AR Denarius. 3.33g, 18.2mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 163-164
REF: RIC 120
OBVERSE: M ANTONINVS AVG ARMEN P M, laureate head right.
REVERSE: TR P XVIII IMP II COS III, Mars, helmeted, in military dress, standing right, holding inverted vertical spear in right hand and resting left hand on round shield set on ground.
Very Fine. Well-centered.
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 . Mars, the War God
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