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Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Marcus Aurelius

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

167 (December)-168 (December), issued by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Artist:

Roman; minted in Rome

About this artwork

Starting in 96 with the reign of Emperor Nerva, Rome was ruled by five wise leaders who came to be known as the “Good Emperors.” Nerva (reigned 96–98) was an honest and respected senator who enacted compassionate social programs. His rule ushered in a period of peace and prosperity, which is suggested by the sheer abundance of coins produced during this era as well as by the skill and artistry of the images created. Coins of this period, especially gold aurei like this one, were often perfectly round, well struck, and centered.

The front (obverse) of this coin portrays Emperor Marcus Aurelius facing to the right, laureate and bearded. The laurel wreath, long a symbol of victory in Greece, was adopted by the Romans as an attribute of kingship. The back (reverse) of the coin depicts Victory walking to the left, wreath in right, palm branch in left.

On View

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium, Gallery 153

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Origin

Italy

Date

167 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX Reverse: TRP XXII IMP IIII COS III

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 7.26 g

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number

1922.4298

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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