Marcus Aurelius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Limes, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter


    I find Marcus Aurelius' life story somewhat sad. His reign, commencing in 161 AD, started with war, the end of which he would not live to see. Ironically, it was his son and heir Commodus who concluded the war by coming to terms with the enemy. I can imagine Marcus Aurelius would rather have spent his days as emperor enlightening the population with his philosophical works.

    Immediately after the start of his regin, wars took place in the East and northern frontier of the Roman empire. Many coins were struck to commemorate various victories and imperial acclamations. I have two of these coins, one of Lucius Verius and one of Marcus Aurelius. Both refer to the war in the East, and victories against the Parthans. One of my latest acquisitions show above, refers to the war north of the Roman border, against various Germanic tribes. I got this coin mainly because of the bust which I really like and I was after a cuirrassed bust of Marcus Aurelius. But the reverse makes for a great historical background. It's a bonus that it's a variant (cuirrassed bust) and not in RIC.

    The wars against the various Germanic tribes are called the Marcomannic wars and took place from 161 - 180 AD. Fighting took place north of the Danube river, and at time Roman legions ventured deep into enemy territory. The 'Germanic tribes' consisted of various peoples, including the Macromanni, Quadi and Chatti. After surpressing a revolt in the east by Avidius Cassius in the East - yes, he had to deal with that too! - Marcus Aurelius returned to Rome where he, together with Commodus were given a triumph for the German victories. Also, a commemorative column was erected, which still stands today.

    My coin can be dated to 172 - 173 AD (TR P XXVII) and could refer to the Roman invasion of Macromannic territory in 172 AD. 173 AD hosts a particularly interesting event, called 'the miracle of the rain', where a legion almost surrendered by the Quadi due to the heat and thirst. Lucky for them however, sudden rain quenched their thirst and the enemy was struck by lightning. Sestertii were struck to commemorate this event (and you can gues that this one is on my wantlist). I know @Andres2 has one and I hope he will show it again :)

    Thanks for reading! Please show your coins of poos Marcus Aurelius, or anything you find relevant.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice denarius, @Limes! I find the Antonine period fascinating.

    In AD 172-173, at the conclusion of the Quadic war, Marcus set about rebuilding of what had been destroyed in the fighting. He received the title of Restitutor Italiae -- the Restorer of Italy -- in AD 173, a title which had earlier been held by Hadrian. This coin commemorates the rebuilding of Italy in the wake of the war and the new title assumed by the emperor. On this well-circulated coin's reverse, the emperor assists Italia in rising up from the ground and she offers a globe, a symbol of territorial expansion.

    Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 21.36 g, 29.5 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 173.
    Obv: M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII, head of Marcus Aurelius, laureate, right.
    Rev: RESTITVTORI ITALIAE IMP VI COS III, Marcus Aurelius, in military dress, standing left, holding vertical spear in left hand and clasping right hands with Italia kneeling right before him, holding globe in left hand; SC in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 1077; BMCRE 1449-1450; Cohen 538; RCV 4997; MIR 259.
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Interesting reverse and overall a nice looking coin @Limes...Thanks for the write up too...
    Here's a couple of mine....
    Marcus Aurelius denarius.Rome AD 161-162...18MM....2.55gr
    Obverse....IMP M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG, bare head right
    Reverse... PROV DEOR TR P XVI COS III, Providentia standing facing, head left, holding globe and cornucopiae.
    RIC#50 RSC 519.
    Marcus Aurelius. AD 161-180. Æ Sestertius. Rome mint. Struck AD 171...(32mm, 24.68 g)
    Obv. Laureate, draped head right, IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TRP XXV
    Rev. Fides standing left, holding Victory and standard, FIDES EXERCITVVM COS III SC
    RIC III 997......Double die match to the only example in the British Museum Collection..

  5. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ..indeed..he shared the throne...and was a learned man and, by all accounts, a true philosopher king....but his kid, according to accounts, was one of the vilest.. IMG_0637.JPG IMG_0638.JPG
  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Nice coins and an emblematic figure of Roman history.
    Here are my coins
    A.D. 170-171
    AR Denarius
    IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV; Laureate head right.
    VOTA SVSCEP DECENN II COS III; M. Aurelius veiled, standing l., sacrificing at a tripod.
    RIC III 251


    Obv: M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARM. Head of Marcus Aurelius, laureate, right. Rev:TR P XXX IMP VIII COS III. Mars, helmeted, naked except for cloak flying behind, advancing right, holding transverse spear in right hand and trophy, sloped over left shoulder, in left hand
    RIC 349

    Ionia, Ephesus
    Μ ΑΥΡ ΚΑΙϹ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝ, laureate-headed bust of Marcus Aurelius wearing cuirass, r., seen from rear / ƐΦƐϹΙΩΝ; stag standing, r.
    RPC IV.2, 1132 (temporary), Karwiese 306, Cop 401
  7. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Nice coin @Limes ! I also find Marcus Aurelius fascinating. I have one of the type as well.

    Roman Empire
    Marcus Aurelius
    AR denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 173
    Dia.: 19 mm
    Wt.: 3.31 g
    Obv.: M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII; Laureate head right
    Rev.: IMP VI COS III; German captive seared left at foot of trophy
    Rev.: RIC 280
    Ex Walter Stoecklin Collection (before 1975); Ex Orfew Collection

    ...and a bonus MA.
    Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180
    Æ Sestertius, Rome mint, struck AD 170-171.
    Dia.: 32 mm
    Wt.: 25.1 g
    Obv.: IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV; Laureate head right.
    Rev.: PRIMI/DECEN/NALES/COS III/SC within wreath.
    Reference: RIC III 1006. Scarce.
    Ex Theodosius Collection, Ex Sallent Collection, ex-JAZ Numismatics.
  8. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Nice addition!!!

