Roman silver denarius of Antoninus Pius, circa 138 - 161 AD
Roman silver coin (denarius) issued by Antoninus Pius, circa 138 - 161 AD.
Obverse: Laureate bust of Antoninus Pius looking right with the legend ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP XII around.
Reverse: Annona standing facing, head left, holding grain ears and anchor, modius filled with grain ears to left. The legend COS IIII around.
Origin: Attributed to the mint of Rome. No mint mark.
Materials and method: Struck in good quality silver from engraved dies.
Dimensions: 18 mm diameter.
Weight: 3.22 gm
Date of creation: Attributed to the years 148-149 AD.
Condition: good Very Fine.
Stock no: C005
Comments: By the time that Antoninus Pius came to power, Rome had become such a large city that it was heavily dependent on the supply of grain from Sicily and North Africa. Much of the imported grain was sold to the people of Rome at subsidised price or was given as charity. Annona is a reference to the importance of the supply of grain – she holds ears of wheat over a modius, a traditional Roman grain measure – and the anchor probably refers to the fact that the supply was coming to Rome by sea. The use of this type may have been a way of communicating to the people that the administration had the grain supply under control and that its continuation was assured.
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