Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 111   |   24 September 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 177

Estimate: 6'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 4'800 CHF Price realized: 7'000 CHF
Antoninus Pius augustus, 138 – 161. Aureus 158-159, AV 7.29 g. ANTONINVS – AVG PIVS P P Laureate and cuirassed bust r. Rev. TEMPL DIVI – AVG REST Octastyle temple, adorned with four statues and a quadriga, within which seated statues of divine Augustus and Livia on centre. In exergue, COS IIII. C –. BMC 549 note. RIC –. Calicó 1629.
Very rare. Extremely fine
Ex Chaponnière & Hess-Divo sale 3, 2012, 257. From the Collection of a Retired Banker.
The great fire that devastated much of Rome during Titus' reign in 80 started on the Capitoline Hill and quickly spread into the Forum before engulfing the northern salient of the Palatine Hill. Amongst the many ruins of the inferno was the second Temple of Divus Augustus, which although its precise location is not known was probably located in the depression between the two hills. Initially commenced during the reign of Tiberius and finally consecrated during Caligula's reign, the temple was originally of the Ionic order and hexastyle, and was featured on sestertii of Caligula showing the emperor sacrificing at an altar in front of its garlanded façade. However, it was later rebuilt or restored, and on this superb aureus of Antoninus Pius it appears as Corinthian octastyle. When this major reconstructive change took place is not certain – it should perhaps be attributed to Domitian who had instituted a wide-scale policy of reconstruction in an effort to create an Augustan renaissance, although it is not recorded amongst his works in the Chronographia – but under Antoninus Pius it was again restored and features predominantly on his coinage of A.D. 158 and 159. The legend reads TEMPLVM DIV AVG REST COS IIII or AED DIVI AVG REST COS IIII, or a variant thereof, and the interior of the temple shows the statues of Divus Augustus and Livia seated in an elevated position to render a sense of perspective. Along the roofline and in the pediment are four statuary groupings, mostly imprecisely engraved and therefore not clear, although the central group appears to represent the emperor in a quadriga.

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