PERTINAX. Æ As. Rome, 1 January – 28 March 193 AD.
Obv. IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG Laureate head right
Rev. LAETITIA TEMPORVM COS II SC Laetitia standing left, holding scepter and crown.
RIC 33; Cohen 22 (80 F)
The son of a freedman, Publius Helvius Pertinax never-the-less seems to have espoused all the traditional Roman virtues. He received a good education and his first career was that of a teacher, but he soon gave that up and went into the army. His abilities were great and he rapidly advanced to high rank. Made a senator by Marcus Aurelius and consul in 175, he governed several provinces, including Syria, Britain and Africa (where he suppressed a revolt in 188-189). By 192, when he entered into his second consulship, he was prefect of Rome, and almost had to have known about the conspiracy formed late that year to dispatch Commodus, who intended to assume his eighth consulate on 1 January 193 dressed as a gladiator, an action that was viewed with horror by virtually all senior governmental officials. After the murder, Pertinax was made emperor, but like Galba 124 years earlier, his reforms and economies enraged the soldiery, especially the Praetorians, and in a mutiny they invaded the palace and murdered him on 28 March, 193. [Leu]
Very rare, the middle bronzes for Pertinax are much rarer than sestertii.
From Dorotheum Vienna, June 1955, Lot 243 (Apostolo Zeno collection, 1379)
Apostolo Zeno was a 17th-18th century Venetian nobleman, poet, librettist, journalist, and man of letters. He was born of Cretan Greek descent in Venice in 1668. He wrote libretti for operas of Scarlatti and Vivaldi. Having been named as historiographer of the court by Charles VI, he stayed in Vienna from 1718 until 1729 as a poet laureate to the imperial court. He then returned to Venice, dedicating himself to works of erudition and to coin-collecting. He died in 1750. [from Wikipedia]
Zeno sold his collection to the monastery at St. Florian near Linz in Austria. Around 1870 F. Kenner, coin curator in Vienna, published a book on some of the more interesting Greek coins in the Zeno-St. Florian collection. It seems that the monastery decided to sell in 1955 because they needed the cash for a new heating system. The Dorotheum sold the collection in a series of three important catalogues by Robert Göbl. [from C. Clay]