Pertinax, 193 Aureus January 1st – March 28th 193, AV 20mm., 7.31g. IMP CAES PHELV - PERTIN AVG Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev. LAETITIAE-TE MPOR COS II Laetitia standing left, holding wreath and sceptre. C 18. BMC 6 var. RIC 4b. Calicó 2384a (these dies). Woodward, The Coinage of Pertinax, in NC 1957, Ia 5 (this coin cited).
Rare. A bold portrait, area of weakness on obverse, otherwise extremely fine.
Ex Hirsch XXXI, 1912, 1477 ; ex A.Hess, 1926, A. Löbbecke coll., 1446, ex Lanz 141, 2008, 490 and ex NAC 54, March 2010, 1194 sales.
A self-made man who rose to prominence through dedication and talent, Pertinax’s career was illustrious. His father was a former slave and merchant whose wealth bought Pertinax a good education. Pertinax began his adult life as a teacher, but afterward he embarked on a military career. He rose through the ranks serving in Parthia, Britain and Noricum, subsequently serving as governor of several provinces. In 189 the emperor Commodus appointed him prefect of Rome, and he was still serving in that capacity when Commodus was assassinated on New Year’s Eve, 192. Though Pertinax has often been portrayed as an unimpeachable moralist, he was more likely an opportunist who was intimately involved in the plot against Commodus. After his accession, Pertinax may have viewed himself as a benevolent dictator, but the praetorians none the less murdered him after a reign of just eighty-six days.