortified ghost of Marcus Aurelius really struck me as a perfect representation of the aftermath of his rule, and I was very happy to add this one to my collection. Please share your Consecration issues, your favorite Marcus Aurelius portraits, or anything else relevant!