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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 232. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF28000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lucius Verus. AD 161-169. Aureus (Gold, 18mm, 7.31 g 12), Rome, 163-164. L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS Bare head of Lucius Verus to right. Rev. TR P IIII IMP II COS II / REX ARMEN / DAT Lucius Verus seated left on platform, between an officer on the right and a soldier on the left; before him on the ground, Armenian king Sohaemus standing left, crowned by Verus. BMC 300. Calicó 2154. Cohen 158. RIC 512. An attractive, superb and lustrous coin. Virtually as struck.

From an American collection, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 59, 4 April 2011, 1028.

This issue of Lucius Verus is of great historical interest because it commemorates the reestablishment of Gaius Julius Sohaemus as king of Armenia. Sohaemus was a member of the royal family of Emesa, as well as being a Roman Senator, and had been made king of Armenia in 144. He was deposed by the Parthians in 161, but was then restored to the throne as a result of the successful Roman counter offensive. The fact that aurei of this type are known in superb condition is because of the Aventine Hoard of 1893: found in Rome during construction work, this hoard contained several hundred aurei of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, many fresh and as struck. While a considerable number were retained by the Vatican museum, all of the remainder, including many examples struck from the same pair of dies, were sold. As a result, virtually all of the coins known of this type derive from that find.