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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Coins of the 12 Caesars

Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; $2160.00 (1900.80)


Roman Civil War, Vitellius, c. 69 A.D.

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This coin is M71 in Butcher, K. & M. Pointing, The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan (Cambridge, 2015). There is a tiny drill hole on the edge where silver was extracted for testing. This was an important coin in the study, with test results indicating 93.9% silver bullion and Gallic isotope ratios strongly suggesting similarity with other Vitellius coins from Gallia, not coins minted for Galba.
RS86684. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M71 (this coin), RIC I Civil Wars 121, BMCRE I 65, RSC I Galba 363, BnF I 75, Martin 7, EF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion, test drill hole on edge, weight 3.127 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Gaul(?) mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse clasped hands, FIDES above, EXERCITVVM below; reverse clasped hands, FIDES above, PRAETORIANORVM curving along the edge below; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Helios, auction 4 (Munich, 14 Oct 2009), lot 270; ex Coll. A. Lynn collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 54 (14 June 2000), lot 1484; ex P. DeVicci collection; rare; $1170.00 (1029.60)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-21

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Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denarius type is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible.
SH91408. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, VF, attractive old collection toning, bumps and scratches, reverse a little off center, weight 3.641 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 150o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 18 - 35 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with decorated legs, a single line below, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, feet on footstool; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $700.00 (616.00)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D.

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In 36 A.D., Herod Antipas suffered major losses in a war with Aretas IV of Nabataea, provoked partly by Antipas' divorce of Aretas' daughter. According to Josephus, Herod's defeat was popularly believed to be divine punishment for his execution of John the Baptist. Tiberius ordered Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to capture or kill Aretas, but Vitellius was reluctant to support Herod and abandoned his campaign upon Tiberius' death in 37.
RS91786. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, Choice gVF, superb portrait, excellent centering, flow lines, nice round flan, bumps and marks, some die wear, some porosity, weight 3.667 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 90o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, laurel wreath ties fall in small undulations (waves); reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with decorated legs, a single line below, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, feet on footstool; $570.00 (501.60)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Struck by Agrippa II(?), Caesarea Maritima(?), Syria Palestina

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Julius Marcus Agrippa was a teenager studying in Rome when his father died. He was too young to rule and his father's kingdom was made a Roman province. About 6 years later, he was given the kingdom of his uncle Herod of Chalcis. Later more was added. It was before Herod Agrippa II that Saint Paul was tried. Agrippa sided with the Romans during the Jewish rebellion. Though he continued to rule until at least 95 A.D., the temple was destroyed and in the end his assigned territories were in Syria, not Judaea. The attribution to a mint at Caesarea Maritima under Agrippa II is traditional, and supported by recorded finds 90% of which are around Caesarea Maritima. Still, it may have been struck at Caesarea Paneas, which better fits the style, or it may have been struck by a Roman procurator.
SL89827. Bronze AE 24, RPC I 4848 (6 spec.); Hendin 1263; Meshorer TJC 356; SNG ANS 744; BMC Palestine p. 12, 3; Rosenberger 1; Kadman -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, Agrippa II, 49 - 95, Caesarea (4283488-004), weight 8.78 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 45o, Caesarea Maritima (or Paneas?) mint, c. 49 - Oct 54 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IM P P, laureate head of Claudius right; reverse inverted anchor with ring on each end, within oak wreath; scarce; $500.00 (440.00)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-21

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Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denarius type is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible
SH91313. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, die wear, light marks, reverse a little off center, weight 3.632 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 195o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, earliest type, c. 15 - 18 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; $500.00 (440.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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At the Circus Maximus, a stone platform (pulvinar) was raised high above the trackside seats with empty thrones (also called pulvinar) for the gods to watch the games. The imperial family watched from there, alongside the gods. In 81 A.D., Domitian took the title of Dominus (lord) built and a new, multi-story palace on the Palatine, connected to the Circus; he likely watched the games in autocratic style, from high above and barely visible to those below. Domitian's fate may have prompted Trajan's decision to build a new pulvinar in the stands where Rome's emperor could be seen and honored as part of the Roman community.
RS92010. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 70 (C), RSC II 575, BMCRE II 15, BnF III 13, Hunter I 8, SRCV I -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, light toning, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 13 Sep - 31 Dec 81 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR P COS VII DES VIII P P, Pulvinar (throne) of Jupiter and Juno, square seat, draped with a tasseled cloth hanging in folds, surmounted by horizontal winged thunderbolt; ex FORVM (2008); $330.00 (290.40)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 89 A.D., Legio XIII Gemina was transferred to Dacia to help in the war against Decebalus.
RS89799. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 669, BMCRE II 153, BnF III 147, RSC II 251, Hunter I 62, SRCV I 2732, gVF, excellent portrait, well centered, light toning, some reverse die wear, small edge crack, weight 3.291 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 88 - 13 Sep 89 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; ex CNG e-auction 304, lot 356; $310.00 (272.80)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.

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A "Tiber patina," sometimes called a river patina, is technically not a patina at all. Rather, submersion in anaerobic fresh water or mud on a river bottom has prevented a normal patina from forming. The shiny original surfaces of the coin often becomes subdued and grainy or porous. Curvy lines of corrosion, with an appearance similar to worm holes in wood, are seen on this coin and are common on river found coins. We don't know what causes these strange flaws.
SL89519. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99, SRCV I 1853, BMCRE I 124, Cohen I 85, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (24900381-001), Tiber patina with porosity and corrosion typical of a fresh water find, weight 23.735 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Western branch "barbarous" mint, c. 41 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, raising fold of chiton with left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, photos taken before certification, now in a NGC holder; $300.00 (264.00)


Dion (or Pella?), Macedonia, c. 22 - 30 A.D.

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The Pietas obverse type is copied from a imperial dupondius struck at Rome in 22 - 23 A.D. (RIC I 43). That portrait has been traditionally described as depicting Livia as Pietas, based on Cohen. Even if as early as 1880, A. Colson was proposing that the portrait is actually Livilla, Drusus' wife, but that was not in time for Cohen to consider it for his catalog. On the dupondius, Pietas is paired with a reverse naming Livilla's husband, Drusus. At the time, Livilla was praised for piety over the sickness and death of her husband. Later it would become clear that she had poisoned Drusus for her lover Sejanus.
RP89332. Leaded bronze provincial as, Kremydi-Sicilianou Dion p. 271, pl. 38 - (E7/O8, unlisted die combination); RPC I 1543; AMNG II p. 60, 4; Varbanov -, VF, areas of light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 10.519 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Dium (or Pella?) mint, reign of Tiberius, c. 22 - 30 A.D.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Pietas (Livilla or Livia as Pietas?) right, PIETAS below; reverse L RVSTI/CELIVS / CORDVS / II VIR / QVINQ / D D (L. Rusticelius Cordus, duovir quinquennalis, decreto decurionum) in six lines; ex CNG auction 420 (9 May 2018), lot 361; ex Belgica Collection; ex CNG e-auction 181 (6 Feb 2008), lot 671 (realized $330 plus fees); ex the Patrick Villemur Collection; rare; $250.00 (220.00)




  







Catalog current as of Saturday, December 7, 2019.
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12 Caesars