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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman CoinsView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Coins

Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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This is the rarest Otho denarius type and one of the rarest 1st century Roman denarii. Only two museums, Paris and ANS, hold examples. A further specimen was found in archeological context in Denmark in 1990s. Besides these, four additional specimens are known. This coin has the best portrait and is clearly the most attractive of the seven known. Jyrki Muona obtained it in 2002 at the NYINC from Glenn Woods.

Otho minted three separate issues. The first and second issues followed Galba's standard of 90% silver. Otho's third issue was debased to 80% silver. All coins of the third issue share the reverse legend PONT MAX, perhaps to make it easy to distinguish the debased coins. One might think our rare coin is simply a reverse legend error for Otho's third issue, PONT MAX Ceres type. However, as Butcher et al. have shown, this is not the case. If CERES AVG was a simple reverse legend error, the flan would be 80% silver. This CERES AVG type was struck on second issue 90% silver flans, probably during planning for the third issue, and perhaps only for testing. The type was apparently not distributed, and was withdrawn, and melted when it was decided to debase the coinage and use the PONT MAX legend. It appears a small number were released, most likely by mistake.
SH79667. Silver denarius, Muona Otho 10b; Butcher-Ponting-Muona 6; ANSCD 1958.217.1; BnF III 1; RIC I 1 (7 spec. known, all minted with the same die-pair), Nice VF, the best portrait and most attractive of the seven known specimens, light rose toning, a few light marks and spots of porosity, weight 3.273 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TRP, bare head right; reverse CERES AVG, Ceres standing left, grain-ears raised in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $10000.00 (8900.00)


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

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Vitellius' children, portrayed on this denarius, thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia, were born to his second wife, Galeria Fundana. When Vitellius was made emperor by the senate, his son, who was about six years old, was sent to Lugdunum to meet him upon his arrival from Germany. The boy may have perished with his father, others say he was executed in 70, on orders of the praetorian prefect Licinius Mucianus. Vespasian arranged an excellent marriage for Vitellius' daughter and provided her with a wedding gown and dowry. Vitellius had another son, Petronianus, by his first wife. He died long before Vitellius became emperor. It was widely believed that Vitellius had poisoned him.
SH77008. Silver denarius, RIC I 103, RSC II 2, BMCRE I 29, BnF III 62, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, attractive gVF, fine style portraits, old cabinet toning, tight flan as usual for the type, light marks and scratches, closed flan crack, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVGVST TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERI IMP GERMAN, confronted draped busts of Vitellius' son (on left) and daughter (thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia); from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; $8000.00 (7120.00)


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

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Other than an undescribed photograph in RSC II, this type is apparently unpublished. Although not in RIC, it is in Southerland's unpublished RIC I addenda.
SH72977. Silver denarius, RSC II p. 24 (photograph, but not described!, same rev. die), RIC I 94 var., BMCRE I 215 var., BnF I 50 var., Hunter -, S - (var. all SER GALBA IMP), VF, porous and pitted, edge scrape reverse top left, weight 3.389 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, c. 3 Apr - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPER (arcing left to right above), Galba on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute; reverse VIRTVS (arcing downward on right), helmeted and draped bust of Virtus (valor, courage) right, crested helmet; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $2150.00 (1913.50)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Faustina II was daughter, wife and mother of emperors and empresses. When she gave birth to the first of many children she was given the title of Augusta, which for a time made her superior in rank to her husband. She was a devoted wife and mother, and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns.
SH77013. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III MA1697 var. (throne without canopy, and S C across field), BMCRE IV MA1568 var. (same), MIR 18 54-6a, Banti 7, VF, dark green patina with touches of red, weight 23.644 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, c. 175 - 176 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, draped bust right; reverse AETERNITAS, Faustina seated left on throne with canopy, holding scepter, between two female attendants (carrying her throne?) with veils flying above their heads, S C in exergue; ex Triton XIX, lot 578; ex A.K. Collection; ex Kress 164 (Nov 1975), lot 1141; very rare variety; $2000.00 (1780.00)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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With this coin Otho claimed there was peace all over the world. It was true that at the time it was struck there was peace along all the borders of the empire, which was a rare event because Rome was almost always engaged in some war with the nations and tribes that surrounded it. It was, however, an absurdity, in the midst of a civil war within the borders, to acclaim peace on the borders as peace all over the world.
SH72951. Silver denarius, RSC II 4a, RIC I -, BMCRE I -, BnF III -, SRCV I -, VF, nice toning, a few bumps and scratches, weight 3.335 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Feb - early Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse PAX ORBIS TERRARVM (All the World at Peace), Pax standing left, olive-branch in right hand, caduceus in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Freeman & Sear Mail Bid Sale 13 (2006), lot 437; not in RIC - this is the much rarer later variety without M between IMP and OTHO, 45/1000 coins in Jyrki Muona's Otho die study; rare; $1450.00 (1290.50)


