Denarius of Antoninus Pius, “CONSECRATIO”

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161 CE
Hood Museum of Art: Purchased through the Hood Museum of Art Acquisitions Fund; 2005.24.2

Obverse: Bust of Antoninus Pius, facing right, bearded, with drapery over the shoulder. Border of dots.

Legend: DIVVS ANTONINVS (Divine Antoninus) clockwise from seven o’clock.

Reverse: Pyre in four tiers, decorated with garlands, statues on first tier in arcades, door in second tier, surmounted by a quadriga.

Legend: CONSECRATIO (consecration) clockwise from eight o’clock


Minted under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus in 161 CE, this coin monumentalizes and memorializes the death of the Marcus’ imperial predecessor Antoninus Pius. In depicting a funeral pyre, the coin advertises Marcus’ piety as well as claims continuity with his predecessor’s world.

This text was prepared by Jamie Chapman, Class of 2012

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