Provincial mints were essentially autonomous bureaucracies that were free to strike their own coins. For this reason, each province would usually honor the emperor on the obverse and print its own individual iconography on the reverse. The following coins are some examples of those produced in various provinces during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.



№: 7017
City: Antioch
Province: Syria
Person: Marcus Aurelius
Obv. design: laureate-headed bust of Marcus Aurelius wearing cuirass and paludamentum, r.
Rev. design: eagle standing on leg and thigh of animal, facing, head, l., spreading wings
Reverse legend: ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞ ΤΟ ΛΑ VΠΑΤΟ(С) Γ
Metal: Silver

The quintessential coin from Antioch features the Roman eagle standing atop a strip of animal meat or a thunderbolt. Portraits are of Marcus Aurelius or his son Commodus as a youth. Though not on this particular coin, tribunicia potestas was usually included on this motif of coin making it possible to date this series accurately. Often in lieu of IMP, Sebastos was used and became synonymous with emperor.

-63029549o -63029549r
City: Imperial Mint in Mesopotamia (Carrhae or Edessa?)
Date: After 164
Province: Mesopotamia
Person: Marcus Aurelius
Obv. design: bare head of Marcus Aurelius with traces of drapery, r.
Rev. design: two clasped hands, holding caduceus and two ears of corn
Metal: Silver
Obverse legend: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΑVΡΗΛΙΟС ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟС СƐ (Αs shaped as Λs)
Reverse legend: VΠƐΡ ΝΙΚ[ΗС ΤΩΝ ΚVΡΙΩ?]Ν СƐ
As we saw in Rome, Marcus and Verus wanted to project a unified imperial rule. The caduceus could proclaim a health and safety for the empire while the corn could project abundance and fecundity. Because this was struck by an imperial mint in Mesopotamia, we can assume the co-emperors played a part in distributing this image.
Within the corpus of provincial coinage, the reverse of the imperial handshake is the most widely duplicated and minted image, second only to the omnipresent portrait of the emperor[1]. Never before had two co-emperors during the Principate taken control of the imperial office. Legends reading OMONOI AVTOKRATOPEC in the provinces began adorning coins. Whereas ancient epigraphy was a medium through which to honor the imperial household, numismatics was the most effective and widely distributed message with which to inform the Roman people. At the imperial mint of Mesopotamia, an alternate version of the reverse was produced on a widespread scale–primarily on bronze coins–with a detail of only the clasped hands. Conjecture is often fruitless, but one can speculate that the image of the handshake was more important than the figures of Marcus and Lucius themselves as few in the provinces of the Far East would ever have seen the emperors.
[1] Oxford Handbook of Roman Coinage

 Ilium-Aeneas Coinage:
City: Ilium
Province: Asia: Conventus of Adramyteum
Person: Marcus Aurelius
Obv. design: laureate-headed bust of Marcus Aurelius wearing cuirass and paludamentum, r.
Rev. design: Aeneas carrying Anchises and leading Ascanius, r.
Metal: Bronze
Reverse legend: ΙΛΙΕΩΝ
Date: c. 161-162
 Under Marcus Aurelius, the Aeneas motif is found at Corinth and Patras and Dardani and Ilium in the Troad in attempts to link their own foundational myth to Rome.
Assuming the issue date is correct, Ilium was most likely trying to secure their lineage as legitimate descendants of Aeneas when the new emperors came into power. As opposed to depictions of military campaigns, which were important to Romans, Ilium is most concerned with their foundational myths.

City: Sparta
Province: Achaea
Person: Marcus Aurelius
Obv. design: laureate head of Marcus Aurelius, r.
Rev. design: club
Obverse legend: ΙΜΠ Κ Μ ΑVΡΗ ΑΝΤΩ ΑVΓ
Reverse legend: ΛΑΚƐΔΑΙΜΟΝΙωΝ
Metal: Bronze
The Spartans honor their emperor with a portrait on the obverse but retain their numismatic symbol of the club on the reverse. The club, the symbol of Sparta often minted on coins, invoked and conjured up images of strength and virility. As the representative image of Sparta, the club was physical evidence of the Lacedaemonians’ claim to have been descended from the lineage of Heracles, from whom the icon of the club originates.