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

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With this coin Galba asserts that he has restored freedom, but this was empty propaganda. Galba was notoriously cruel, sentenced many to death without trial, raised taxes, and rarely accepted requests for citizenship.
RS72971. Silver denarius, RIC I 7 (R2); BMCRE I 197, BnF I 4, RSC I 132, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, lightly toned, lightly etched surfaces, weight 3.204 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, April - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPERATOR, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (liberty restored), head of Libertas right, hair knotted behind, wearing pearl necklace; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Artcoins auction 6 (10 Dec 2012), lot 800 (the one and only sale of this type on Coin Archives); extremely rare; $1350.00 (1201.50)


Roman Civil Wars, Revolt of Galba, Governor of Spain, April - June 68 A.D.

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Galba lived in Tarraco for eight years. This coin was issued by Galba as governor of Spain in revolt against Nero. The obverse is copied from Republican denarii struck in 62 B.C. by the moneyer L. Scribonius Libo.
SH63560. Silver denarius, RIC I 9 (R4), RSC II 396, BMCRE I 9, SRCV I 2072, F, toned, weight 3.515 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tarraco(?) mint, Apr - Jun 68 A.D.; obverse BON EVENT, young female head (Bonus Eventus) right, fillet around forehead; reverse ROM RENASC, Roma standing right in military garb, Victory on globe in right hand, eagle-tipped scepter over left shoulder in left; bargain priced for this interesting R4 rarity implying the restoration of the Republic!, from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare (R4); $1170.00 (1041.30)


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

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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. The shield in the center commemorates the golden shield awarded to Augustus by the Senate for his virtue, piety, justice and clemency, which was kept on display in the Curia Iulia.
SH72982. Silver denarius, RIC I 47 (R2), RSC II 282, BMCRE I 190, BnF III 28, Hunter I 71, SRCV I -, VF, hoard patina, some smoothing around bust, weight 3.439 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, 3 Apr - Aug 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPERATOR, laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse S P Q R on round shield, surrounded by oak-wreath; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex CNG e-auction 202 (14 Jan 2009), lot 195; ex White Mountain Collection; very rare; $1120.00 (996.80)


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

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This type with this obverse legend arrangement is apparently unpublished. The normal obverse legend arrangement is A VITELLLIVS IMP upward on left and GERMANICVS downward on right. Another variation has this legend break but the obverse legend ends with GERMAN. The arrangement on this coin does not leave enough room for either the final S or the globe at the point of the bust and they appear to be merged. This variation is likely an engraving error for one or the other normal types.
RS72989. Silver denarius, RIC I 6 (R) var. (obv. leg. break), RSC II 26a, BMCRE I 85 var. (same), BnF III 8 var. (GERMAN), Hunter I 53 var. (same), SRCV I 2190 var. (same), VF, toned, porous, a few marks, insignificant flan cracks, weight 3.325 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, c. Jan - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS - IMP GERMANICVS, laureate head left, small globe at point of bust; reverse CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM, Mars advancing left, nude but for crested helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, spear in right, aquila with vexillum in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, an unpublished variant of a rare type, this is the only example known to Forum; $1080.00 (961.20)


Otho, January - March 69 A.D.

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Otho wore a wig and on some of his coin portraits, such as this one, it seems you can actually see the wig.
SH72956. Silver denarius, RIC I 8, RSC II 17, BMCRE I 18, BnF III 10, SRCV I 2162, VF, mint luster, toned, weight 3.469 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing left, wreath in right, long scepter in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex Rauch Sommerauktion 2009, lot 651; rare; $1000.00 (890.00)




  







Catalog current as of Saturday, June 25, 2016.
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Roman Coins