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Portraits Of Power - The Faces Of Imperial Rome

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 Posted 07/11/2019  11:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lucius Verus, 161 - 169

Lifetime

AR Denarius
L VERVS AVG ARM PART MAX, Laureate bust right
TR P VII IMP IIII COS III, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae

Posthumous

AR Denarius
DIVVS VERVS, Bare-headed bust right
CONSECRATIO, Eagle standing right, head left

Born in 130, Lucius Verus was only eight years old when his father Aelius died. Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, but compelled Pius to adopt Verus and Marcus Aurelius. The two were raised as imperial princes, and received the finest education in the Roman world under the tutleage of the renowned Marcus Cornelius Fronto, among others. He is described as an excellent student and skilled orator, although he was younger and fell behind the prodigal Marcus; this set the tone for their relationship until Verus' death. He served as Praetor and consul for the first time in 154, but unlike his adoptive brother did not hold a second consulship before becoming emperor, and was not as intricately involved in state affairs.

A delicate situation presented itself upon the death of Antoninus Pius in 161; despite Verus' skills, the Senate considered refusing him the Principate, preferring to have Aurelius as sole emperor. Indignant, Aurelius refused to accept the purple if Verus was not granted equal standing, and the Senate relented. The two shared the consulship in their first year as co-emperors in 161, and Marcus Aurelius' eleven year old daughter Lucilla was betrothed to Verus to solidify acceptance of their co-rule. The peace of their accession was soon over, as the Parthian King Vologases IV invaded the neutral buffer state of Armenia, expelled its king, and installed his own puppet. Bad intelligence led to a catastrophic defeat and annihilation of an entire Roman legion sent to stabilize the area; subsequent campaigns were similarly disastrous. Realizing the need for action, Aurelius sent Verus to the East to end the Parthian threat. Since Marcus had risen to meet every challenge that presented itself, Verus had become more laid back, indulgent, and some would even say lazy. Historians suspect that Aurelius had hoped the campaign would whip Verus into shape and make him a more moderate, frugal administrator--whether that was the case or not, Verus departed East, but not without bringing the comforts of Rome with him, including a literal circus of entertainers. Additionally, he picked up at least one mistress on the way, causing Aurelius to nearly cancel his daughter's betrothal. Verus made his base of operations at Antioch, drilled the soldiers and made preparations, and travelled up to Ephesus to marry the 14 year old Lucilla, who had been sent by Marcus Aurelius under the accompaniment of Faustina. Verus' generals launched a successful conquest of Armenia in 163, and established a new, Roman-style capital for the kingdom. They spent the following year making preparations, and from 165-166 marched through Parthian territory, taking and sacking the capital cities Seleucia and Ctesiphon. Unable to put up a serious resistance, Vologases IV struck a peace accord with Verus, ceding large tracts of territory to Rome. Verus returned to Rome where he shared a triumph with both his family and Aurelius', and returned to his pampered luxurious lifestyle. It is believed that Verus' troops brought back what would later be termed the Antonine Plague (possibly smallpox), which would have grave social, economic, and political effects on Rome and her provinces in the coming years.

In 168, the Danbue frontier ceased to be quiet as the Marcomanni tribe once again resumed raids on Roman territory; Verus and Marcus headed north together to deal with this threat. They returned to Rome later in the year, and Verus fell suddenly ill and died, either of food poisoning or the effects of the plague. He was 39 years old. Marcus Aurelius had his co-emperor deified, although coins commemorating this are much less common than for either Pius or Aurelius.
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Lucilla, Wife of Lucius Verus, d. 183?

As Augusta Filia, "Daughter of the Emperor". Struck prior to her marriage?

AR Denarius
LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Draped bust right
CONCORDIA, Concordia seated left, holding patera

As Augusta

LVCILLA AVGVSTA, Draped bust right
CONCORDIA, Concordia seated left, holding patera and cornucopiae


Lucilla was probably born in 150, one of the oldest of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II's thirteen children. She was the older sister of Commodus. Upon her father's ascension as Augustus in 161, he arranged a marriage between Lucilla (who was about 11) and his co-emperor Lucius Verus (who was about 30), despite the fact that he was legally her uncle. There was considerable call for Aurelius to be sole emperor, and this marriage was critical to bringing stability in the wake of Pius' death.

