Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

Coin Portraying Emperor Antoninus Pius

A work made of billon.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of billon.

Date:

138-139

Artist:

Roman; minted in Alexandria, Egypt

About this artwork

Canopus, a port city in the Nile Delta, was famous for an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Osiris, god of vegetation and rebirth. His worship included a procession of his priests carrying jars filled with Nile water, the symbol of fertility. The jars, as depicted on this coin, were topped with the head of Osiris, here shown in profile, with an elaborate headdress. Emperor Antoninus Pius, who issued the coin, never set foot in Egypt, but he used this imagery to honor one of Egypt’s ancient traditions.

The date this coin was struck is indicated in the back inscription ” B “, which means the second year of the emperor’s reign, or 138-139 CE. Antoninus Pius reigned as emperor from 138-161 CE.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Artist

Ancient Egyptian

Title

Coin Portraying Emperor Antoninus Pius

Origin

Egypt

Date

138 CE–139 CE

Medium

Billon

Dimensions

Diam. 2.3 cm; 12.86 g

Credit Line

Gift of Robert L. Grover

Reference Number

1981.443

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/62850/manifest.json

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.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share