Marcus Aurelius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by IMP Shogun, Jan 29, 2022.

  1. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    3.504 Marcus Auerlius Romaresized note2.jpg

    Happy Weekend,

    A friend of mine is reading Meditations and forwarded this quote. Encouraged me to share a thought and a recent coin acquisition. On the above coin his beard comes to life, allowing me to overlook the reverse flaws. I do like the Roma reverses for all of the Antonine-Nerva coinage.

    I would love to see some Marcus Aurelius - I'm looking for a Caesar issue, so feel free to share those as well.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's a beautiful denarius, @IMP Shogun! The portrait is strongly struck and of fine style. Just lovely!

    This one is my favorite Marcus Aurelius denarius because of the toning. Nothing special about the reverse type -- seems every other Antonine reverse is Annona.

    Marcus Aurelius, Augustus AD 161-180.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.15 g, 18.1 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, 36th emission, AD 178.
    Obv: M ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head, right.
    Rev: COS III P P, Annona standing left, holding corn-ears in right hand over modius and cornucopia in left hand; to right, prow.
    Refs: RIC 424; BMCRE 691; Cohen 151; RCV 4893; MIR 436-4/30.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Great portrait with a wonderful beard!

    For whatever reason, I have far fewer Marcus Aurelius coins than I do of any of his three immediate predecessors, but I do have two Marcus Aurelius Caesars, both depicting him without his famous beard:

    Antoninus Pius with Marcus Aurelius as Caesar, AR Denarius 140-144 AD Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head of Antoninus Pius right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS - P P TR P COS III / Rev. Bare head of young Marcus Aurelius right, beardless, AVRELIVS CAESAR - AVG PII F COS. RIC III Antoninus Pius 417a (p. 78) (1930 ed.); RSC II Antoninus Pius & Marcus Aurelius 15 (p. 190); Sear RCV II 4524 (ill. p. 261) [dated to 141 AD]; BMCRE IV Antoninus Pius 155 (p. 26; ill. Pl 4 No. 11); A. Pangerl, "Vier Jahrzente Portraits des Marcus Aurelius auf römischen Reichsmünzen," 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits (2d ed. 2017), pp. 318-333 at p. 324 Tabelle 1 (No. 3.04) & p. 326 (No. 4) [dated to 140 AD and classified at p. 439 as “Type 1: round head of a child, no beard, curly hair”]. 19mm, 3.43 gm, 12h. Purchased from Akropolis Ancient Coins, 17 October 2021.

    Akropolis coins no. 100 Ant. Pius - Marcus Aurelius Caesar.jpg

    Marcus Aurelius Caesar (under Antoninus Pius) AR Denarius, 145-146 AD, Rome Mint. Obv: Bare head right, clean-shaven, AVRELIVS CAE-SVG PII F / Rev: Honos standing left, holding branch and cornucopiae, COS II. RIC III Antoninus Pius 429a, RSC II Marcus Aurelius 110 (p. 202), BMCRE IV Antoninus Pius 594 (p. 85), ERIC II 301, Sear RCV (1981 ed.) 1279; A. Pangerl, "Vier Jahrzente Portraits des Marcus Aurelius auf römischen Reichsmünzen," 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits (2d ed. 2017), pp. 318-333 at p. 324 Tabelle 1 (No. 3.10) & p. 326 No. 10 [dated to 145-146 AD and classified at p. 439 as “Type 3: long head shape of adolescent boy; beginning moustache, increasing but discrete side burns”] (noting at p. 324 that "RIC gibt keinen Barttyp an"). 18.2 mm, 3.3 g.

    Use Marcus Aurelius Caesar, RIC 429(a), RSC 110 (DML coin, beardless).jpg

    Later on:

    Marcus Aurelius AR Denarius, 161-62 AD; Obv: Bare head right, IMP M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG / Rev. Providentia stdg. left holding globe & cornucopiae, PROV DEOR TR P XVI COS III. RIC III 50, RSC II 519. 17 mm., 3.3 g.