Verus marched east in 162 to deal with the threat of Parthian king Vologases IV. Lucilla's marriage was postponed both by this campaign, and perhaps briefly reconsidered when Aurelius heard of Verus' extravagant indulgences on the campaign trail, including a mistress. Regardless, the teenaged Lucilla was sent to marry Verus in 164, with her mother Faustina as an escort. The couple were wed in Ephesus, Ionia to much celebration, and Lucilla accompanied her new husband for the rest of his campaign, returning to Rome victorious in 166.

During her marriage, she bore Verus three children, of which only Lucilla Plautia survived to adulthood. Verus died in 168 while on campaign against the Marcomanni, probably of smallpox. The now-eighteen year old Lucilla was given in marriage again by her father to the Syrian-born Claudius Quintianus, who was about 45. She and her mother both opposed this union, and Lucilla resented the loss of the power and influence she enjoyed as Augusta. Nevertheless, the two had one son, Pompeianus.

Her brother Commodus came to power in 177, and she despised him for the depravity and instability of his sole rule. In 182, she orchestrated an assassination attempt on Commodus, seeking to replace him with her husband and re-establish herself as empress. Implicated in the plot also were her daughter Plautia, her husband's nephew Quintianus, and several of her family members. Quintianus was to deliver the killing blow, but made the fatal error of announcing himself before delivering the blow, allowing Commodus' guards to subdue him. The men were all put to death swiftly, and Lucilla along with her female co-conspirators were banished to Capri, where they were quietly executed on Commodus' orders about a year later in 183. She was about 33 years old.

Lucilla's husband Quintianus denied involvement in the plot, and retreated from public life until Commodus was murdered. He then returned to Rome, where he declined the title of Emperor from both Pertinax and Didius Julianus. Lucilla's son went on to become a senator, and was later murdered on the orders of Caracalla as a suspected Geta sympathizer.
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Figured it's about time this thread got moving again!

Marcus Aurelius, 161-180

As Caesar under Antoninus Pius

AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F, Bare head right
COS DES II, Honos standing left, holding branch and cornucopiae
Struck AD 144 for his second consulship at age 22-23


As Augustus

Joint reign with Lucius Verus

M ANTONINVS AVG, Bare head right
CONCORDIA AVG TR P XVI / COS III, Concordia seated left, holding patera

AE "Limes" denarius, struck for soldiers' pay during the Marcomannic wars

M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, Laureate head right
TR P XXI IMP IIII COS III, Providentia holding cornucopia and baton over globe at feet
Base metal strike of RIC 170, struck 167 AD.

Joint reign with Commodus

M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARM, laureate head right
TR P XXXI IMP VIIII COS III P P, Jupiter seated left, holding Victory and sceptre.
Struck late 177
Fun note- this coin is given as RIC 381, and although listed as "Common" there are no records of another example being sold in any internet auction archive. It appears this coin is a modified RIC 371, the same type but IMP VIII - the late die state indicates that no separate die was prepared, and it is entirely possible that only a handful were ever struck!


Posthumous

DIVVS M ANTONINVS PIVS, Bare head right
CONSECRATIO, Eagle standing atop altar


Born in 121 to praetor Marcus Annius Verus (brother of the future empress Faustina the Elder) and wealthy socialite Domitia Lucilla, Marcus Aurelius would go on to become the last of the Five Good Emperors; his eventual death marking the beginning of Rome's slow decline to dissolution. His father died when he was a young boy, so he was sent to live with his grandfather, also named Marcus Annius Verus, who was a close political ally and personal friend of emperor Hadrian. Some suspect the two families were related via Sabina and Matidia; however that genealogical information is lost. Aurelius became enticed by the life and ways of a philosopher early in his education, and chose to live simply and frugally, despite his family's great wealth. He came to the attention of Hadrian, who evidently saw great potential in the young boy's future. On the death of Aelius in 138, Hadrian adopted the futre Antoninus Pius on the condition that he adopt Aurelius and Verus, and groom them to inherit the empire. Marcus Aurelius was betrothed to Ceionia Fabia, sister of Lucius Verus, and Verus was betrothed to Faustina Minor, daughter of Antoninus Pius.

