Dated Roman Empire silver denarius coin issued 153 154 CE, RIC 461 (rated as scarce), 3.47g.
Minted for Marcus Aurelius as Caesar and adopted son of Emperor Antoninus Pius.
Superb portrait with slight beard and mustache.
Certified by NGC to Ch VF.
Obverse: AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare head right.
Reverse: TR POT VIII COS II, Genius Exercitus standing left sacrificing with patera over altar and holding aquila.
Genius is the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing.In this application it likely refers to the Roman Legions. Much like a guardian angel, the genius would follow each man from the hour of his birth until the day he died. Each individual place had a genius (genius loci) and so did powerful objects, such as volcanoes. The concept extended to some specifics: the genius of the theatre, of vineyards, and of festivals, which made performances successful, grapes grow, and celebrations succeed, respectively. It was extremely important in the Roman mind to propitiate the appropriate genii for the major undertakings and events of their lives. An aquila was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. The aquila used here suggests that the genius refers to the Roman Legions.