AE Sestertius. 23.14g, 30.9mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 148-149
REF: RIC III 855
OBVERSE: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right.
REVERSE: COS IIII, Aequitas standing left, holding scales in extended right hand and cornucopiae in left; S C in field.
Fine. A worn bronze in modest condition, but still pleasing in its heftiness and with an interesting mix of colours - deep greens and dark red with its high points worn down to reveal the original yellow of the orichalcum (brass) used for this denomination.
Antoninus Pius ruled for 23 years and is counted amongst the 'Five Good Emperors' of Rome during the 2nd century AD. Even though he was not the first (or even second) choice of his predecessor Hadrian to succeed him, the 52-year old Pius was widely respected by his colleagues in the Senate and as emperor would become very popular with the people.
His reign was a time of peace and prosperity for the empire, and he was himself an intelligent, moderate, and fair-minded ruler. Pius enacted laws that protected slaves and exercised clemency against those who spoke or plotted against him. He also avoided heavily taxing the people, and carefully managed the state finances. His death of natural causes in 160 at the age of 75 was cause for great mourning amongst the people.
ANTONINUS PIUS . AD 138-161 . AE Sestertius . Aequitas, Goddess of Fairness
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