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Dates of operation: c. 289 - 40 B.C. and 20 B.C. - 476 A.D. Mintmarks: R, RM, ROM, ROMA, ROMOB, VRB ROM, SMR.
Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.
193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in RomeSH89752. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 14a; Woodward, Didius, p. 79 (dies 11/E); Banti 1, Nice F, excellent portrait, attractive dark brown patina, typical tight flan, weight 18.230 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signum standard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex CNG e-auction 276 (21 Mar 2012), lot 420 (sold for $2520 including buyer's fees); rare; $2200.00 (€1936.00)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
From the Maxwell Hunt Collection.
The abbreviated reverse legend translates, "the Roman people are at peace everywhere, the Temple of Janus doors are closed." On the rare occasions when Rome was not at war the doors of the 'Twin Janus' were ceremonially closed, an event Nero commemorated extensively on the coinage of 65 - 67 A.D. -- Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1 by David R. SearSH91554. Copper as, RIC I 349, Mac Dowall WCN 295, BMCRE I 230, Hunter I 104, BnF II -, Cohen I -, SRCV I -, VF, excellent portrait, well centered on a tight flan, weight 11.977 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, view of the Temple of Janus from the front left corner, temple front on the right with garland over closed doors within arch, the left side of the temple to the left with long latticed window, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $800.00 (€704.00)
Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.
In 217, the Colosseum was badly damaged by a fire started by lightning, which destroyed the wooden upper levels of the amphitheater.SH91315. Silver denarius, RIC IV 102.2a (S), BMCRE V 88, RSC III 3, SRCV II 7449, Hunter III 2 var. (also cuirassed), FDC, full boarders centering, bold strike, toned, flow lines, small closed edge crack, weight 3.149 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed and draped right, from front; reverse PRINC IVVENTVTIS (Prince of Youth), Diadumenian standing facing, bare head right, wearing military garb, standard in right hand, short scepter in left hand, two grounded standards to right; scarce; $720.00 (€633.60)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
Of this type, the Dictionary of Roman Coins says, "This is a finely designed coin in first brass [a sestertius]. The equestrian group is in a spirited style of workmanship, both horse and man. The Augustus raises aloft his right hand, and with his left holds the bridle of his generous steed, as setting out on him on some journey, about that vague period, his third consulate."SH89464. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 645 (S), BMCRE III 1313, Hunter II 436, Cohen II 590 var. (bust), SRCV II 3594, Choice VF, mottled turquoise and brown patina, well centered, nice portrait, legends a little weak, edge crack, weight 24.967 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, emperor on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute, reins in left hand, S - C divided low across field, EXPED AVG in exergue; Numismatik Naumann auction 72 (2 Dec 2018), lot 458; scarce; $650.00 (€572.00)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta
On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.SH91675. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; Hunter I 18; SRCV I 2296, Choice VF, nice portrait, deep old cabinet toning, well centered, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 3.020 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse mourning Jewess seated right, trophy of captured arms behind her, IVDAEA in exergue; ex Maxwell Hunt Collection; $600.00 (€528.00)
Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.
Galerius was Caesar and tetrarch under Maximianus. Although a talented general and administrator, Galerius is better known for his key role in the "Great Persecution" of Christians. He stopped the persecution under the condition the Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after.SH91317. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Rome 29b (R2), RSC V 219a, Hunter V 14, SRCV IV 14264, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, nearly as struck but with die wear, weight 3.286 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), the four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod in front of gated enclosure with six turrets; rare; $540.00 (€475.20)
Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus
For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss). RB92463. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, well centered on a squared flan, light bumps and scratches, weight 26.206 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 330o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, right hand extended over flaming altar at feet on left, incense box in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $500.00 (€440.00)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
RPC II notes the style of Domitian's cistophori is similar to that of the Rome mint and the die axis is always 6:00 like Rome and unlike Ephesus. It is likely they were struck at Rome. BMCRE notes the fineness is 85%.RS89459. Silver cistophorus, RPC II 866, RIC II-1 845, BMCRE II 225, SNG Cop 431, SNGvA 6581, RSC II Domitia and Domitian 2, F, toned, scratches and marks, some legend weak, weight 9.622 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome (or uncertain Anatolian) mint, 82 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII•, laureate head of Domitian right; reverse DOMITIA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Domitia right, hair massed in front and in long plait behind; rare; $450.00 (€396.00)
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
In 146, Marcus Aurelius received the imperium proconsular and Faustina the Younger was given the title Augusta.SH73156. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1669, RIC III 767a, Strack III 974, Cohen II 320, Hill UCR 709, SRCV II 4168, VF, nice green patina, nice portrait, light scratches, tight flan, weight 22.051 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverse Antoninus in slow quadriga left, eagle-tipped scepter in left, reins in right, COS IIII / S C in two lines in exergue; $380.00 (€334.40)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta
This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues. SH89760. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; Hunter I 18; SRCV I 2296, aVF/F, nice portrait, tight flan, struck with a worn reverse dies, clear IVDAEA, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.989 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse Jewess seated right, mourning, veiled, supporting chin with left hand, trophy of captured arms behind her, IVDAEA in exergue; $360.00 (€316.80)