What are the most interesting coins of Antoninus Pius?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JayAg47, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Give me some examples of his coins that don’t show the gods just standing around! Afaik other emperors of his time had something to show off, like the capta issues of Judea, Dacia, Armenia, travel series of Hadrian, etc. But I don’t see anything like that for A Pius!
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  3. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Sear 4523 Antoninus Pius.JPG

    I don’t know exactly what you would find interesting, but this is a popular type.

    It’s nice with rulers that focus on their heritage rather than perpetual war and genocide too.
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  4. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Not a great example.. but I do like this divus issue featuring his column:

    Divus Antoninus Pius
    Bronze Sestertius 30mm (23.46 grams) Rome mint, struck circa 161 A.D.
    Struck under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus,
    DIVVS ANTONINVS, Bare head right.
    DIVO - PIO / S - C, Column of Antoninus Pius surmounted by statue of Pius holding eagle and scepter.
  5. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I don't know if they look more interesting, but the Antoninus Pius Britannias are historically interesting. They weren't the first Britannias (those were Hadrian's) but they developed a theme that remains on British coins today.

    Antoninus Pius As, 154-155
    Rome or Britain. Bronze, 8.63g. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII. Britannia seated left on rock, resting head on hand; arms in background, BRITANNIA - COS IIII, SC in exergue (RIC III 934).

    These were minted for circulation in Britain sometime after Lollius Urbicus's victories against the tribes around the Antonine Wall. They were either struck in Rome and shipped to Britain, or even struck in Britain from dies cut in Rome. The lighter ones (under 8.8g) are cruder and on inferior flans, and thought likely to be minted in Britain.

    Britannia has her hand on her head - thought either to be in peaceful contemplation of Rome's protection or in sorrow at Britain's defeat. The shield reminds the British of the protection the Roman army gives them on the northern frontier.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  6. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter Well-Known Member

    The reign of A. Pius was an extremely peaceful one compared to the Emperors who came before and after him. If I were in your position @JayAg47, seeking a reverse type that doesn't depict a god in a generic pose; I'd consider a CONSECRATIO reverse or an ANNONA reverse like mine below.

    Antoninius Pius Denarius 144 AD.jpg
    Antoninus Pius
    AR Denarius
    144 A.D.
    Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III; laureate head right.
    Reverse: ANNONA AVG; Modius with four-grain ears and a poppy.
    RIC III 62a
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My favorite type that I have is this as showing Mars and Rhea Silvia before the birth of Romulus and Remus.

    Of those I don't have, the one I would most like is the big pig. Someone here has one.
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  8. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Would you say that the most interesting coins of Antoninus Pius and Commodus are their bronze coins?
  9. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I don't have many of his, but I like this one, which hearkens back to the first century issue of Drusus for the grandsons of Tiberius. This is said to celebrate Lucilla and her brother Aelius, who did not survive the rampant plagues of their day. He was the first emperor in several generations where it seemed that continuation of the dynasty was certain.
    Pius sestertius temporvm felicitas lucilla and aelius.jpg
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  10. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Antoninus Pius F.jpg

    I have a soft spot for this coin. The deity isn’t «just standing around», but serving fruit.
    Which is perhaps not very interesting, but at least rather pleasant. :)
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  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    These are from an interesting series, if in very poor condition. A personification of Parthia on a sestertius of Antoninus Pius - note the bow and quiver held in resting position:

    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (139 A.D.) Aurum Coronarium
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head rt. / [PARTHIA] [COS II (in ex.)] S [C ], Parthia standing left, holding crown, bow & quiver on ground.
    RIC 586 (R); Cohen 572; BMCRE IV 1191; Strack 792
    (24.39 grams / 30 mm)

    Sear: "The remarkable inclusion of a rival state in this series commemorating provincial tax relief would seem to suggest that the Parthians were subject to some form of financial obligation to the Roman government consequent of
    Trajan's capture of Ctesiphon in AD 115 and the loss of the celebrated golden throne of the Arsacids"

    From the same series, also in lousy shape, Cappadocia - note Mt. Argaeus to the left at feet:

    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (139 A.D.) Aurum Coronarium
    Rome Mint

    ANT[ONI]NVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right /[CAPPADOCIA] [COS II] in ex.,
    Cappadocia standing left, holding crown & vexillum, Mt. Argaeus with star above at left of her feet.
    RIC III 1056 (RIC 580 (R)).
    (23.34 grams / 31 x 29 mm)

    "Hadrian's successor Antoninus Pius also issued a 'provincial' series of coins, in this case to celebrate the remission of half of the aurum coronarium ('crown-gold'). This was a demand made by the emperor on the communities of the Empire (and sometimes even on foreign states) at the time of his accession and on certain anniversaries of his rule. Antoninus' remission of half of this burdensome tax at the time he came to the throne was greeted with much enthusiasm and led to the production of an extensive series of aes coinage depicting crown-bearing personifications of various provinces (and even of the Parthian kingdom)." David Sear, Roman Coins and their Values, Volume 1, The Millennium Edition
  12. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Not sure if this As displaying military equipment fits this thread; it is from Rome and not from Judea, Dacia, or Armenia:

    Rome, 143 - 144 AD
    26 x 29 mm, 10.700 g
    RIC III 736A; Sear 4293;

    Ob.: ANTONINVS AVG-PIVS P P TR P COS III laureate head right
    Rev.: IMPERATOR II, in exergue (ANCILIA) Two ancilia, S - C

    upload_2021-1-21_17-14-55.png upload_2021-1-21_17-15-7.png
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  13. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    This posthumous denarius of Antoninus Pius depicts his funeral pyre on the reverse:
    Antoninus Pius pyre.jpg
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  14. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Do you consider this interesting?

