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.
- Ancient Roman
- Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Marcus Aurelius
- 167 CE
- Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX Reverse: TRP XXII IMP IIII COS III
- Diam. 2 cm; 7.26 g
- Gift of William F. Dunham