Although the adoption was intended to be technically equal, there was no real doubt that Aurelius was the favored heir. Soon after Hadrian's death, the betrothals were annulled, and Aurelius was engaged to Faustina, which Pius felt was a better match. Aurelius held his first consulship in 140 at the age of 19; he was granted the title of Caesar, and began to appear on coinage; Verus never appeared on coinage as Caesar under Pius. The two adoptive brothers shared the consulship in 145, and Marcus Aurelius was married to Faustina that year. During this time, Aurelius and Verus were tutored by the best teachers in the empire, most notably Fronto, who would continue to advise Marcus for many years. Aurelius was universally recognized as a prodigy, and virtually left his brother Verus in the dust; he was entrusted with actual civic duties while Verus held only ceremonial offices. During this time, Aurelius and Faustina tried many times for children; virtually all died in infancy or early childhood. The loss of his children seems to have turned Marcus deeper into Stoicism, as he mentions in his Meditations, "Pray not for some way to save your child, but for a way to lose your fear of this. Your children are leaves. The winds scatters some to the ground--such are the children of men. As you kiss your child goodnight, tell yourself they may be dead in the morning."

By the end of the 150s, Antoninus Pius, who attained his 70th year in 156, began to suffer from old age and failing health. More state affairs fell to Marcus during this time, and in 161 Antoninus Pius died. Upon hearing the news, both the Senate and the people of Rome began calling for Verus to step down and allow Marcus Aurelius to rule as the sole emperor of Rome. Indignant, Aurelius threatened to step down himself if Verus was compelled to retreat from public office. To consolidate their status as co-Augusti (the first in Roman history), Marcus promised the hand of his daughter Lucilla to Verus, the wedding to take place when she was old enough to marry. From the surviving letters, it seems that Marcus Aurelius did not even want to serve as emperor, preferring the simple life of a Stoic Philosopher--it was this philosophy, however, that compelled him to fulfill his duty to succeed his adoptive father to the Imperium. Six months after his succession, in August 161, Faustina gave birth to the twins Antoninus and Commodus - the latter of whom would become the first Roman emperor born in the purple.

The tranquility enjoyed by Pius came to an end soon after the new emperors' succession, as Parthia renewed hostilities in the East. Aurelius dispatched Verus to deal with the threat, which was vanquished and Verus returned triumphant. Not long after, however, the barbarians to the north and east of the empire began larger, more coordinated raids on Roman territory. Aurelius went to deal with the matter himself in 166, bringing Verus along with him. During this time, the Antonine Plague (probably smallpox or measles) ravaged the empire, claiming the life of Verus and very nearly Aurelius as well. During the next fourteen years, Marcus Aurelius spent nearly all of his time on campaign against the barbarians, rarely returning to Rome. While not actively commanding troops or performing his civic duties as Emperor, Aurelius penned his Meditations; an autobiography that doubled as a treatise on Stoic philosophy as a way of life--it is preserved in its near entirety, and remains both one of the most important Roman-era philosophical works, as well as an incredibly important and rich insight into the life and thought life of Marcus Aurelius.

Narrowly surviving a brush with death in 175, a rumor spread throughout the empire that Marcus Aurelius had died. As Commodus was not yet old enough to rule, the legions proclaimed the famed general Avidius Cassius emperor, apparently at the behest of Faustina, who wished to protect herself and the 13 year old Commodus from a possible purge of the imperial family, were a party hostile to the Antonines elected. This rebellion was put down in short order as Aurelius recovered, and Faustina died under unclear circumstances the following year. In 177, probably wishing to avoid another bout of unrest within the empire, Marcus Aurelius raised the 16 year old Commodus to the rank of co-emperor. Renewing his campaigns, Marcus Aurelius died of unspecified natural causes on 17 March 180, aged 58. The death of Marcus Aurelius was, even among contemporary historians, seen as the turning point of Roman history, and the end of the golden age of the Pax Romana.

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Faustina II, Wife of Marcus Aurelius, d. 176

As Pia Filia, struck under Antoninus Pius

AR Denarius
FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, Draped bust right
CONCORDIA, Concordia seated left

As Augusta

AR Denarius
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Draped bust right, wearing stephane
SAECVLI FELICIT, twin brothers Commodus and Titus Antoninus seated on draped throne.
Struck in 161 to commemorate the birth of the royal twins - the first in Roman history to be born in the purple.

