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An Offering of Denarii of Pescennius Niger

CNG 111, Lot: 742. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Pescennius Niger. AD 193-194. AR Denarius (19mm, 4.10 g, 12h). Antioch mint. IMP CAES C PESEN NIGER IVST ΛV, laureate head right / BONI E VENTVS, Bonus Eventus (or Fides) standing left, holding up plate of fruit with right hand and two grain ears. RIC IV 5e var. (obv. legend); RSC 10e var. (same); BMCRE 299 (Wars of the Succession) var. (same). Good VF, small flan flaw on obverse, light porosity.

Following the death of Pertinax in AD 193, and the “sale” of the Roman throne by the Praetorian Guard to Didius Julianus, the legions of Syria hailed their governor, Pescennius Niger, as emperor. Septimius Severus, who had been proclaimed emperor by the Danubian legions at about the same time, first secured his power by subduing Rome, then marched to encounter Niger. In the ensuing battles, Severus proved to be the stronger adversary and Niger was overtaken as he attempted escape to Parthia. He was executed and his head was sent to Severus, who then ruthlessly slaughtered the rest of Niger's family.