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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

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Imperial, Roman – 139 AD

Antoninus Pius

From Ancient Galleries

Imperial, Roman – 139 AD

Obverse: Bust of Emperor Antoninus Pius facing right, bare head and bearded.
Reverse: Goddess Fortuna standing left, holding cornucopiae and steering rudder.

Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, Bare head of Antoninus Pius facing right. Rev: TR POT COS II, Goddess Fortuna standing left holding rudder and cornucopiae.

Antoninus Pius, named Fulvus Boinius Arrius Antoninus, was born in 86 AD. He was raised in the noble Arrius household by his wealthy maternal grandmother as a thoughtful intellect and trained administrator. Antoninus later held the offices of quaestor, praetor and consul all by year 120 AD. He was then appointed proconsul of Italia and later Asia by the Emperor Hadrian , who admired his disposition, political acumen and honest concern for Rome’s welfare. The aging Hadrian adopted Antoninus in winter of 138 AD, shortly after the death of Hadrian’s only son Lucius Aelius. Hadrian then became victim to a long illness that led to his death in July of 138, during which time Antoninus was required to assume imperial duties as a “Caesar” designate. This coin was issued in early 139 AD, only six months after Antoninus was proclaimed Emperor by the Senate. The obverse depicts the bare head bust of Antoninus facing right, without the Emperor’s usual laureate wreath and IMP(erator) prefix. The early bare head coinage as Emperor signify his early reign and is thought to be Antoninus projecting the image of a considerate statesman, reflecting a tactful and modest homage honoring his predecessor’s death just six months prior. The obverse legend ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP ascribes the start of his official reign and start of 2nd consulship (COS II), 1 January 139 AD. This is his earliest title as “Augustus,” “Pius” (suffix given for securing Hadrian’s senatorial consecration) and “PP” (Pater Patriae – Father of Country), but noticeably omits the prefix IMP to emphasize his deliberately patient ascension. The coin reverse depicts the Roman goddess Fortuna standing left while guiding a ship’s rudder with her right hand. This metaphor alludes to her powers of control to “steer” mortal lives and their fates. She also holds a Cornucopiae in her left arm filled with the fruits of harvest, an image representing her ability to bestow prosperity and abundance.

Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.40 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: 139 AD.
Attribution: Roman Silver Coins 859; BMC 100; Roman Imperial Coins 49; Sear 4116.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution