IOW-3A7696: Roman Coin: Sestertius, probably of Antoninus Pius

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: IOW-3A7696

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete, worn and corroded Roman copper-alloy sestertius, probably of Antoninus Pius dating to the period AD 138-161 (Reece period 7). Unclear reverse type depicting an unclear standing figure. Mint of Rome.

Obverse: [ ... ]; Laureate head right

Reverse: [ ] S C; Unclear standing figure

Diameter: 32.0mm. Weight: 15.88g. DA=12:6.


Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionus Arrius Antoninus was born in AD 86 to a politically-involved family. He eventually gained the honorific name 'Pius', possibly because of his devotion to duty and upstanding character. He took the usual route through Roman political offices, but he knew little of military affairs.

Hadrian adopted Antoninus in AD 138 after the death of designated heir Aelius Caesar. In turn, Antoninus adopted Marcus Annius Verus (eventually Marcus Aurelius) and the future emperor Commodus at the same ceremony. Antoninus' succession was unchallenged, and he introduced reforms for the acceptable treatment of slaves. An excellent public speaker, he ruled justly and compassionately. Antoninus engaged in no major military campaigns, and the empire enjoyed peace during his reign.

Antoninus Pius died of a short illness and was deified almost immediately by the Senate. He officially handed his power to his adoptive son Marcus Aurelius while dying. His body, along with his wife Faustina's, was laid to rest in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in one of the first imperial inhumations (as opposed to the more-common cremation).

Antoninus Pius followed his predecessor Hadrian's new fashion and wore a beard. He had a stern expression and was very tall and handsome.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: With landowner
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to Landowner


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Exactly AD 138
Date to: Exactly AD 161

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 15.88 g
Diameter: 32 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 5th August 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford
Secondary identifier: Dr Sam Moorhead

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2013-8-5

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Incomplete

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Sestertius
Denomination qualifier: Certain
Ruler/issuer: Antoninus Pius
Primary ruler qualifier: Probably
Reece period: Period 7 [138-161]
Mint or issue place: Rome
Mint qualifier: Certain
Obverse description: Laureate head right
Obverse inscription: [ … ]

Reverse description: Unclear standing figure
Reverse inscription: [ ] S C

Die axis measurement: 6 o'clock
Degree of wear: Extremely worn: poor
Status: Regular
Status qualifier: Certain

Coin references

No coin references available.

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: With landowner
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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