Posthumous

AR Denarius
DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, Draped bust right
AETERNITAS, Eternity standing left, holding torch and adjusting veil


Born in about 130 to future emperor Antoninus and Faustina, Faustina Minor was the future emperor's only child to survive into adulthood, and would serve to solidify the continuation of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty for another half-century. Originally betrothed to Lucius Verus upon her father's elevation to Caesar, her betrothal was switched to Marcus Aurelius, whom she would marry in 145 while still a teenager. They would be married for 30 years and have thirteen children during that time, only five of which survived to adulthood. As a Stoic, Marcus Aurelius did not gush over his feelings for his wife, but enough evidence exists to conclude that Aurelius and Faustina were at least deeply fond of one another. Faustina accompanied her husband on many of his military campaigns, where she was given the affectionate title, Mater Castrorum, or Mother of the Camp. While not with her husband, Faustina was usually left in charge with keeping things running smoothly in Rome.

Perhaps due to the power and influence she exercised both over her husband and the empire, ancient historians are almost always hostile toward Faustina. Most notably, they accuse her of serial infidelity with aristocrats, soldiers, and even gladiators (insinuating that Commodus was the illegitimate child of a gladiator, hence his obsession with the arena.) The veracity of these claims remains uncertain. It is generally accepted that, fearing her husband had died in 175, she may well have been the one to encourage Avidius Cassius into claiming the purple for himself, although the claim that she did so through seduction is less well accepted. Faustina died the following year in Cappadocia, although sources disagree as to how. Her cause of death is usually cited as an "accident" although theories of illness, murder, or even suicide have been put forth. She was about 45 years old. Following her death, she was deeply mourned by her husband, who had her memory consecrated and temples erected in her honor.
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 Posted 12/03/2019  1:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve, you have embarked on a great quest. One I hope to finish in my lifetime. Only, many of the emperors are out of my price range at the moment, which is disheartening. On the other hand, it's always a fun challenge finding one at a great price.


Quote:
. but most of my coins have been upgraded, and a significant number of holes have been filled. I have much stricter standards this time around .

It really shows, the quality and beauty of your coins are incredible. Lately, I feel the same way, I'm trying to stay away from lower grades and saving until I can buy a higher quality coin. However, as many of us know, this won't apply to the rare emperors. Undeniably, I still find unique character in worn coins. I will always keep a few around.


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 Posted 12/03/2019  6:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great write ups (I always learn something new thanks!) and lovely coins as always Steve!

I find the portrait of the As Pia Filia really appealing and that M.A. VIIII..WOW nice portrait and seems to be a very rare coin! Great find....

Keep em coming Paul
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 Posted 12/03/2019  6:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great update, Steve.
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 Posted 12/06/2019  10:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all! I'm glad that the thread is being appreciated, even if it does occassionally come to a halt. Work is slowing down for the year, so I hope to pick up the pace a bit more over the next few weeks, holidays permitting

Now, of course everyone knows who is coming next in our lineup....
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 Posted 12/06/2019  10:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
... or maybe not!

Marcus Annius Verus Caesar, died 169



AE18 of Cilicia, Tarsus
KOPOI CEBACTOY, Confronted busts of Annius Verus (left) and Commodus (right), caduceus and club between
Decastyle temple, KOINOC KIΛIKI above frame, TAΡCOY MHTΡOΠ below

As is the case with most of the children of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina, the life of Annius Verus was cut tragically short. Born in 162 or 163, Annius Verus was the last or second to last of the emperor's thirteen children. In celebration of their uncle Lucius Verus' triumph over Parthia, both boys were formally granted the title of Caesar on October 12, 166. Annius Verus was only three years old. At age seven, he developed a tumor beneath his ear, which was successfully removed but became infected and the young Caesar soon died. Historians record that Marcus grieved for only five days, carrying on with his duties all the while.

Your children are leaves. The winds scatters some to the ground--such are the children of men. As you kiss your child goodnight, tell yourself they may be dead in the morning.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Annius Verus is depicted only on this short series of coinage from Tarsus, and potentially on one "anonymous" quadrans depicting a youthful bust and dating to roughly this time period.
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 Posted 12/07/2019  5:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commodus, 177 - 192

As Caesar

AR Denarius
COMMODO CAES AVG FIL GERM SARM, bare-headed, draped bust right
SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, holding flower
Minted 175-176
(The Hope of the Public... if only Marcus knew!)

Joint rule, young portrait


AR Denarius
L AVREL COMMODVS AVG, Laureate draped bust right
TR P III IMP II COS PP, Salus seated left, holding out branch to snake rising from altar
RIC 649
(Note this denarius is missing both the altar and the snake - I am not sure why.)

