So, Who Did Not Like Antoninus Pius ?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    There are some Roman emperors who are very hard to respect or like. Even some of their mothers had reason to dislike their sons but one emperor who appears to have been so well respected that he was given the appellation, "Pius". Hard to translate that term but if probably comes out to something like, "I would not mind having that guy living next door to me". Antoninus Pius was given this name because of his insistence on deifying his predecessor, Hadrian, and having a reluctant senate give approbation to all his enactments. Since Hadrian had thinned out the senatorial herd a bit that reluctance was understandable. It perhaps, also showed astute intelligence on the part of Antoninus Pius as one of Hadrian's enactments had been the adoption of Antoninus as his son and heir. It is hard to find anyone who did not like the new replacement, except, possibly, for the Phillistine with a hammer and blade who thought that maybe a more appropriate response to a now dead (consecration coin) Antoninus Pius was a numismatic damnatio memoriae. IMG_1127[2125]Antoninus Pius Obverse.jpg IMG_1126[2131]Antoninus Pius Reverse.jpg I have never seen, even on a coin of Caligula or Nero, such a hatchet job (did the Romans have hatchets?) on the image of a Roman emperor. Unless of course I am mistaken and the damage was collateral to a peasant's plowing or a kid with a new penknife. Anyway, if you have any such defaced coins, please show us your ancient numismatic plastic surgery facial reconstruction or feel free to comment on my coin, which is 3.2 grams and is RIC 431, BMC 41. PS I don't think he liked eagles that much, either.
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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    I know, I have shown it too often already, but here is a similarly defaced coin of Antoninus Pius from my collection. The damage looks very intentional, and one can only speculate about the reason for someone scratching out AP's portrait:

    Rom – Antoninus Pius, denarius, Altar, antike Beschädigungen.png
    Antoninus Pius, Roman Empire, denarius, 145–161 AD, Rome mint. Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP, laureate head of Antoninus Pius right. Rev: COS IIII, thunderbolt on altar. 16.5mm, 4.02g. RIC III, 137.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Jeepers. I don't know what to say, other than occasionally you come across people who don't like pizza or who don't like sex.

    I don't have any intentionally defaced Antoninus Pius coins, so I'll just show the one I acquired most recently:

    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.31 g, 16.2 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 152-153.
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVI, Laureate head, right.
    Rev: COS IIII, Annona standing left, holding two corn-ears in right hand and resting left hand on modius set on prow.
    Refs: RIC 221; BMCRE 786-88; Cohen/RSC 290; RCV --.
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I see the same kind of scratches on yours as mine and they all cannot be accidental graffiti. I wonder if there is a side to this emperor the historians missed. I have seen this sort of thing on coins of Caligula and Nero where they are not unexpected. Perhaps in the case of Antoninus Pius it was just general, generic anti Roman anger not directed as this emperor in particular but I sense somebody is angry with somebody here.
    Ryro and Roman Collector like this.
  6. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Well I don’t know who might have done this and for what reason but I bet that if they thought A. Pius was bad and were still around for this guy...


    ... they were quickly wishing for the good old days.
  7. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I like those corn ears Annona is holding. Although they do look like ears of corn, American corn, maize, that cannot be, so it must be the British use of the word corn (though at first I thought she had a bunch of carrots i9n her hand.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Trajan Decius

    I like him he after all selected Marcus to succeed him.
    kevin McGonigal likes this.
  9. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I may be wrong on this but I think that Hadrian was the one responsible for Marcus Aurelius becoming emperor as Antoninus Pius was required to adopt and promote a young Marcus Aurelius as his successor as part of the deal.
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Trajan Decius

    Good to know and sounds vaguely familiar now that you mention it. Aelius Caesar also was in the mix too as Hadrian's successor but he died as I recall...
    kevin McGonigal likes this.
  11. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Yes, I believe that was one of the reasons that Antoninus Pius was required to adopt a young Marcus Aurelius, as Hadrian had just discovered that appointing a man who was middle aged, Aelius, was not a good idea
  12. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a Tiberius as from Spain that seems likely to have been deliberately defaced.


    29-27 mm. Tiberius, 14-17. Struck at Turiaso, Spain.
    II VIR in wreath
    MV SVRL LVCNM SEMP FRONT MVN TVRIASO (several letters elided)
    PRC 413.

    When I bought it in 1996 the dealer (at a show) asked about 1/3 the usual price because of the damage. To me, it was worth as much as a similar coin without the cuts. I believe the cuts are ancient and someone had something against Tiberius.
  13. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and I like it for the same reason. Plenty of people had reason to dislike Tiberius.
  14. Alegandron

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

    RI Fausta 325-326 CE AE3 Spes stdg 2 infants SMHA 20mm 3.48g
    - scratch over eye

    RI Aemilianus 253 CE AE24 Viminacium mint Moesia Bull-Lion - Damnatio Memoriae.jpg
    RI Aemilianus 253 CE AE24 Viminacium mint Moesia Bull-Lion
    - Scratch over neck and eye
  15. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Ooh! Going for the eyes. I'll bet a few imprecations to Orcus went with those two gouges.
    Alegandron likes this.
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