    My sestertius of Pius RIC III 774
  15. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Love that Rhea Silvia, amazing coin.

    Here's my sestertius with folks standing, sitting, giving, taking, counting.

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  16. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

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  17. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Antoninius Pius Ae Sestertius 141 AD Obv. Head right laureate. Rv. Façade of the decastyle Temple of Roma. RIC 622 27.07 grms 30 mm Photo by W. Hansen
    piuss7.jpg This façade is part of the back to back Temples of Venus and Roma near the Colosseum 800px-Temple_of_Venus_and_Roma_(14819291950).jpg The site today
    tvenere.jpg What it may have looked like back in 141 AD when it was dedicated. It should be noted that the building did not receive universal praise when built. Critics stated that the seated cult statues should they try to stand would hurt their heads going through the roof. There are numerous coins minted by Hadrian that have very interesting and thought provoking reverses. I have already seen a few posted on this thread and I know there are many others.

    Attached Files:

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  18. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    These coins were issued by Antoninus Pius, the proud grandfather!

    This one looks like a goddess standing around, but the coin likely commemorates the birth of Fadilla to Faustina II; the children at the goddess' feet are thought to represent Faustina III and Lucilla.

    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 23.46 g, 32.3 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, December 159 - December 160.
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head, right.
    Rev: PIETATI AVG COS IIII, Pietas, standing facing, head left, holding globe in extended right hand and child on left arm; on either side of her, small girl standing, raising one hand.
    Refs: RIC 1031; BMCRE 2088-90; Cohen 621; Strack 1192; RCV 4205.
    Notes:RIC 1002 and BMCRE 2062 are misdescribed by Mattingly in both RIC3 and BMCRE4. It is extremely doubtful that any specimens read TR P XXII on obv., but actually read TR P XXIII with the final "I" being merged with the neck truncation.

    The children on the reverse of this denarius are thought by some numismatists to represent (from oldest to youngest) Lucilla, Faustina III, Fadilla, and newborn Cornificia.
    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.15 g, 18.1 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, December, AD 160- March, AD 161.
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIIII, laureate head, right.
    Rev: PIETATI AVG COS IIII, Faustina II (as Pietas) standing left, holding a child on each arm; at each side of her, a child standing looking towards her and raising hand.
    Refs: RIC 313c; BMCRE 1013-14; Cohen 631; Strack 384; RCV 4098.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  19. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Some excellent coins in this thread! Who knew A-Pi had so many interesting types. :D

    I think it should be pointed out that the reverse on @cmezner's coin doesn't show mere garden variety shields, but two of the ancilia, which were twelve sacred shields that the Salian priests kept guarded in the Temple of Mars. The first ancile was said to have fallen from the heavens, and it was prophesied that as long as it was preserved at Rome, the Romans would rule the world. Rome's second king, Numa Pompilius, had eleven more made and kept with the original to fool potential thieves. The ancilia would be carried by the Salian priests in a procession through the streets of Rome every March, the month sacred to the god of war. It's a neat reverse type, and these shields are seen only on these bronzes of Pius and one rare issue of denarii of Augustus.

    @dougsmit's Mars and Rhea Silvia is a favorite of mine too. The scene alludes to one of Rome's founding myths, with the union of Mars and Rhea Silvia producing Romulus and his brother Remus. It was probably issued in conjunction with the celebrations held to commemorate the 900th anniversary of Rome's founding.

    The "big pig" Doug mentions is another mythological type related to Rome's founding. It portrays a white sow suckling her young under an oak tree by a river, the sign given to Aeneas to indicate where he should establish a settlement for his Trojan refugees. Aeneas was an ancestor of Romulus and Remus through their mother, Rhea Silvia. The type was struck on sestertii and asses. I only have the smaller denomination, but it's one of my favorite Roman imperials.

    Antoninus Pius - As Pigs 103.jpg
    AE As. 11.02g, 28.6mm. Rome mint, AD 140-144. RIC 733; Cohen 450. O: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right. R: IMPERATOR II, Sow seated by a river under an oak tree suckling three piglets, another one before her; SC in exergue.
    Ex Old Sable Collection

    Might also be worth mentioning that in the Zodiac and Labours of Herakles series at Alexandria, A-Pi also issued amongst the most interesting of Roman Provincial coin types.
  20. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    How about an elephant just standing around? I think elephants are always interesting!

    COMBINED Ant. Pius elephant, large.jpg
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  21. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Thanks @zumbly for sharing the very interesting information about the ancilia, didn't know the details, just thought they were shields used in battles. One never stops learning at CT :)
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