    Roman Imperial AE as. Marcus Aurelius as caesar.
    Obverse depicts bare headed bust of young Marcus Aurelius facing right, legend reads AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII.
    Reverse depicts sacrificial instruments for priest, knife sprinkler jug lituus and simpulum. SC in exergue. Struck under Antoninus Pius

  9. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Almost forgot about this As. Nothing special but it is from his Caesar period
    25.1 mm 7.7g
    AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F, Head of Marcus Aurelius, bare, right / TR POT XIIII COS II S C, Virtus standing r., l. foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium.
    RIC III Antoninus Pius 1355
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Marcus as Caesar from Alexandria:

    Type: AE Drachm, 33mm, 22.95 grams of Alexandria

    Obverse: Bare headed and draped bust of Aurelius right

    Reverse: Elpis Standing left holding flower and hitching skirt

    Reference: BMC 1238 listed as "rare" by R.A. Numismatics

  11. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Nice coins, all.

    I have a cool VIC PAR sestertius with an interesting flan shape. I sort of like how the lozenge-shaped flan is perfectly oriented on both sides - obverse is a diamond to frame the portrait, and reverse is flat on the bottom for Victory's feet to stand on.

    Marcus Aurelius RIC 93-.JPG
  12. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Limes, at your service:

    P1160653 (2).JPG

    2 more Sestertii

    P1220213 best.JPG P1140983bb.jpg
  13. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    All wonderful coins, examples of fine Roman classical art. Even well-circulated ones are soooo beautiful. The Denarius with the German captive is impressive!

    The victory over the Parthians in 165-166 AD earned Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus the titles PARTH MAX. This issue is from that time, were the P M on the obverse means Parthicus Maximus

    Æ Sestertius, Orichalcum
    Rome, December 165–December 166 AD
    31 mm, 23.32 g
    BMCRE 1279. RIC III Marcus Aurelius 923;
    Ob.: M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS P M, laureate head of Marcus Aurelius right
    Rev.: TR POT XX IMP III COS III S—C, Providentia standing left, pointing with wand at globe and holding scepter.
    upload_2021-9-1_15-55-14.png upload_2021-9-1_15-55-23.png
  14. ewomack

    ewomack 魚の下着 Supporter

    MarcusAurelius01.png MarcusAurelius02.png
    Marcus Aurelius. AR Denarius. Struck 161/2 AD. M ANTONINVS AVG, bare head right / CONCORD AVG TR P XVII, COS III in exergue, Concordia seated left, holding patera, resting left elbow on statuette of Spes set on base. 18mm 3.4gm

    Also, thanks to @Roman Collector, this coin now appears on pp. 145 - 146 of Paul Dinsdale's online book here.

    I unknowingly bought a partially confirmed bust variety and posted it in this thread. The Ancients forum took care of the rest. In the words of many people: that was awesome.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  15. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Here's a Quadi War "Rain Miracle" denarius of Marcus Aurelius:

    M. Aurelius - Den. Mercury Rain Mar 2019 (0).jpg
    Marcus Aurelius Denarius
    (173-174 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVIII, laureate head right / RELIG AVG IMP VI COS III Mercury standing left holding
    (3.05 grams / 19 mm)
    Quadi "Rain Miracle" comm.
    eBay Mar. 2019

    "About the year 172, the Roman army of Emperor Marcus Aurelius was surrounded by warriors of the Quadi, a fierce Germanic tribe, while fighting on the Danube frontier. Cut off from water sources, the legions were perishing of thirst when a sudden rainstorm saved them. This “rain miracle” was credited to the intercession of Mercury, as god of the air. A version of the story promoted by later Christian sources attributed the miracle to the prayers of Christian converts among the troops. On coins of the period, a standing cloaked figure of Mercury, with his signature winged hat and staff, appears on the reverse, with the abbreviated inscription RELIG AUG (“religion of the emperor”) asserting Marcus’s commitment to the old gods, the only time this phrase appears on any Roman coin"

    "God of Money: Hermes on Ancient Coins" by Mark Markowitz (CoinWeek, December 27, 2017)

    Here's that "Rain Miracle" as shown on the Column of Marcus Aurelius - it would've made for a great coin design, a sestertius, perhaps:

    Marcus Aurelius Rain Miracle from Column.jpe
  16. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    4 sestertii of Marcus Aurelius , and one of his partner, Lucius Verus.

    4780865l.jpg b-marcus-aurelius-b-ad-161-180-ae-6293610-O.jpg marcus-aurelius-161-180-ae-sestertius-5974981-O.jpg Kk4A87GpfCc6PB8ei3Ft2A9tTz5k9s.jpg CJz6w4fNpnJ2W5sxtQo8KZ3xc9fL7T.jpg m38868.jpg
  17. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  18. Everett Guy

    Everett Guy Well-Known Member

    This thread proves I need to pull out my collection before I always pop on here to learn and look, post new coins ect, but I want to be able to add my coin pics to the fun...i will be digging tomorrow to add some pics to a few threads and will be prepared next time I log in.

    Definitely one of my favorite rulers story.
  19. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ..yeah've missed a few classes...:D...good to C ya back! :)
  20. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Do it!
    New content in always appreciated!! While a few here look down at the "Look at my new coin" threads - well as far as I am concerned they can keep their noses pointed up... and scroll on by. I love to see new (or old) acquisitions and the most important thing is the enthusiasm shown by posters - it is so amazing! Every coin added to our collections is special to us and a win for our hobby. Please share!
  21. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks every one for sharing comments and coins! And Marcus aurelius sure is a very interesting emperor and historical character.
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