Magnia Urbica, Augusta, 283-285. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 4.23 g, 11 h), Rome, 284. MAGNIA VRBICA AVG Diademed and draped bust of Magnia Urbica to right. Rev. VENERI VICTRICI Venus standing front, head to right, holding apple in her left hand and raising drapery over shoulder with her right. Calicó 4409a. Cohen 8. Pink VI/2 p. 35. RIC 340. Lustrous, sharp and among the finest known. A superb example with a splendid portrait and an impressive pedigree. Very minor die breaks on the obverse, otherwise, virtually as struck.
From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Leu on 15 August 2005 (with a photocopy of the original invoice enclosed), from the collection of a 'Perfectionist', Leu 93, 10 May 2005, 112 and from the collection of Nelson Bunker Hunt, Sotheby's, 4 December 1990, 96.
Magnia Urbica is only known through her coinage and from a small number of inscriptions on which her name has mostly been erased in an act of public damnatio memoriae after the downfall of the dynasty of Carus. She was very likely Carinus' wife and perhaps the mother of Nigrinian, although there is no clear evidence for this except for the coinage for the deceased child prince. The Historia Augusta reports that Carinus had nine wives, but this is clearly one of the usual exaggerations, and Magnia Urbica is not explicitly mentioned. What we do know from inscriptions is that the empress was of Spanish origin, from Colonia Iulia Gemella Accitana in Hispania Tarraconensis to be exact (CIL II 3394), and that she bore the honorary titles mater castrorum (CIL VIII 2384) and mater senatus ac patriae (CIL XI 6957).