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

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

Claudius was one of the most capable, yet unlikely emperors. Shunned as an idiot by his family due to a limp and embarrassing stutter, Claudius spent the first decades of his life absorbed in scholarly studies until the death of his nephew Caligula. After Caligula's murder, the Praetorian Guard found him hiding behind a curtain in the Imperial Palace, expecting to be murdered. Instead, the guard proclaimed him emperor. His reign was marred by personal catastrophes, most notably promiscuity and betrayal by his third wife. He governed well and conquered the troublesome island of Britain. He was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero.


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
SH21696. Gold aureus, RIC I 27 (R2), BMCRE I 26, SRCV I 1833, VF, fantastic fine style, some light scratches and marks,, weight 7.620 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 90o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 44 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P IIII, laureate head right; reverse PACI AVGVSTAE, Pax-Nemesis, winged, advancing right, with left pointing winged caduceus down at snake, right holding out fold of drapery below chin; ex Pegasi; very rare; SOLD


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Nice early portrait of Claudius. Claudius inherited a nearly bankrupt treasury from his nephew Caligula. A large gold statue of Caligula was probably melted to provided the gold for Claudius' first issue of aureii.
SH37551. Gold aureus, SRCV I 1831, RIC I 15, Cohen I 34, BMCRE I 16, BnF II 30, Choice VF, weight 7.673 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 280o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P, head right wearing oak wreath; reverse EX S C OB CIVES SERVATOS within Corona Civica, an oak wreath awarded "for saving the lives of citizens"; fine style; rare (R2); SOLD


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Nice early portrait of Claudius. Claudius inherited a nearly bankrupt treasury from his nephew Caligula. A large gold statue of Caligula was probably melted to provided the gold for Claudius' first issue of aureii.
SH33184. Gold aureus, SRCV I 1831, RIC I 15, Cohen 34, BMCRE I 16, BnF II 30, VF, weight 7.644 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P, head right wearing oak wreath; reverse EX S C OB CIVES SERVATOS within Corona Civica, an oak wreath awarded "for saving the lives of citizens"; impressive portrait and attractive reddish tone, similar to that of the Boscoreale Hoard found near Pompeii, small spot of rim filing at 2:00, a few small scratches and dings; rare (R2); SOLD


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The reverse inscription abbreviates Senatus Populusque Romanus Ob Cives Servatos, meaning "[Awarded by] the senate and the Roman people for saving citizens." The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
SH76407. Silver denarius, RIC I 41 (R2), RSC II 87, BMCRE I 45, BnF II 59, Hunter I 16, SRCV I 1848, aEF, nice portrait, some die wear, nice surfaces with some light marks and areas of mild porosity, weight 3.745 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 46 - 47 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P VI IMP XI, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R / OB / C S in three lines within the Corona Civica, an oak wreath awarded "for saving the lives of citizens"; from the Jeff Michniak Collection, the first example of this type handled by Forum; very rare; SOLD


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The Roman curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of a throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as a friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. In Gaul, the Merovingian successors to Roman power employed the curule seat as an emblem of their right to dispense justice. Their Capetian successors also retained the iconic seat. The "Throne of Dagobert," of cast bronze retaining traces of gilding, is conserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. First mentioned in the 12th century, it was already a treasured relic on which the Frankish kings sat to receive the homage of their nobles after they had assumed power. The "Throne of Dagobert" was used for the coronation of Napoleon.Throne of Dagobert
RS28059. Silver denarius, RIC I 14, BMCRE I 13, RSC II 6, gVF, weight 3.502 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P, laureate head right; reverse CONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI (consistency of the emperor), Constantia seated left on curule chair, draped, feet on stool, right hand raised; unusual iridescent plum toning; rare; SOLD


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The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
RB47802. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 112, BMCRE I 185, Cohen 38, aEF, minor roughness, weight 26.961 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right; reverse EX S C / P P / O B CIVES / SERVATOS, inscription in four lines in oak wreath (Corona Civica); sharp strike from nice dies; SOLD


