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Ancient Coin - Pescennius Niger - Aureus

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Ancient Coin - Pescennius Niger - Aureus Laureate Head / Justice Standing
Subject Pescennius Niger
Reverse Type Justice
Denomination Aureus
Primary ID Type Calico
Primary ID 2408v
InscriptionObv IMP CAES PESC NIGER IVST AVG
InscriptionRev IUSTITIA AVG
Material Gold
Earliest 193
Latest Possible Year 194
Mint Caesarea
Weight (gr) 139.495
Period Imperial
Culture Rome


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Additional References: Bland, Burnett and Bendall NC 1987, –, cf. p. 70, 1 and pl. 10, 1 var.

Notes: Laureate head right / Iustitia facing, head left., holding scales and cornucopiae

Obverse: Pescennius Niger (Latin: Gaius Pescennius Niger Augustus; c. 135/140 ? 194) was Roman Emperor from 193 to 194 during the Year of the Five Emperors. He claimed the imperial throne in response to the murder of Pertinax and the elevation of Didius Julianus, but was defeated by a rival claimant, Septimius Severus, and killed while attempting to flee from Antioch. From Wikipedia

Reverse: Iustitia, Justitia or Lady Justice (Latin: Iustitia, the Roman goddess of Justice, who is equivalent to the Greek goddess Themis) is an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems. Her attributes are a blindfold, a balance and a sword. She often appears as a pair with Prudentia, who holds a mirror and a snake.

From Wikipedia

Denomination: The aureus (pl. aurei - "golden") was a gold coin of ancient Rome valued at 25 silver denarii. The aureus was regularly issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, when it was replaced by the solidus. The aureus was about the same size as the denarius, but heavier due to the higher density of gold (as opposed to that of silver.)

Before the time of Julius Caesar the aureus was struck very infrequently, usually to make large payments from captured booty. Caesar struck the coin more frequently and standardized the weight at 1/40 of a Roman pound (about 8 grams). Augustus (r. 29 BC - 9 AD) tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 of an aureus. The mass of the aureus was decreased to 1/45 of a pound (7.3 g) during the reign of Nero (r. 54 - 68).

After the reign of Marcus Aurelius (r. 161 - 180) the production of aurei decreased, and the weight was further decreased to 1/50 of a pound (6.5 g). During the 3rd century, gold pieces were introduced in a variety of fractions and multiples, making it hard to determine the intended denomination of a gold coin.

From Wikiepedia

Period: Imperial Rome. As the Roman Republic began to implode because of corruption and infighting among powerful members of the Roman Senate, a new type of Roman Republican coinage emerges, that of the military strongmen who dominated and fought among each other before the final fall of the Republic. The drama surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic is a story full of political intrigue, military action, betrayal, murder and sex scandals. Different parts of this story have been told and retold by ancient historians, modern day scholars, dozens of Hollywood movies and even an HBO miniseries. All of the actors in this great drama, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and the last man standing at the end of it all, Octavian (later known as the first emperor of Rome, Emperor Augustus) all minted coins during this time bearing their names and propaganda images supporting their factions and political ideals.

Culture: Ancient Rome. A famous catch phrase "Rome was not built in a day" definitely applies to the Roman civilization. Rome stated as a series of small villages among the famous seven hills of Rome along the river Tiber. Eventually through conquest, diplomacy, wise policies of indirect rule and assimilation, the Romans were able to not only unify the Italian peninsula, but though a series of brutal wars against regional powers established a great Empire that spanned Europe, Asia and Africa, making the Mediterrean Sea and "Roman Lake."

All Roman coinage can generally be divided into eight time periods as described below. An interesting thing about Roman coins minted during these eight time periods is that you can literally see the "Rise and Fall" of the Roman Empire on its coinage as the sharp imagery and pure silver and gold coins of the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period gradually devolves into crude, illegible and heavily debased coins of the "Barracks Emperors" and "Barbarian" Period.


Item created by: gdm on 2016-08-14 17:26:46. Last edited by gdm on 2016-08-14 17:30:46

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