Joint rule, mature portrait


AR Denarius
M ANTONINVS COMMODVS AVG, Laureate head right
TR P VI IMP IIII COS III PP, Aequitas standing left
Minted 181

Sole Rule


AR Denarius
M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS, laureate head right
TR P VIII IMP VI COS IIII PP, Mars advancing right, holding spear and trophy
Minted 183

As "HERCVLI ROMANO"

AR Denarius
L AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, Head right, clad in lionskin headdress
HERCVLI ROMANO AVG, the bow, quiver, and club of Hercules
Struck 191/192


Born on 31 August 161, Commodus was the first Roman emperor to be born in the purple as the child of emperor Marcus Aurelius and empress Faustina Minor. He had a twin brother, Antoninus, who died at age 4 or 5. Commodus was raised in the cushy imperial lifestyle throughout his early childhood, falling short of his father's lofty expectations to be succeeded by a learned emperor equal to or greater than himself. Commodus and his younger brother Marcus Annius Verus were made Caesares in 166 to celebrate the triumphant return of their uncle Lucius Verus from his Parthian campaign. Marcus Annius Verus died in 169 following complications from a surgery, leaving Commodus the sole heir apparent to Marcus Aurelius.

After being brought on a few tours on his father's military campaigns, Commodus was granted the honorific Imperator in 176, and was raised to co-Augustus with his father in 177, aged 16. That year, he was wed to Bruttia Crispina in an arranged political marriage. He continued on tour with his father, and succeeded him as the sole emperor of Rome on 17 March 180, aged 18. He concluded a peace treaty with the tribes north of the Danbue, which miraculously was honored and marked a return to peace for Rome. To assist in paying the troops, Commodus debased the denarius significantly, letting it fall below 75% fine for the first time since Nero. The teenaged emperor, unlike his father, had little interest in civic duty or restrained rule; he preferred to indulge in worldly pleasures and delegate responsibility to his advisors and favorites. The army and public appreciated Commodus' generosity and love of gladatorial games, but the Senate quickly grew to resent him and demand more decisive action, which he often delivered rashly in a knee-jerk fashion. In 182, he survived a coup attempt orchestrated by his sister Lucilla, who sought to replace him with her own husband Pompeianus. The assassination was botched, and Commodus had the conspirators killed and his sister banished to Capri, where she could be silently murdered away from the public view.

An inordinate amount of power ultimately fell to Cleander, a deeply corrupt chamberlain and favorite of Commodus who used his proximity to the emperor to assume nearly equal power, and then line his pockets by auctioning off positions within the Senate and public offices. Meanwhile, Commodus' love for combat grew unchecked, and used his absolute power to draft sparring opponents, whom he usually killed. Cleander met his violent end in 190 when an angry mob drove him to seek refuge with Commodus, who had his favorite beheaded for public spectacle. Meanwhile, Commodus' obsession with games and bloodshed pushed him over the brink into madness, and in a bout of megalomania, publicly declared himself to be the living demi-god Hercules. He commissioned statues, coins, and games to commemorate this accession, and he began to appear in the arena dressed as Hercules in lionskin, where he would slay opponents in combat and bludgeon beggars to death for his own amusement. By the end of 192 he was killing dozens of human and animal opponents daily, and all citizens grew to fear and hate the madman who was their emperor. On 31 December 192, Commodus was poisoned in a conspiracy to replace him with his praetorian prefect, Pertinax. He vomited up the poison and recovered, only to be strangled in his bath that night by his wrestling partner, Narcissus. He was 31 years old.

Ironically, within about a year of his death, his successor Septimius Severus issued the order to deify Commodus and mint consecration coinage, apparently to tick off the Senate. Sixty years later, Decius also followed suit, minting coins for the divine Commodus as part of his "Best Emperors" series of antoninianii.
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 Posted 12/07/2019  6:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Crispina, wife of Commodus, died 191?