    COMBINED Marcus Aurelius - Providentia.jpg

    Marcus Aurelius, AE Sestertius, 173 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII / Rev. Marcus Aurelius standing left, holding scepter with left hand, and, with his right hand, raising by her right hand a kneeling figure of Italia, wearing a turret and holding a globe with her left hand; [RESTITVTORI ITALIAE] IMP VI COS III [bracketed portion off flan]. RIC III 1078, Sear RCV II 4997, Cohen 538. 30mm, 25.8g. [According to David Sear (see RCV II at p. 315), this coin "commemorates the deliverance of Italy from the threat of barbarian invasion resulting from the emperor's successes in his wars against the Germanic tribes of the Danubian region."] [Purchased from Incitatus Coins, June 2020.]

    Marcus Aurelius sestertius jpg version (Marcus Aurelius & Italia on reverse).jpg

    Even later:

    Divus Marcus Aurelius, AR Denarius, 180 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head right, DIVVS M AN-TONINVS PIVS / Rev. Eagle standing right on globe, head left, wings raised, CONSECRATIO. RIC III 273 (Commodus), RSC II 91 (MA), Sear RCV II 5974 (Commodus), BMCRE 20 (Commodus). 19 mm., 3.32 g. [Purchased from Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., 214th Buy or Bid Sale, Dec. 2020, Lot 242.]

    Divus Marcus Aurelius - eagle reverse jpg version (Harlan J Berk).jpg

    Link to Vimeo video of coin: .
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I have a Caesar of his as well as others.


    Marcus Aurelius, as Caesar (139-161 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right.
    R: PIETAS AVG, sacrificial implements: knife, sprinkler, ewer, lituus and simpulum.
    Rome Mint 140-144 A.D.
    RIC 424a[pius], RSC 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, SRCV II 4786


    Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARM, Laureate head right.
    R: TR P XXX IMP VIII COS III, Roma standing left holding Victory and spear.
    RIC 352; RSC 929a; BMC 669

    Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: Μ ΑVΡΗ ΑΝΤωΝΙΝΟС С Laurete head left wearing cuirass and paludamentum.
    R: Tyche seated left, wearing kalathos, resting hand on rudder, holding cornucopia; in left field, Year Δ = Year 4 (163/4 A.D.)
    Emmett 2085 Dattari 3393

    Marcus Aurelius (139 - 161 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: M AYRHLIOC KAICAR, bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    R: Homonoia standing left by altar, holding patera and double cornucopiae. LI-Z across fields.
    Year 17 (of Antoninus Pius), 153-154 A.D.
    Dattari 3150; Emmett 1850; Kampmann 37.67
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  6. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Marcus Aurelius as Caesar:

    Rome 148 - 149 AD struck under Antoninus Pius
    18 x 19 mm, 3.221 g
    RIC III Antoninus Pius 444, BMC 683; RSC 618; Sear 4787

    Ob.: AVRELIVS CA/ESAR AVG PII F, Head of Marcus Aurelius, bare, right
    Rev.: TR POT III COS II, Minerva, helmeted draped, standing right, holding vertical spear in right hand and resting left hand on round shield set on ground

    upload_2022-1-29_19-32-51.png upload_2022-1-29_19-33-7.png
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  7. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Jeezy Pete's! That is one of the best MA portraits I've seen on a denarius :woot::wideyed:
    Big congrats @IMP Shogun :cigar:
    Here are some of my favorites:


    Marcus Aurelius

    AE Sestertius, Rome, A.D. 153/4, 31 mm, 20,01 g, as Caesar under Antoninus Pius, bare-headed, draped bust right, with light beard, AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG P[II FIL], rev. TR POT [VIII] COS II, S-C, Minerva standing half right, holding reversed spear and owl (BMC 1955)
    Jan 2021 Elkowicz

    Marcus Aurelius
    AR Denarius, RIC 73
    Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD). AR Denarius Roma (Rome), 162-163.
    Obv. IMP M ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head to right.
    Rev. PROV DEOR TR P XVII COS III, Providentia Standing left, Holding cornucopiae and globe. RIC 73. Cohen 525.

    Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Denarius. Minted 140 CE Ob. : ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS PP TR. P. COS. III. Antoninus Pius bare head to the right. Rev .: AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG. P. III F. COS. Marcus Aurelius bare head on the right. 3.13 grs. Slight skates skates. EBC / Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Light uneven patina and extremely fine. C-21a; RIC-415c; BMC-148. Former Martí Hervera - December 10, 2002, n. 801. Purchased from Soler y Llach, Coleccion Scipio, Oct 2021
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  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    I don't have a single Roman Alexandrian coin of Marcus Aurelius. I don't think there's much question that Hadrian and Antoninus Pius minted more different types there than any other emperor before or after, but it seems that there was a considerable drop-off with Aurelius. I have no idea why.
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  9. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    very nice! i have two of him in this pic 0 de 'good' 5(6)making it 7....:yack: IMG_0401.JPG IMG_0402.JPG
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  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    A really spectacular denarius of Marcus Aurelius, @IMP Shogun

    At the moment I am re-reading a biography of Marcus Aurelius by Frank McLynn that really impresses me. Some of the reviews on Goodreads complain about McLynn's negativity, but I think he's reasonably cynical, if opinionated. He gives one of the few plausible explanations for why Aurelius allowed his awful son Commodus to succeed him - he had no choice. If Commodus had been bypassed in the succession, he most surely would have been murdered. One would have to be quite the Stoic to allow your own son to get snuffed out this way.

    Anyway, my latest Marcus Aurelius is a posthumous sestertius, issued by Commodus, showing Marcus ascending to heaven on the back of an eagle (sort of; mine is quite worn):

    Marcus Aurelius - Sest. Posthumous Eagle & MA Jan 2022 (0).jpg
    Marcus Aurelius Æ Sestertius
    Posthumous for Commodus
    (180 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVVS·M·ANTONINVS PIVS, bare head right / [CONSECRATIO] SC in ex., eagle flying right, grasping thunderbolt, Marcus Aurelius riding on back holding sceptre
    (26.44 grams / 30 x 29 mm)
    eBay Jan. 2022 Ck
    Attribution Notes: Obverse legend has M flanked by dots; seems to be common. Reverse SC is in the exergue; Wildwinds notes var., but most online auction descriptions do not note this, or say "across fields" even when in exergue.
    RIC III Commodus 660 var.
    Cohen 94 (Marcus Aurelius);
    BMCRE 395 (Commodus);
    Banti 50 var. (position of S C).

    Also this month came this as from his Caesar days:

    Marcus Aurelius - As Hilaritas lot Jan 2022 (0).jpg
    Marcus Aurelius Æ As
    (145 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII [F COS] II, bare head right / [HI]L[ARITAS], S C, Hilaritas standing left, holding long palm and cornucopiae.
    RIC III Antoninus Pius 1260 (as)
    BMCRE 1794 (Pius).
    (8.44 grams / 24 mm)
    eBay Jan. 2022 Ck
    Attribution Notes:
    [COS] II (barely) visible obverse, thus RIC 1260, but note:
    RIC 1236: AVG PII F COS
    RIC 1260: AVG PII F COS II

    This one's a bit nicer, another as from his beardless Caesar days, issued by Antoninus Pius:

