|CNG 85, Lot: 72. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
AD 161-180. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.16 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 164. · M · ANTONINVS AVG ARMEN P M, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / TR P XVIII · IMP II COS III, Armenia seated left in attitude of mourning, with one hand supporting head and the other resting on bow to right; trophy behind to right, ARMEN in exergue. RIC III 86; MIR 18, 89-2/37; Calicó 1813 (same obv. die as illustration). Good VF. Rare.
From the R.A. Collection.
A pivotal period in Romano-Parthian relations, the latter portion of the reign of Antoninus Pius saw the Parthian king Vologases IV continue with attacks upon the highly-contested buffer of Armenia, taking the kingdom in AD 161, placing his chief general on the throne, and making raids into Roman Syria. To counter this move, Lucius Verus, Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, set out for the east in AD 162. The following year, the Roman general Statius Priscus attacked the Parthian forces and quickly destroyed their stronghold of Artaxata. To complete the process, Priscus installed Sohaemus, a Roman of Armenian descent, on the throne, thereby once again insuring a Roman buffer against the Parthian Empire. For this achievement, Verus received the cognomen Armeniacus, a title granted not because of any command in the field, but as the operation’s commander-in-chief. These events figured heavily upon the coinage of both Aurelius and Verus during AD 164.