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451, Lot: 399. Estimate $100.
Sold for $130. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Marius. Romano-Gallic Emperor, AD 269. Antoninianus (17mm, 2.26 g, 12h). Treveri (Trier) mint. 2nd emission, circa mid AD 269. [IM]P C MARIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / SAEC F ELICITAS, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia. RIC V 10; Mairat 235-7; AGK 4b. Areas of toned silvering, areas of roughness. Good VF.

Ex 2013 South Petherton, Somerset, Hoard (CHRB XIV [forthcoming]).

On Wednesday 13 November 2013, amateur archaeologist George Hughes was investigating some farm land near South Petherton in South Somerset, England, when he discovered a hoard of 7565 coins. Upon inspection, the hoard was declared to be Treasure, and much of the hoard was acquired by the British Museum and the Somerset County Museum; the coins offered here were returned to the finder. The hoard, which consisted almost entirely of antoniniani, had been in the ground since 274 AD, when they had been buried in a bag during the fall of the Gallic Empire. The lion’s share of the coins – over 3000 – were issued by Victorinus; only 81 of the coins in the group were issued by Marius.

Although the Historia Augusta claims that Marius reigned for a grand total of three days before being killed (Eutropius and Aurelius Victor say it was a mere two days), the sheer volume of coins issued by him quickly disproves that theory; the actual duration is more likely to be a few months. His full name, Marcus Aurelius Marius, was thought to indicate his suitability to rule, evoking as it did the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the Republican statesman Gaius Marius. A former blacksmith, Marius was allegedly killed by a soldier using a sword that Marius himself had forged.