When Hadrian named Antoninus Pius his successor, he instructed Antoninus to adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Lucius Verus was the son of Lucius Aelius, Hadrian’s original choice of heir, who met his own death before that of the emperor. Hadrian attempted to preclude any complications or coups by Aelius’ relatives by officially including Lucius Verus in the imperial dynasty. On this denarius, we see Antoninus Pius already showing his support of a young Marcus Aurelius by including him on the reverse, and displaying both of their titles on the legends. This communicated a message of harmonious sharing of power, which was the foundation upon which the remarkably peaceful Antonine era was built. Ties between the men were strengthened by marriage. Marcus Aurelius married Antoninus’ daughter, Faustina the Younger, and their union resulted in at least thirteen children – one of these was Lucilla, who was wed to Lucius Verus at fourteen (he a much older thirty-four years old – a common age gap of the times). After Antoninus Pius’ death, Marcus Aurelius was technically the more authoritative of the two, though he and Lucius Verus were extremely cooperative with one another. This was vital, as the empire’s frontiers were in desperate need of careful and vigilant management. It would seem this coin, then, projected a fitting vision of hope for the future of the empire. KHK.