AE Sestertius. 23.01g, 32mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 159-160
REF: RIC 1031; Cohen 621
OBVERSE: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right.
REVERSE: PIETATI AVG COS IIII, Pietas standing left holding globe and child, two children at feet; S-C in field.
Very Fine/Almost Very Fine. Despite the scattered pitting on the reverse, still an eye-appealing, and very large coin with its brassy orichalchum colour and strong portrait of Antoninus Pius.
This type was one of Pius's final issues, the reverse type of Pietas (the personification of piety) with children placing the focus on the next generation of imperial rulers.
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 . Pietas - Final Year Issue
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