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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Tarraco||View Options:  |  |  | 

Tarraco, Hispania Tarraconensis (Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain)

Tarraco was inhabited in pre-Roman times by Iberians who had commercial contacts with the Greeks and Phoenicians who settled on the coast. In 217 B.C., Roman forces arrived in Tarraco with Scipio Africanus. The population became allies and friends of the Roman people and Tarraco became a supply and winter base camp during the Roman wars against the Celtiberians. When Caesar conquered supporters of Pompey in 49 B.C., Tarraco supported his army with food. The city was made Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco, probably by Caesar after his victory in Munda. In the year 27 BC, Augustus went to Spain to monitor the campaigns in Cantabria. However, due to his poor health he preferred to stay in Tarraco. He and bestowed many marks of honor on the city, among which were its honorary titles of Colonia Victrix Togata and Colonia Julia Victrix Tarraconensis. Tarraco was the capital of the Roman province Hispania Citerior and, after Augustus' reorganization of Hispania, of Hispania Tarraconensis. Tarraco is a UNESCO World heritage site.

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

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Sixty-five years old when he was made emperor, Galba was bald and his feet and hands were so crippled by arthritis that he could not wear shoes, or hold a book. He had a growth on his left side which was held in by a corset. Suetonius wrote that Galba was, in sexual matters, more inclined to males, and then none but the hard bodied and those past their prime. Although many of the Roman emperors are believed to have been homosexual, this seems to be the only case in Roman history where a named individual male is stated to prefer adult males. The freedman Icelus, rumored to have been Galba's homosexual lover, was said to have embezzled more in his seven months in office than all of Nero's freedmen had stolen in 13 years.
RS94492. Silver denarius, RIC I 45 (R2), RSC II 223, BMCRE I 187, BnF III 26, Hunter I 70, SRCV I -, gF, a little rough, flan crack, weight 3.084 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Spainish (Tarraco?) mint, Apr - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPERATOR, laureate head right, large globe below behind point of neck; reverse ROMA VICTRIX, Roma standing left, helmeted and wearing military dress, right foot on globe, raising laurel branch in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from an Israeli collection; Roma Numismatics e-sale 58 (20 Jun 2019), lot 1070 (noted from the inventory of a European dealer); very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


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

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.|, |denarius|
The inscriptions tell us this coin was dedicated by the senate and people of Rome to Augustus for improving the roads. Augustus improved many roads around Rome and personally financed and directed work on the Via Flaminia and the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber, where he erected statues and triumphal arches in his own honor. In Hispania, the old via Herculea was renamed Via Augusta shortly after Augustus' stay in Tarraco in 27 B.C., perhaps indicating he made improvements to the road during his visit.
SH66803. Silver denarius, RIC I 142 (R4), RSC I 235, BMCRE I 435, SRCV I -, VF, slightly grainy, weight 3.374 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco(?) mint, 17 - 16 B.C.; obverse S P Q R AVGVSTO CAESARI, bare head left; reverse QVOD VIAE MVN SVNT, legend in four lines between two arches atop a viaduct, each bearing an equestrian statue facing center and a trophy; among the very rarest Augustus' denarii; extremely rare; SOLD


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

|Vitellius|, |Vitellius,| |2| |January| |-| |20| |December| |69| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed their commander, Vespasian, as emperor. Vitellius, aware that he would be defeated, negotiated terms of resignation, but the praetorians refused to allow him to carry out the agreement, and forced him to return to the palace. When Vespasian's troops entered Rome he was dragged out of a lodge where he was hiding, taken to the fatal Gemonian stairs, and executed. His body was thrown into the Tiber according to Suetonius; Cassius Dio's account is that Vitellius was beheaded and his head paraded around Rome, and his wife attended to his burial. "Yet I was once your emperor," were his last words. His brother and son were also killed.
SH68884. Silver denarius, RIC I 36, BMCRE I 94, RSC II 101, BnF III 13, SRCV I 2191, VF, a few small bumps and scrapes, weight 3.467 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, Jan - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS IMP GERMAN, laureate head left, globe with palm-branch at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTI (the victory of the Emperor), Victory flying left, wings raised overhead, small round shield inscribed S P Q R in right; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare; SOLD







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