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fine silver | 19 mm | 3 g
OBV: Laureate head of Pertinax. IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG.
R: Aequitas standing heal left holding scales and cornucopiae. AEQVIT AVG TRP.COS II.
Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1 126 - March 28 193) was proclaimed Roman Emperor the morning following the assassination of Commodus on December 31 AD 192. Pertinax's short reign (86 days) was an uneasy one. He attempted to emulate the restrained practices of Marcus Aurelius and made an effort to reform the alimenta but he faced antagonism from many quarters. Ancient writers detail how the Praetorian Guard expected a generous donativum on his ascension and when they were disappointed agitated until he produced the money selling off Commodus' property including the concubines and youths Commodus kept for his sexual pleasures. He narrowly averted one conspiracy by a group to replace him with the consul Sosius Falco but a second conspiracy ended with his assassination by members of the Praetorian Guard. Pertinax must have been aware of the danger he faced by assuming the purple for he refused to use imperial titles for either his wife or son thus protecting them from the aftermath of his own assassination. On 28 March 193 a group of dissatisfied soldiers who had received only half their promised pay burst into the palace and killed Pertinax.