AR Denarius. 3.23g, 17.3mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 140-143
REF: RIC 102B
OBVERSE: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
REVERSE: VIRTVS AVG, Virtus, helmeted, in military dress, standing, front, head left holding vertical spear reversed in right hand and parazonium, upright at shoulder, in left.
Attractive portrait of Pius. Some light cleaning scratches on obverse.
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 . AR Denarius . Virtus, the paragon of Virtue
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