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TRP VIIII - One of Two Known

247, Lot: 297. Estimate $200.
Sold for $650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lucius Verus. AD 161-169. AR Denarius (18mm, 2.97 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck December AD 168 - January AD 169. Laureate head right / FORT RED TR P VIIII IMP V, COS III in exergue, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and cornucopia. Cf. RIC 596 (aureus; Aurelius); MIR 177-14/30; RSC 111a. VF, toned. Extremely rare, one of two known.

This coin is from the final issue of Verus, which lasted approximately one month. The issue comprised four types, Aequitas (struck in silver and bronze), Annona (bronze), Fortuna Redux (gold and silver), and Virtus (bronze). This particular type, Fortuna Redux, was typically employed when an emperor was returning to Rome from some distant location, and it was a plea to Fortuna asking for his safe return. Verus had been in the East fighting against the Parthians and Armenians, while Marcus Aurelius was campaigning along the Rhine. Both met in Aquileia on their return to Rome, but Verus subsequently contracted the plague and died during the final journey home. Only one other denarius of this type is recorded, the BM specimen, and none were present in any of the inventoried hoards (including Réka-Devnia).