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

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This issue celebrated their marriage and Agrippina Junior's elevation to Augusta. Julia Agrippina was a great-granddaughter of Augustus, great-niece and adoptive granddaughter of Tiberius, sister of Caligula, niece and fourth wife of Claudius, and mother of the Nero. She is described by the ancient sources as ruthless, ambitious, violent and domineering, but also beautiful and reputable. According to Pliny the Elder, she had a double right upper canine, a sign of good fortune. Many ancient historians accused Agrippina of poisoning Claudius. A soothsayer prophesied if Nero became emperor, he would kill his mother, Agrippina replied "Let him kill me, only let him rule!" Nero had her executed in 59 A.D.
SH79841. Silver cistophorus, RPC I 2223, RIC I 117 (R), BMCRE I 234, BnF II 294, RSC II 2, SRCV I 1887, VF, excellent portraits, toned, nice surfaces, highest points flatly struck, reverse slightly off-center, weight 11.054 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 50 - 51 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P X IMP XIIX (counterclockwise), laureate head of Claudius right; reverse AGRIPPINA AVGVSTA CAESARIS AVG (counterclockwise), draped bust of Agrippina Jr. right, hair in queue at back, hair in three rows of curls above ear and long curly strand below ear; rare; SOLD


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

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SH54006. Silver cistophorus, RIC I 120, SRCV I 1838, RSC II 3, BMCRE I 228, Nice VF, banker's mark, weight 10.700 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAES AVG, bare head left; reverse COM ASI ROM ET AVG, temple of two columns, within temple Claudius stands facing holding a spear and is crowned by Fortuna holding a cornucopia; toned; very rare (R3); SOLD


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Spes is the personification of hope and the reverse legend translates, “Hope of the Augusta.” In 42 A.D., when this coin was struck, Antonia, Claudius' mother, and Livia were the only women who had ever held the title Augusta.

The face of Spes, visible on high grade examples of this type, might be that of Antonia.
SH63635. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 115, BMCRE I 192, SRCV I 1854, gVF, weight 28.372 g, maximum diameter 37.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes standing, head left, flower in right, lifting skirt drapery with left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; good style dies, ex Jencek Historical Enterprise; SOLD


Judean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa I, 37 - 44 A.D.

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Agrippa spent much of his boyhood at the imperial court in Rome and was close to both Caligula and Claudius. One of Claudius' first acts was a treaty guaranteeing Agrippa's kingdom, with the title "great king," and granting the additional territory of Chalcis to Agrippa's elder brother Herod V. The reverse of this coin depicts a victimarius (sacrificial assistant) about to kill a pig to sanctify the oaths of this treaty. Both Josephus (Jospehus, Ant. xix.5.1) and Suetonius (Suetonius, Claud. 25.5) wrote that Claudius and Agrippa performed this fetial ceremony in the center of the Forum in Rome.
SH66828. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1245, Meshorer AJC II p. 248, 8, Meshorer TJC 121; RPC I 4983, F, weight 15.186 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOΣ KAICAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΓEPM (Tiberius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), laureate head of Claudius right; reverse BAΣIΛEYΣ MEΓAΣ AΓPIΠΠAΣ ΦIΛOKAIΣAP (the Great King Agrippa, friend of Caesar), figures of Agrippa and Claudius stand facing each other within a distyle temple, priest(?) standing in center background, victimarius kneeling in center at feet holding pig, LZ (regnal year 7) in pediment; ex William M. Rosenblum auction 43A, lot 18; very rare; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVVSCLAVDIVSAVGVSTVS
TICLAVDCAES
TICLAVDCAESAVG
TICLAVDCAESARAVGGERPMTRP
TICLAVDCAESARAVGGERMPMTRP
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPIII
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPIIII
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPVIIMPXI
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPVIIIIMPXVI
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPVIIIIIMPXVI
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPVIIIIIMPXVII
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPVIIIIIMPXVIII
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPXPP
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPXIMPPP
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPXPPIMPXVIII
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPXIIMPPPCOSV
TICLAVDCAESARAVGPMTRPXIPPIMPXVIII
TICLAVDIVSCAESARAVG
TICLAVDIVSCAESARAVGPMTRPIMP
TICLAVDIVSCAESARAVGPMTRPIMPPP
TICLAVDCAESARAVGGERMPMTRIBPOTPP (WITH AGRIPPINA JUNIOR)


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 II: De Tebère à Néron. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1988).
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).
von Kaenel, H.-M. "Britannicus, Agrippina Minor und Nero in Thrakien" in SNR 63 (1984).
von Kaenel, H.-M. Münzprägung und Münzbildnis des Claudius. AMUGS XI. (Berlin, 1986).

Catalog current as of Friday, October 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Claudius