Silver Denarius. 3.31g, 18.1mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 151-152
REF: RIC 217 (scarce)
OBVERSE: IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right.
REVERSE: TR POT XV COS IIII, Pietas standing right, in front of altar, holding with right hand fore-legs of hind and holding dish of fruit on left hand; PIETAS in exergue.
Very Fine. A few thin flan cracks. Interesting and scarce issue.
Pietas was one of the most important virtues in ancient Rome, embodying the sense filial piety as well as personal duty to state and emperor. She was very commonly employed on Imperial coinage, but her unusual depiction here, holding a sacrificial hind, is unique to Antoninus Pius.
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 . "Pietas with hind" . Scarce
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