Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 55

Estimate: 35'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 28'000 CHF Price realized: 28'000 CHF
Pertinax, 1 January – 28 March 193. Aureus 1 January – 28 March 193, AV 7.17 g. IMP CAES P HELV – PERTIN AVG Laureate and draped bust r. Rev. PROVID – DEOR COS II Providentia standing l., holding up both hands to large star in upper l. field. C 41. BMC 12. RIC 11b. Woodward NC 1957, pl. 10, 12 (this reverse die). Calicó 2390a.
Rare. An elegant portrait work of a very skilled master engraver struck
on a very large flan and well-centred. Extremely fine


Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) Collection, sold by Numismatica Ars Classica, Zürich, auction 67, 17 October 2012, lot 178. Ex HSA 22243.

A self-made man who rose to prominence through dedication and talent, Pertinax's career was illustrious. His father was a former slave and merchant whose wealth bought Pertinax a good education. Pertinax began his adult life as a teacher, but afterwards he embarked on a military career. He rose through the ranks serving in Parthia, Britain and Noricum, and he subsequently served as governor of several provinces. In 189 the emperor Commodus appointed him prefect of Rome, and he was still serving in that capacity when Commodus was assassinated on New Year's Eve, 192. Though Pertinax has often been portrayed as an unimpeachable moralist, he was more likely an opportunist who was intimately involved in the plot against Commodus. After his accession, Pertinax may have viewed himself as a benevolent dictator, but the praetorians nonetheless murdered him after a reign of just eighty-six days.

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