AR Denarius. 3.21g, 17.4mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 173-174
REF: RIC 296
OBVERSE: ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVIII, laureate head right.
REVERSE: IMP VI COS III, Marcus Aurelius, togate, standing front, head left, holding branch up in right hand and short transverse sceptre in left hand.
Very Fine. Bright, clean metal. Reverse struck from worn die.
Marcus Aurelius was one of the "Five Good Emperors" (so named by Niccolo Machiavelli) whose reigns during the 2nd century saw the Roman Empire prosper and reach the zenith of its military power. In his youth, Aurelius was most passionate about philosophy, and he was slow to embrace his responsibilities as a future emperor. However, under the guidance of his tutor, Fronto, and the stewardship of his adoptive father, the emperor Antoninus Pius, he eventually became a ruler who was, first and foremost, a selfless servant of the empire.
Aurelius is today perhaps best known as the author of Meditations, 12 books that collect his personal reflections on life and philosophy, and by doing so exemplify many chief principles of the Stoic school of thought that he followed. Historian Michael Grant wrote that Marcus Aurelius was "the noblest of all the men who, by sheer intelligence and force of character, have prized and achieved goodness for its own sake and not for any reward".
MARCUS AURELIUS . AD 161-180 . AR Denarius . Emperor holding branch
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