Jump to content

Antoninus Pius


Antoninus Pius. A.D. 138-161. Æ medallion (44.87 g). Rome, A.D. 145-161. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate and cuirassed bust right / PIETAS in exergue, two nude young men advancing left, drawing ornate car containing female figure raising hands in prayer; pillar and tetrastyle temple set on podium in background. Cf. Gnecchi II pg. 16, 67 and pl. 50, 6 (Sol mounting quadriga; same obverse die); Strack -; cf. Banti 547 (same); Toynbee -; Dressel -; BMCREM -; MRV -; MFA-; Froehner -; cf. Kent & Hirmer 307 (same); cf. Cohen 1135 (same). VF, dark green patina with flecks of brick-red, choice. Unique and unpublished. Ex Triton VIII (11 January 2005), 1141. Realized USD 7900 on an estimate of USD 7500. CNG: The period of Pius’ fourth consulship provided the opportunity for issuing a number of medallions. Those which commemorate the 900th anniversary of Rome in 148 AD have clear Roman or Italian themes. Others, however, were inspired by Greek mythology and, on this occasion, perhaps an episode of early Greek history. According to Herodotus, the second example of happiness Solon gave to Croesus was the tale of Cleobis and Biton. The two young men were Argive brothers who took the place of oxen in pulling their mother’s cart about two and a half miles from Argos to the temple of Hera. For their piety and strength the young men’s mother prayed to the goddess to give them whatever is best for man. After the feast, the youths lay down in the temple of Hera, slept and never woke. While the specific date and purpose for which this medallion was struck remain at present unknown, a possibility is 154 AD, the year in which Lucius Verus was appointed consul and a potential war with Parthia was averted. Verus could henceforward play a part in the running of the government along with his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius, and, like Cleobis and Biton before them, they could perform their filial duty to the emperor and the state. While this interpretation is possible, it is admittedly highly speculative and would be the perfect subject for further investigation.

From the album:

Roman Imperial Medallions

· 24 images
  • 24 images
  • 2 image comments

Photo Information

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...