AR Denarius
CRISPINA AVGVSTA, Draped bust right
VENVS FELIX, Venus seated left, holding victory and scepter

Hailing from a noble and wealthy family, the fourteen year old Bruttia Crispina was wed to the sixteen year old emperor Commodus in a political move engineered by their fathers. Little detail on her early life or marriage to Commodus survives, but it is known that Lucilla was deeply envious of her new sister-in-law and resented her for holding the power that she once held. She was unable to conceive any children by Commodus, which the deranged emperor somehow twisted into the belief that she had been engaging in extramarital affairs. Commodus banished his wife to Capri in 188 on the charge of adultery, although it appears he did not divorce her, as she is mentioned in inscriptions as late as 191, and disappears after. It is assumed Commodus had her quietly executed, just as he had done with his sister Lucilla.
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 Posted 12/07/2019  6:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great coins Steve!
I would just like to rewind..............To yesterday..
Marcus Annius Verus Caesar!
WOW!....I thought you might, but wasn't sure....Thats a rare coin Steve great find!
Here's one I prepared earlier ...But I'm sure you've viewed it...

OWNER COMMENTS:

This ancient coin was struck in the city of Tarsus, under Rome's suzerainty ever since 67 BC and Pompey the Great's campaign against Cilician pirates marauding the region. Tarsus' coins provide interesting and important insights into the history of the ancient Roman Empire. For example, the current coin is perhaps the only regular issue representing Annius Verus (162? - 169? AD), son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Empress Faustina Jr.

The obverse depicts the confronted busts of two young males, each bareheaded and draped, with a caduceus and a club crossed between them. The obverse inscription, KOPOI CEBACTOV, indicates that the two figures are sons of the Roman Augustus, namely Marcus Aurelius. It is widely viewed that the figures are Commodus and Annius Verus, although the obverse inscription does not provide any further insight. Interestingly, a medallion contemporaneously struck in Rome depicts similarly confronted portraits of the two imperial brothers, wherein the attribution is confirmed from the accompanying inscription. With regards to the current coin, physiognomy and other evidence suggest that the figure on the left is Caesar Commodus and the figure on the right is Caesar Annius Verus.

By the time this coin was struck (late 160s AD), Faustina Jr. had borne at least a dozen imperial children; however, owing to a high rate of child mortality, only two boys survived, namely Commodus and Annius Verus. For an Empire struggling against plague and barbarian invasions, the two boys represented Rome's future. As it turned out, only one of the two boys, namely Commodus, survived to adulthood and succeeded father Marcus Aurelius. It was the first time in a century that ascension was based on direct bloodline, rather than merit. The result proved disastrous, as Commodus' increasing megalomania plunged Rome into a crisis that lasted another century.

Besides information gleaned from coins such as this one, no information exists regarding Annius Verus and his potential to lead the Empire. If he - instead of Commodus - had been the last surviving Caesar, perhaps Rome's history would have been very different.

Coin Details: ROMAN EMPIRE, Commodus and Annius Verus, Caesars, AD 166-169/70 and AD 166-177, Cilicia, Tarsus mint, AE (18mm, 3.72 g, 6h), NGC Grade: Ch XF, Strike: 4/5, Surface: 3/5, Obverse: Confronted busts of Commodus left and Annius right, each bareheaded and draped; between, crossed caduceus and club, KOPOI CEBACTOV, Reverse: Decastyle temple with eagle in pediment, KOINOC CILIACP TAP COY MHTROP, References: SNG France 1455; SNG Levante 1018.

I actually have the book ' The meditations of Marcus Aurelius' coming for christmas I hope its a good read?

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 Posted 12/07/2019  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great stuff, Steve (and Paul). Neat to see the aging of Commodus through the series - the die engravers definitely captured the progression.
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 Posted 12/08/2019  9:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks guys. Annius caesar isn't the only one of these rare one-offs that I added this year, but unfortunately the rest fall behind chronologically and will need a separate run to present them in order. Coins I originally thought would never be within reach are suddenly becoming obtainable as many venues are offering them now, often unnoticed by the more serious collectors with deeper pockets than I. Thanks by the way for posting an example of what my coin should look like!

Thanks also Bob. Commodus was a bit of a sticking point for progress on this thread because I just wasn't satisfied with the Mars denarius for an emperor who single handedly changed the course of Roman history through his immense corruption and willful neglect. Sadly, high end denarii of Commodus are inexplicably tough to find - nearly all of them have significant striking flaws on one side or the other. I need to get a sestertius, too - those often have really nice "mountain man" bearded portraits from his later years that can't be found elsewhwere.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 12/24/2019  9:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I could spend days happily reading threads like this. It is a great way to learn. The write ups are brimming with information, and the coins illustrating the text, are a joy. A lot of time and effort must have gone into putting it all together, so thank you for sharing.

Jim
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