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

Livia (Julia), Augusta, 14 - 29 A.D., Wife of Augustus, Mother of Tiberius, Grandmother of Claudius

Livia was the wife of Augustus, mother of Tiberius, paternal grandmother of Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of Nero. When Octavian and Livia met, both were already married, Livia already had a son, Tiberius, and was pregnant with a second, Nero Claudius Drusus. Legend says that Octavian fell immediately in love with her. Octavian divorced Scribonia, on the very day that she gave birth to his daughter Julia. Tiberius Claudius Nero was persuaded or forced by Octavian to divorce Livia. Augustus and Livia married, three days after her second son was born. Tiberius Claudius Nero gave her away at the wedding, "just as a father would." There are probably more political explanations for the union. Nevertheless, Livia and Augustus remained married for the next 51 years. They had no children. Livia always enjoyed the status of privileged counselor to her husband, petitioning him on the behalf of others and influencing his policies, an unusual role for a Roman wife. Living very simply and frugally, Livia set an example of Roman virtue which made her quite popular with the people. According to some ancient historians, however, Livia poisoned Augustus' potential heirs and then Augustus himself to make her son emperor. When he was emperor, Tiberius and Livia had a falling out. On her death in 29 A.D., he did not see fit to have her consecrated. When Claudius came to power, he argued that every god needed a consort (referring to the deified Augustus). The Senate accepted this logic, and she was declared a goddess.


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
SH87332. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; SRCV I 1762; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, VF, well centered, unusual attractive portrait, toned, radiating flow lines, die wear, porosity, light deposits, weight 3.690 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early 'plain' fine style, 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; $720.00 (€612.00)
 


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.
SH87506. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, EF, lustrous, radiating flow lines, slightly off center, die wear, flaw on Pax face, weight 3.857 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 210o, 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; $720.00 (€612.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82708. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, VF, bold high relief portrait, toned, a little off center, die wear, scratches, weight 3.679 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 270o, 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; $440.00 (€374.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH87333. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, VF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, uneven toning with dark spots, porous, bump and marks, closed edge cracks, weight 3.774 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 90o, 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; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82707. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, aVF/F, excellent portrait, toned, obverse a little off center cutting off right side of legend, punches, bumps and scratches, weight 3.731 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 90o, 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 right hand, branch in left hand, feet on footstool; $360.00 (€306.00)
 


Koinon of Thessaly, Rule of Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Portrait of Livia or Antonia

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References identify the veiled female as Claudius' grandmother, Livia. The strong chin, however, better fits his mother, Antonia. Antonia had just been posthumously elevated to the role of Augusta by her son Claudius. Other coins naming Antonia Augusta show a similar veiled pose. The strong chin is a feature that she inherited from her lantern jawed father, Marc Antony. Livia, by comparison, was a classic beauty with a normal female chin.
RP87442. Bronze triassarion, BCD Thessaly II 924.2 (same obv. die); BCD Thessaly I 1436.3, RPC I 1434, Rogers 71, SNG Cop 335, SNG München 246, BMC Thessaly -, VF, dark patina, porous, corrosion, small edge split, weight 10.794 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 41 - 45 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTHΩN ΘEΣΣAΛΩN, bust of Livia (or Antonia?) left, draped, veiled and wearing stephane; reverse ΣTPATHΓOY ANTIΓONOY (strategos [military governor] Antigonos), nymph Larissa standing left, holding up ball in her right hand, left hand on hip, monogram in left field; $160.00 (€136.00)
 







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REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J.B. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, November 15, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Livia