Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 111   |   24 September 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 184

Estimate: 15'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 12'000 CHF Price realized: 16'000 CHF
Lucilla, wife of Lucius Verus. Aureus 164-169 or 183,  AV 7.36 g.  LVCILLA – AVGVSTA  Draped bust r., hair caught up in double chignon.  Rev. PVDI – CITIA  Pudicitia, veiled, standing l., drawing back veil with r. hand and resting l. at side.  C 59.  BMC M. Aurelius 347 (these dies).  RIC M. Aurelius 779.  Calicó 2216 (this obverse die).
Rare. A portrait of superb elegance and the work of a very skilled master engraver. Perfectly
struck and centred on a large flan and good extremely fine
Ex NFA 14, 1984, 449; NAC-Spink Taisei 16 November 1994, Steinberg, 500 and Hess-Divo 307, 2007, 1634 sales.
Lucilla was the second of six daughters born to the emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife Faustina II. She was a twin of Titus Aurelianus Antoninus, but he died within a year of their birth. When the emperor Antoninus Pius died in 161 and was succeeded by Lucilla's father and his co-heir Lucius Verus, Lucilla was betrothed to Verus in a gesture meant to tie the two emperors lineage as well as their collective Imperial duties. However, since she was just twelve years old, the marriage was delayed until 164, when Lucilla was fifteen or sixteen. At that time her prospective husband was in Asia Minor leading a campaign against the Parthians, so she sailed east and he took leave of campaign to marry her at Ephesus. The imperial couple had at least one child, but the fate of it or any others they may have had is unknown. After Verus' unexpected death in 169, Lucilla's personal life worsened. The young woman was next married to an elderly senator and she engaged in frequent infidelities. A decade later Lucilla was involved in the plot to assassinate her only surviving brother Commodus, who had become unstable and despotic as emperor. However, her role was discovered in the plot before it came to fruition, and in 182 or 183 she was banished to Capri where she was subsequently executed.

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