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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Livia||View 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

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.
SH84743. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 2, 146; RIC I 28 (S); BMCRE I 44; RSC II 16b; SRCV I 1763, Choice Mint State, as struck mint luster, excellent centering and bold strike, slightest die wear, tiny light scratch on cheek, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early ornate style, 15 - 18 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 ornately decorated legs set on base of two lines above exergue, reversed spear vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; even better in hand, the finest Tribute Penny Forum has ever offered (and we have handled hundreds over the last 20 years), from the Marcelo Leal Collection; scarce; SOLD


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
SH85106. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, Mint State, extraordinary!, centered, light golden toning on luster, weight 3.826 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 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; SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him:  Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us.  He said to them:  Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH43071. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 1, 143; RIC I 25 (R2); BMCRE I 30; SRCV I 1760; Calico 305d (S.1); Cohen 15; SRCV I 1760, aVF, nicely centered, weight 7.523 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, early 'plain' fine style, c. 15 - 18 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 plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; rare (R2); SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him: Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us. He said to them: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH56930. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 4, 149; RIC I 29 (R); BMCRE I 46; Calico 305b (S.1); Cohen 15; SRCV I 1760, aVF, weight 7.475 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon) 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; scarce; SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him: Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us. He said to them: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH57789. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 2, 145; RIC I 27 (R2); BMCRE I 40; Calico 305a (S.3); Cohen 15; SRCV I 1760, VF, weight 7.702 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early ornate style, 15 - 18 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 ornately decorated legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; rare; SOLD


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.
RS82671. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, EF, nearly as struck, broad flan, strike slightly flat over temple, die wear, light marks, tiny silver encrustations, weight 3.673 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 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; SOLD


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
SH84237. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, Choice gVF, attractive style, well centered, toned, light marks, weight 3.789 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 45o, 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; SOLD


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
RS86432. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, EF, nearly as struck, centered on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 3.698 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, 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; SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SL87331. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, NGC AU (about uncirculated), strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2490380-003), weight 3.561 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 270o, 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; certified (slabbed) by NGC (the photograph was taken before certification); SOLD


Click for a larger photo
In 22 when Livia fell ill, Tiberius hastened back to Rome from Capri in order to be with his mother. This coin was probably issued to thank Salus for her recovery. Ancient historians say, however, the reason Tiberius retired to Capri was because he could no longer endure his mother. Livia fell ill again in 29. Dying, she held out several days in hope of his coming but he remained on Capri and sent Caligula to deliver the funeral oration. Tiberius vetoed divinity and all the other honors the Senate granted her after her death.
SH89838. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Tiberius 47 (S), BMCRE I Tiberius 81, BnF I Tiberius 63, Cohen I 5, SRCV I 1740, Hunter I -, VF, well centered, brown and blue-green patina, weight 12.418 g, maximum diameter 28.23 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under her son Tiberius, c. 22 - 23 A.D.; obverse SALVS AVGVSTA (arcing counterclockwise below bust), draped bust of Livia (as Salus) right, her hair waved and knotted behind; reverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVG P M TR POT XXIIII, legend around large S C (senatus consulto); rare; SOLD




  




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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 Sunday, August 25, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Livia