Printed Auction 38 Lot 3

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Historic Issue

Printed Auction 38 Lot 3

Antoninus Pius. A.D. 138-161. AV aureus. 7.13 gm. 19 mm. Rome mint. Struck A.D. 143-144(?). His laureate head right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III / Victory flying right, holding trophy in both hands; IMPERA-TOR II. RIC III 109a. NGC Graded Ch XF, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 4/5. Historic issue. Well centered and sharply struck.

The reverse alludes to Antoninus Pius's victory in Britain, where in about A.D. 141 he ordered the Roman frontier be pushed northward. The campaign was successful, establishing the 39 mile long Antonine Wall some 99 miles north of Hadrian's wall. As a result the Senate acclaimed Antoninus as Imperator in A.D. 143 for the second time. This coin marks that event, with its depiction of winged Victory holding a trophy symbolizing military success. The campaign is sometimes considered political rather than strategic, meant to grant Antoninus more political capital early in his reign. In that sense, the opportunity to strike this coin was more important than the military gains it represents. The area of Britain protected by the wall was largely barren, and the wall itself was abandoned only eight years after completion. It was briefly repaired and regarrisoned under Septimius Severus in A.D. 208, leading to it sometimes being referred to as the Severan Wall.

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How Bidding Works

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