Coins of Antoninus Pius

Roman Emperor (AD 138-161)

Antoninus Pius was born Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus in AD 86 of a consular family. He held a number of magistracies including the consulship and was a member of Hadrian’s advisory council prior to his adoption by Hadrian, who respected Antoninus for his loyalty and gentleness. During the last months of Hadrian’s life when his health was weakening, Antoninus was virtual ruler, holding all of Hadrian’s powers. Upon Hadrian’s death in 138, Antoninus succeeded peacefully to the position of emperor and the Senate granted him the title Pius in honor of Antoninus’ devotedness to his adoptive father, Hadrian, to the state, and the gods.

The reign of Antoninus Pius was a very peaceful one with few changes to the way the empire was governed. He found favor with the Senate by granting them control over Italy and continued to consult an advisory council concerning the affairs of state. He was known as a very generous individual who helped many communities financially and carried out extensive public building. He also cut public expenditure which left the treasury with the most money it had seen in years. Although Antoninus’ reign was known as a time of peace and well-being, instability still occurred in such areas as Numidia, Egypt, Dacia, and Mauretania. Yet these affairs were settled due to Antoninus’ peaceful influence. Antoninus Pius died 7 March 161 and was deified, leaving the empire in the hands of Marcus Aurelius.

AE Sestertius, Rome
c. AD 140 - after 144 

Obverse:
Laureate head of Antoninus Pius encircled by ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P

Reverse:
Salus draped standing l., feeding out of patera in r. hand a snake, coiled round altar l.; holds rudder on globe in l. hand.  <S.C>. to l. and r. in field. <COS> upwards l. II? downwards r.

********************

AE Dupondius, Rome
after AD 141

Obverse:
Faustina the elder (wife of Antoninus Pius) facing r.; hair ornamented. DIVA AVGVSTA upwards l. FAVSTINA downwards r.

Reverse:
Rectangular altar with door in front. Altar lighted. Most of usual inscription <PIETAS> AV<G> with S C below has been obliterated.

********************

AR Denarius, Rome
AD 146

Obverse:
Bust of Faustina the younger (daughter of Antoninus Pius) r., draped with hair waved and coiled on back of head , wearing a band of pearls; encircled by FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL

Reverse:
Venus standing r., raising veil and holding apple in r. hand and rudder in l. hand, set on dove; encircled by VENVS

********************

AR Denarius, Rome
AD 151-152

Obverse:
Head of Antoninus laureate facing r. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP XV

Reverse:
Fortuna draped standing r. holding rudder, upright, on globe in r. hand. Cornucopiae with point away from her body held in l. hand. COS IIII

********************

AR Denarius, Rome
AD 152-153

Obverse:
Head of Antoninus laureate, r. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP XVI

Reverse:
Liberalitas draped standing l. holding cornucopiae in l. hand and abacus in r. LIBERALITAS VII COS IIII

********************

AE As, Rome
AD 153-154

Obverse:
Bust of Antoninus r., head bare. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP XVII

Reverse:
Annona draped r. holding modius on low base in r. hand, vine branch in l. over a basket of fruit. [AN]NNONA AVG COS IIII SC in field.