By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & CatalogerStacks Bowers ……
 

MARCUS AURELIUS, A.D. 161-180. AV Aureus (7.15 gms), Rome Mint, ca. A.D. 168-169.

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA World and Ancient coin catalog is now online. For this week’s ancient coin preview we have yet another wonderful Roman Empire aureus.

Marcus Aurelius is one of the most famous of the Roman Emperors, known to historians as the “Philosopher King”. His seminal work Meditations standing today as one of the cornerstones of Stoicism and philosophy writ large.

Another of his unofficial titles is the “Last of the Five Good Emperors”.

The preceding four (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius) each adopted their successor, thus choosing a suitable candidate. Marcus Aurelius’ biological son Commodus succeeded him, with Commodus lacking political and military acumen while possessing an erratic nature. Ultimately Marcus Aurelius’ reign is regarded as the end of the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), and the turbulent times following his reign are considered the beginning of the slow descent of the Western Roman Empire.

The obverse design for this coin features a left facing laureate and cuirassed bust of Marcus Aurelius. The reverse design bears the image of Felicitas, (in this instance connected to the good fortune of the general who repelled an invasion into Italy).

This gorgeous example features sharp strike details, fantastic luster and is sure to elicit enthusiastic participation once it reaches the auction podium.

While we are no longer accepting consignments for our August 2017 ANA Auction, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our October 2017 Collectors Choice Online Auction and the January 2018 New York International (NYINC) Auction. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.
 

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