From:Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities
Name/TitleCoin, bronze as, Antoninus Pius
About this objectThis bronze As features the bust of the bearded emperor Antoninus Pius on the obverse, and an image of Fortuna standing on the reverse, with a rudder in her right hand, and a cornucopia in her left.
Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck and chance, was regarded as a goddess of increase and prosperity. This is good symbolism for the reign of Antoninus Pius, who left a surplus for his adopted sons and successors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
Antoninus, emperor from 138 - 161 AD, was born into a senatorial family and was adopted by Hadrian. He acquired the cognomen (nickname) Pius, either from compelling the Senate to deify his adopted father, or because he saved senators who had been sentenced to death by Hadrian. Antoninus ruled during a peaceful period, with no major revolts or military activities. He even managed to govern without ever leaving Italy.
Antoninus Pius was the second emperor to have a beard, after Hadrian. This was uncommon for Romans as they believed that having a beard was un-Roman. Beards were originally regarded as a sign of immaturity, and shaved in the mid twenties. The bearded emperors became a sign of Roman cosmopolitanism, a sign of the changing times.
Date Made139 CE
Place NotesRome mint
Medium and MaterialsMetal: Bronze
Style and IconographyRoman
Inscription and MarksObverse:
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
(Antoninus Augustus Pius Pater Patriae)
Antoninus, Dutiful Emperor, Father of the Country
[FO]RTVNA AVGVSTI [COS II]
(Fortuna Augusti Consul II)
Fortunate Augustus, Consul for the second time (Fortuna may also refer to the goddess Fortuna Augusta, 'Fortune')
By decree of the Senate
Diameter ca. 26mm
Subject and Association KeywordsEmperors
Subject and Association KeywordsKings and rulers in art
Subject and Association KeywordsGoddesses in art
Subject and Association KeywordsNumismatics
Subject and Association KeywordsInscriptions, Latin
Named CollectionThe James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Credit LineDonated by M.K. Steven, 1996.
Object TypeExchange Media
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved