Obverse: LVCILLA AVGVSTA; Draped Bust of the Empress Facing Right
Reverse: VENVS VICTRIX; Venus Standing Towards the Left, Holding Victory in one Hand, Resting her other Hand on a Sheild
Lucilla was married to Emperor Lucius Verus in 164 A.D. She was the daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger, sister to Commodus, the future emperor. After the death of Verus, she married an elderly man by the name of Pompeianus. However, having once been Augusta, wife of an emperor, Lucilla was not satisfied leading a quiet, private life with a man of much lower station. Later on, Lucilla was implicated in one of the numerous plots to overthrow her brother Commodus and was banished to the island of Capri in 182 A.D. Soon afterward, she was put to death.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial an emperor’s wife passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.