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Marcus Aurelius - Tomis
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Marcus Aurelius as Caesar - Greek imperial coin from Tomis - reverse Marcus Aurelius as Caesar - Greek imperial coin from Tomis - obverse
18 mm diameter, 3.9 grams, AE
Reverse: Greek god Dionysos wearing a hat (and cothurnus - a sort of boots - on his feet?), looking at left, holding kantharos (ceremonial vase) in the right hand, tyrsus in the left, a bunch of vine leaves around the waist, legend TOMITΩN, outer pearl circle
Obverse: short bearded Marcus Aurelius to the left, legend [BHPΩ] KAICAPI, outer pearl circle

The ancient coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. Ion Šerban. The coin belongs to the category of provincial Roman coins also called sometimes Greek imperial. The coin corresponds to the description at number 1833 in the Moushmov catalog and was struck between year 139 and 161 (the period when Marcus Aurelius was Caesar and went by the name of Verus). The mass and diameter show that this piece can be a two assaria one.


About emperor Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus) was the Roman emperor between 161 and 180. He was adopted in 138 by Antoninus Pius, at the initiative of emperor Hadrian. In 139 he received from the new emperor Antoninus Pius the title of Caesar, and practicly starting with 146 he was associated at the reign. Upon his becoming emperor he associated to the reign Lucius Verus (who died in 169). In 177 he associated to the reign his son Commodus.

About the names bore by emperor Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius has changed his name no less than four times. At the beginning he was named Marcus Annius Verus, also the name of his father. Sometime he bore also the name Catilius Severus, after one step grandfather, who was consul. He received the name Aelius after emperor Hadrian and the name Antoninus after the emperor Antoninus Pius, as a consequence of his adoption by the later in the year 138. After Historia Augusta (a collection of 30 Roman emperors biographies), in year 161 Marcus Aurelius renounced the name of Verus.

Due to the inscription BHPΩ KAICAPI (Vero Kaisari, Verus Caesar) sometimes the Roman provincial coins of Marcus Aurelius as Caesar are mistakenly attributed to emperor Lucius Verus (we have made too the same error in 2003, with this very coin).

About emperor Lucius Verus

Lucius Verus (Lucius Aelius Ceionius Commodus Verus) was the emperor of Rome between 161 and 169, as associate of Marcus Aurelius. They had been both adopted by Antoninus Pius (Lucius Verus in 138), at the initiative of emperor Hadrian. Lucius Verus never bore the title of Caesar. He received the name Verus in 161 from emperor Marcus Aurelius.


The History of Tomis
and More
The Ancient Pontic World
and Its Connection to Romanians (with Map)
About Dionysos


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