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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 The type was apparently not distributed, and was withdrawn, and melted when it was decided to debase the coinage and use the PONT MAX legend.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)


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Other than an undescribed photograph in RSC II, this type is apparently unpublished. Although not in RIC, it is in Southerland's unpublished RIC I addenda.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)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Nero considered himself an artist, perhaps he was and took an interest in his coinage - the sestertii of Nero are considered by many to be the finest numismatic art of the Roman Empire.
RB84073. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 443 (S), Mac Dowall WCN 428, Giard Lyon 119, BnF II 83, Cohen I 262, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SGCV I -, VF, fine style, excellent portrait, attractive brown toning, obverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 25.990 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass and shields, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory in offering wreath in her right hand, her left hand resting on parazonium at side, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, S - C flanking across field at center, ROMA in exergue; $1800.00 (1602.00)


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

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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2)

SH84233. Silver denarius, RIC I 167a, BMCRE I 451, RSC I 137, BnF I 1373, SRCV I 1610, Choice EF, nearly as struck, lustrous, slight die wear, weight 3.887 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVIF, bare head right; reverse bull butting right, IMPX in exergue; $1700.00 (1513.00)


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)


Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.

Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; 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)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.

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Macrinus was Praetorian Prefect for Caracalla but arranged Caracalla's assassination and seized power. He and his son were accepted by the senate. The Syrian legions, inspired by Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, revolted after he concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. He was defeated and executed.
SL84525. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 139 (S), BMCRE V 120 var. (also draped, noted), Cohen IV 66 71, SRCV II 7386, Hunter III -, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4373010-005), lovely mahogany tone with lighter tones on the high points, weight 20.5 g, maximum diameter 31 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, 11 Apr 217 - 31 Dec 217 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P, Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, drapery over left arm, S - C flanking across field below center; NGC Certified, ex Stacks-Bowers; $1100.00 (979.00)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life." Caesar would be dictator for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks or days after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."
SH84451. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/8, Sydenham 1061, BMCRR Rome 4154, RSC I 23, Sear CRI 105, SRCV I 1411, aF, toned, uneven strike, uneven strike, porous areas, weight 3.204 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, struck by P. L. Aemilus Buca, Rome mint, lifetime issue, Feb - 15 Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAES DICT PERPETVO, laureate head of Julius Caesar right; reverse Venus standing left, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, L BVCA downward on the right; $1100.00 (979.00)


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
SH84237. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; SRCV I 1762; 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, Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right, branch in left, no footstool; $1100.00 (979.00)




  







Catalog current as of Saturday, December 10, 2016.
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Roman Coins