|ROMAN BRONZE SESTERTIUS OF ANTONINUS PIUS, REIGNED AD 138-161
Antoninus Pius, bronze sestertius
Diameter: 34 mm.; Weight: 26.74 grams
Rome mint, struck AD 147
Obverse: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius right. Legend: ANTONINVS AVG PI-VS P P TR P COS IIII
Reverse: Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding hippocamp in right hand, winged caduceus in left, S[enatus] C[onsulto] (by decree of the Senate) across field. Legend: FELI-CIT-AS AVG
Very fine condition. Handsome portrait.
Reference: H. Mattingly, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III, no. 770. London. 1923-1994.
|Antoninus Pius presided over an Empire that was at the height of its powers. There were no wars of importance and no real problems, quite a difference from the more turbulent reigns that came before and after. In fact, he gave the Empire a needed period of calm and rest before the troubles that were to develop under Marcus Aurelius. If any period of Roman history can be considered a ‘golden age’, it must be the Antonine.