    Marcus Aurelius - As Pietas impliments Dec 2021 (0).jpg
    Marcus Aurelius Æ As
    (140-144 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right / PIETAS AVG, S C in exergue, sacrificial implements: knife, sprinkler, jug, lituus & simpulum.
    RIC III Antoninus Pius 1240a (as)
    Cohen 455.
    (9.81 grams / 25 mm)
    eBay Dec. 2021
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  11. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Here's a sestertius reverse type that hasn't appeared in this thread yet, Victory inscribing a shield VIC PAR to honor Roman victory against the Parthians. (Marcus Aurelius sent his co-emperor Lucius Verus to lead the fighting, and Verus "led from the rear", living in luxury in Antioch while leaving the actual fighting to his highly competent generals.)
    Marcus Aurelius.jpg
    I also have an example of the RESTITVTORI ITALIAE type already shown by @DonnaML :
    Marcus Aurelius Restitutori Italiae.jpg
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  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter of my denarii is a VIC PAR...:)
  13. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    A nice "Caesar" portrait:
    Marcus Aurelius. As Caesar, 139-161 AD. Æ As (28mm, 10.74 gm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, 140-144 AD. Obv: Bare head right. Rev: Implements of the augurate and pontificate: secespita, aspergillum, guttus, lituus, and simpulum. RIC III 1240a (Pius).
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  14. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    That’s a spectacular denarius @IMP Shogun ! What a portrait!

    Here are my two favorite portraits of Marcus Aurelius:

    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. RIC III 273 (Commodus).
    From the Phil Peck ("Morris") Collection

    Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Seleucis and Pieria, Laodicea ad Mare. 161-169 AD, AE Diassarion (25 mm, 9.08 g), Laureate head of Marcus Aurelius to r./ Rev. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Lucius Verus to r., RPC online IV.3 9010
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  15. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    A nice coin with great Marcus Aurelius portrait, @IMP Shogun.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    I currently have only one young portrait on the reverse.
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  16. Mr.MonkeySwag96

    Mr.MonkeySwag96 Well-Known Member

    My sole Marcus Aurelius denarius is one of my favorite coins in my Roman Imperial collection:


    AR Denarius (19mm, 3.46g) M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right / TR P XXI IMP IIII COS III, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae. RIC 171.

    Privately purchased from a fellow collector on Facebook
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  17. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Here are my favorite Marcus Aurelius coins. I have only 1 as from his Caesar period but a very worn example.

    Marcus Aurelius AD 161-180
    AR Denarius
    Ref: RIC 349


    Ionia. Ephesos. Marcus Aurelius AD 161-165
    Bronze Æ
    19 mm., 4,44 g
    Obverse: Μ ΑΥΡ ΚΑΙϹ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝ; laureate-headed bust of Marcus Aurelius wearing cuirass, r., seen from rear
    Reverse: ƐΦƐϹΙΩΝ; stag standing, r.
    RPC IV.2, 1132, Karwiese 306, Cop 401 Specimens: 14


    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 Rome 251
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  18. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  19. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Marc Aurèle HS.jpg A Liberalitas VI sestertius...

    Gadara Marc Aurèle.jpg
    An AE coin (= as) of Gadara, today Umm Qays in Jordan, overlooking the Tiberias lake. On reverse, showing the city's Tyche standing in her niche, the legend ΓΑΔΑΡ - ЄΚC (year 225 of the city's era = 161/2 AD).
    Gadara was a Greek city mentioned in the Gospels. In the middle of a land populated by Jews, Syrians (or Cananaeans) and Arabs, for whom the pork was taboo, the Gadarenes were Greeks with their own laws and they raised pigs. Jesus came there one day and exorcized a poor man in the city's outskirts, the daemons left him and passed to a pigs herd nearby, who like lemmings immediately rushed and dived into the lake.
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  20. 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

    Broucheion, DonnaML, Edessa and 14 others like this.
  21. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That is a very attractive Marcus Aurelius Liberalitas sestertius - I thought I had one too, but mine is from the next one, Liberalitas VII (and not nearly as nice as yours):

    Marcus Aurelius - Sester. Liberalitas Apr 2018 (0).jpg
    Marcus Aurelius Æ Sestertius
    (174-175 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [IMP VII COS III] SC, Liberalitas standing left holding coin-counter and cornucopiae.
    RIC 1150
    (25.02 grams / 29 mm)
    eBay Apr. 2018
    DonnaML, Edessa, octavius and 14 others like this.
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