Pertinax, 193 AD. Rome

Pertinax, 193 AD. Rome


AR Denarius, 3.67g (17.5mm, 12h). IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG Laureate head of Pertinax to right / OPI DIVIN TR P COS II Ops seated left, holding grain ears.

Pedigree: From the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired from the Krakoff Collection in Belgrade in the 1930s

References: Cohen 33. BMC 19. RIC 8a

Grade: Nice toning with overall wear. Good portrait of Pertinax. Good VF (gk1058)

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In the year 193 AD the megalomaniac Commodus had just been strangled to death. Following his death a string of five emperors followed in quick succession. Pertinax was the first of those to take over. He was generally a well-respected war hero and senator. He also served as proconsul of Africa. Already a man of 66 Pertinax was not the youngest of rulers. He was eventually killed by the Praetorian Guard when he tried to initiate reforms that would restrict the high level soldiers. This led to an angry revolt of 200 that rushed the palace and killed the emperor. Even more shocking was that the Praetorian Guard then proceeded to auction off the emperor’s seat. The highest bidder was Didius Julianus who also did not fare much better or hold office much longer than Pertinax.