Silver Denarius. 3.44g, 18.9mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 140
REF: RIC 417a
OBVERSE: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
REVERSE: AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right.
Good Very Fine. Nice example of a popular dynastic type. Excellent portrait of young Marcus Aurelius on the reverse.
Hadrian had agreed to designate Antoninus Pius as his successor on the condition that Pius in turn adopt two of Hadrian's young favorites, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, as his sons. Pius had no sons of his own, and dutifully saw to the necessary grooming of the teenagers who would become Rome's first joint emperors.
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 . Denarius . Double bust dynastic issue
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