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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve CaesarsView Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Coins of the 12 Caesars

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

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Minerva was ancient even to the Romans. She was of Italian or Etruscan origin and directly identified with the Greek Athena. Although a war goddess, she was also the patron of handicrafts and of wisdom. The latter is probably what made her attractive to Claudius who reportedly authored several histories, none of which, unfortunately, have survived.
RB86659. Copper as, RIC I 100, Hunter I 62, BMCRE I 149, BnF II 179, Cohen I 84, SRCV I 1861, VF/F, excellent portrait, some legend weakly struck, porosity/corrosion, flan cracks, weight 8.883 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 41 - 50 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left; reverse Minerva striding right, wearing crested helmet, brandishing javelin in right hand, round shield on left arm, large S - C flanking low across field; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $100.00 (€85.00)

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; $1800.00 (€1530.00)

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

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In 86, Dacia attacked the Roman province of Moesia. After the attack, Domitian personally went to Moesia and reorganized the province into Moesia Inferior and Moesia Superior. In the summer of 87, five or six legions crossed the Danube to attack Dacia. At Tapae they were ambushed. Almost all of the soldiers from Legio V Alaudae were killed, the Dacians captured their flags and war machines, and general Cornelius Fuscus himself was killed in battle. After this victory, the Dacian king Diurpaneus received the name of Decebalus, meaning as strong (or brave) as ten men.
RS86646. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 507, BMCRE II 103, RSC II 218, BnF III 104, Hunter I 39 corr., SRCV I 2730, Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, light toning, some die wear, light marks and scratches, weight 3.487 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 1 Sep 87 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI, laureate head right; reverse IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing right on the capital of a rostral column, helmeted, wearing aegis, brandishing javelin in right hand, shield on left arm, owl at feet on right; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $240.00 (€204.00)

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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This coin was struck under the supervision of Marcus Salvius Otho, an ancestor of the future emperor Otho. The reverse legend identifies him as a Triumvir Auro, Argento, Aere, Flando, Feriundo - one of three magistrates (or three magistrates) for casting and striking gold, silver, and bronze. The College of the Three Moneyers (IIIviri monetales) was a revived republican tradition. Later, the number of moneyers was increased to four, but their names were no longer included on the coins.
RB86658. Copper as, SRCV I 1685, RIC I 431, BMCRE 226, Cohen I 515, BnF I 687, F, nice portrait for grade, centered on a tight flan, bumps and scratches, weight 11.128 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, moneyer M Salvius Otho, 7 B.C.; obverse CAESAR AVGVST PONT MAX TRIBVNIC POT, bare head right; reverse M SALVIVS OTHO III VIR A A A F F, legend around S C (senatus consulto - struck by the authority of the Senate.); from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Harlan Berk; $130.00 (€110.50)

Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Philadelphia was an important and wealthy trade center in ancient Lydia that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. In 17 A.D., the city suffered greatly in an earthquake. After Tiberius aided in rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea. Under Vespasian, it was titled Flavia. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation. But in the 6th century, paganism still held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as "little Athens" for its dedication to deities. Today the modern city is called Alasehir.
RP87144. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3042; BMC Lydia p. 196, 59; SNG Cop 375; SNGvA -, VF, dark green patina, reverse off center, weight 3.827 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Ti. Neikanor, c. 54 - 59 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, hair in long plait down back of neck and looped at end, long loosely curled lock down side of neck; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain, ΦIΛA−∆EΛΦE/ΩN N−EIKA/NΩ−P across field in three divided lines; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 39 (26 Aug 2017), lot 410 ; $120.00 (€102.00)

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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In the spring of 68, Galba was informed of Nero's intention to put him to death. On 2 April 68, at Carthago Nova, Galba declared himself the "representative of the Roman people" and received salutation by the troops as Imperator. This was not quite a claim to the throne, but was clearly rebellion. This rare denarius is from a small issue struck in Gaul during the period after Galba's salutation as imperator, but before his recognition as Augustus in mid-June. On the reverse Galba claims he will achieve Victory for the Roman people.
RS86694. Silver denarius, RIC I 111 (R2), BMCRE I 227, RSC II 322, BnF III -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, aVF, nice portrait, centered on a tight flan, toned, bumps and scratches, weight 3.555 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Gaul (Narbo?) mint, c. 10 April - mid Jun 68 A.D.; obverse SER GALBA IMPERATOR (counter-clockwise from lower right), laureate and draped bust right; reverse VICTORIA P R (counter-clockwise from upper left), Victory standing left on globe, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex CNG e-auction 100 (27 Oct 2004), lot 148; rare; $380.00 (€323.00)

Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

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"Even before they issued coins, Romans put pigs on their money. A cast bronze ingot (Aes Signatum) of five Roman pounds (1.746 kg) and dated to 275 BCE shows a fat sow. Since the other side of this heavy ingot shows an elephant this may be a reference to the “Flaming Pig” tactics used by the Roman army to panic the elephants of King Pyrrhus. According to legend, the legionaries released pigs with burning torches tied to their tails. Running from the flames, the pigs stampeded into enemy lines, creating such chaos among the war elephants that the frantic beasts trampled their own troops." -- "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek
RS86891. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 Vespasian 986; RSC II 104; BMCRE II 227; BnF III 203, SRCV I 2443, F, well centered, bumps, scratches, corrosion, edge crack, weight 3.144 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR VESPASIANVS, laureate head right; reverse sow and three piglets walking left, IMP XIII in exergue; scarce; $140.00 (€119.00)

Paullus Fabius Maximus, Roman Proconsul of Asia, c. 10 - 9 B.C., Hierapolis, Phrygia

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Paullus Fabius Maximus was related to Augustus by marriage and was a descendant of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus (220 - 160 B.C.), the conqueror of King Perseus of Macedon. As a quaestor, he accompanied Augustus on his trips to the East from 22 to 19 B.C. He was consul in 11 B.C. and subsequently proconsul (governor) of Asia. He apparently enjoyed poetry and was a correspondent of both Horace and Ovid (both mentioned him in their works). His portrait on coinage indicates Augustus' friendship and appreciation.
RP87086. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2930 (7 spec.); SNG Cop 447; BMC Phrygia p. 243, 93 - 94; SNGvA -, aVF, rough encrustation/partial patina, weight 5.585 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse ΦABIOΣ MAΞIMOΣ, bare head of Fabius Maximus right; reverse bipennis (double axe) with long handle bound with filet, ZΩΣIMOΣ ΦIΛOΠATPIΣ/ IEPOΠOΛEITΩN XAPAΞ (local magistrates Zosimos, Philopatris, and Charax); very rare; $300.00 (€255.00)

Gaius Asinius Gallus, Roman Proconsul of Asia, 6 - 5 B.C., Temnos, Aeolis

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The larger denomination of the same series honored Augustus. On this coin Gallus gives himself the epithet Aγνος, meaning pure or holy! Later he was an ambitious and powerful senator. A foe of Tiberius, in 11 B.C. he married Tiberius' ex-wife, Vipsania. He was suspected of and never denied fathering Tiberius' son, Drusus the Younger. After Vipsania died, he courted the widow of Germanicus, Agrippina. In 30 A.D., Tiberius had him imprisoned and for three years kept him in solitary confinement and on the very edge of starvation until he died. To add further insult he was discredited by damnatio memoriae.
GB87100. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2447 (23 spec.); SNG Cop 276; SNG München 627; BMC Troas p. 146, 24; CRE Ashmolean 1261; Waddington 1350; SNGvA -, gF, slightly off center, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.835 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Temnos (Menemen?, Izmir, Turkey) mint, 5 B.C.; obverse ACINIOC ΓAΛΛOC AΓNOC, bare head of Asinius Gallus right; reverse APOΛΛAC ΦAINIOY TAMNITAN, head of Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)

Germanicus, Caesar, died 10 October 19 A.D., Apamea, Phrygia

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Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). Christianity was very likely established early in the city. Saint Paul probably visited the place when he went throughout Phrygia.
RP87109. Leaded bronze AE 15, RPC I 3134 (8 spec.); SNGvA 3488; Waddington 5705; Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 210, 16; SNG Cop -; BMC Phrygia -, VF, nice portrait, bumps, scratches, encrustations, weight 2.886 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, magistrate Gaius Ioulios Kallikles, 14 - 19 A.D.; obverse ΓEPMANIKOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right; reverse IOYΛIOΣ KAΛΛIKΛHΣ AΠAMEΩN, Stag standing right on maeander pattern; rare; $120.00 (€102.00)

Catalog current as of Saturday, March 17, 2018.
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12 Caesars