Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich
Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction 117

Greek, Roman and Gupta Empire gold coins

Tu, 01.10.2019, from 04:45 PM CEST
The auction is closed.


Pertinax, 1st January – 28th March 193. Aureus 1st January – 28th March 193, AV 7.33 g. IMP CAES P HELV – PERTIN AVG Laureate head r. Rev. AEQVIT AVG TR P COS II Aequitas standing l., holding scales and cornucopiae. C 1. BMC 14. RIC 1a. Woodward NC 1957, obv. F / rev. –. Calicó 2379 (this coin).
Rare and among the finest aurei of Pertinax in existence. A magnificent portrait
of excellent style. Light reddish tone, virtually as struck and Fdc

Ex NFA 26, 1991, 266 and NAC 51, 2009, 340 sales.
Of the five men proclaimed emperor in the civil war that raged from 193 to 197, Helvius Pertinax was perhaps the most admirable and deserving. Born in north-west Italy as the son of a timber merchant, Pertinax was a self-made man who abandoned a career in teaching to join the army. His talents must have been exceptional, for he gained powerful friends attached to the family of Marcus Aurelius, married the daughter of an ex-consul, and by his early 50s this son of a freedman was elected into the senate.In 175 he and another contender of the distant civil war, Didius Julianus, were both named suffect consuls. There seemed no limits to his capabilities, for he commanded a legion, governed Moesia Inferior, Dacia, Syria, Britain and Africa, and when the palace coup unfolded against Commodus on New Year’s Eve, 192, Pertinax was the urban prefect of Rome and had opened that year sharing the consulship with Commodus.With such stellar qualifications it is hardly surprising that Pertinax was chosen by the senate to replace Commodus. Being in such powerful positions within the capital, he was privy to all of the outrages of government, and during his 86 days as emperor he attempted to reform some of the most egregious abuses. These efforts inspired two coups against him – one that failed, and another that succeeded.The mercy he showed the conspirators after the first coup did not impress the praetorian guards, who organized the second plot and murdered him after storming the palace. His father-in-law Flavius Sulpicianus may not have been an ally after all, for he openly competed with Didius Julianius when the guardsmen put the throne up for auction in arguably the most degrading episode in Roman history.

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Price realized 55'000 CHF
Starting price 36'000 CHF
Estimate 45'000 CHF
The auction is closed.
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