Roman Empire dated silver denarius, 3.28g, RIC 311, issued 174/5 CE.
Certified by NGC to Ch AU, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5.
Pedigree: Ex. NFA MBS 10/90, lot 2098.
Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG GERM TR POT XXIX, laureate head of Emperor.
Reverse: IMP VII COS III, Genius nude standing left holding patera and corn-ears.
Genius was protecting spirit, analogous to the guardian angels invoked by the Church of Rome. The belief in such spirits was part of the Roman religion. The genii are usually represented in works of art as winged beings, and on Roman monuments a genius commonly appears as a youth dressed in the toga, with a patera or cornucopia in his hands, and his head covered; the genius of a place appears in the form of a serpent eating fruit placed before him.