Extremely Fine Antoninus Pius Roman Empire denarius coin, 3.42g RIC M441a, RSC 357a.
NGCCertified to XF,Strike 4/5, Surface 5/5.
Historic issue authorized by Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus and the Roman Senate for the funeral and deification of their adopted father Antoninus Pius.
Obverse variety with drapery on far shoulder of emperor.
Obverse: DIVVS ANTONINVS, draped bare head right.
Reverse: DIVO PIO, square altar with decorated side.
The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. Its framework was based on Roman and Greek precedents, and was formulated during the early Principate of Augustus. A deceased emperor held worthy of the honor could be voted a state divinity (divus) by the Senate and elevated as such in an act of apotheosis. The granting of apotheosis served religious, political and moral judgment on Imperial rulers and allowed living Emperors to associate themselves with a well-regarded lineage of Imperial divi from which unpopular or unworthy predecessors were excluded.