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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > Lucas H > Twelve Caesars in Silver

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Caesar_Elephant.jpg
01 01 Julius Caesar 106 viewsJulius Caesar. 49-44 B.C. AR Denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in Gaul. c. 49-48 B.C. (3.72g, 19.0m, 4h). Obv: CAESAR in ex., elephant r. trampling serpent. Rev: simpulum, sprinkler, axe surmounted by wolf’s head, and apex. Cr 443/1; Syd. 1006.

This is the first issue in Caesar’s name. The obverse could symbolize the victory of good over evil in general, or the victory of Caesar’s forces over the Pompeians specifically. The reverse clearly refers to Caesar’s status as Pontifex Maximus.
3 commentsLucas H
Julius_Caesar,_Donative.jpg
01 05 Julius Caesar27 viewsJulius Caesar. AR Denarius. Utica? Mint. 46 A.D. (3.7g, 16mm, 10h). Obv: DICT ITER COS TERT, head of Ceres right, wreathed with grain. Rev: AVGVR PONT MAX, emblems of the augurate and pontificate; aspergillum, guttus, and lituus; M (munus=gift) to right. Craw. 467/1b, Syd. 1024.

This was likely used as a donative by Caesar during his triumph of 46 B.C. While porous, this example is well centered, and the M is clearly on the flan.
Lucas H
2620274.jpg
01 Julius Caesar, Captives19 viewsJulius Caesar. AR Denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in Spain. c. 46-45 B.C. (3.71g, 19.5mm, 6h). Obv: Diademed head of Venus right, Cupid on shoulder. Rev: Gallia seated in attitude of mourning and a Gaulish male captive, hands bound, seated beneath trophy, possibly Vercingetorix. CAESAR in Exergue. RSC 13. Craw. 468/1.

This type was minted during Caesar’s final campaign against Pompeian forces in Spain. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the male Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix. Not perfect, but well centered, a good state of preservation, with a clear CAESAR on the reverse.
Lucas H
Augustus_Tarpeia.jpg
02 01 Augustus. Tarpeia111 viewsAugustus. 27 B.C.-14 A.D. AR. Denarius. Rome Mint. 19-18 B.C. 3.5g, 20 mm. Obv: CAESAR AVGVSTS, bare head righ. Rev: TVRPILIANVS III VIR, Tarpeia facing, buried to the waist in shields. RIC I 299. RSC 494, BMC 29.

Tarpeia, daughter of the commander of the citadel, betrayed her fellow Romans to the Sabines when they came to attack Rome. Tarpeia offered to admit the Sabines into the city in return for what they wore on their arms. She had in mind the gold torques the Sabines usually wore. The Sabines agreed, but disgusted by her greed, the gave her the shields they worn on their arms and put her to death by crushing her under their shields. She was then thrown from a high cliff above the city. The Tarpeian Rock, from which traitors were thrown in Rome, is named after her.
4 commentsLucas H
Augustus_RIC_I_86a.jpg
02 Augusts RIC I 86a54 viewsAugustus. 27 B.C.-14 A.D.. Colonia Patricia Mint. 19 B.C. (3.13g, 18.4mm, 2h). Obv: CAESAR AVGSTVS, bare head right. Rev: SIGNIS RECEPTIS, Aquila on l. and standard on r. flanking SPQR arranged around shield inscribed CL V. RIC I 86a, BMC 417, RSC 265.

An important historical type commemorating the return of the legionary eagles lost by Crassus to the Parthians in the battle of Carrhae in 53 B.C. This example has wonderful toning, is perfectly centered, and retains complete legends, even the CL V on the shield is preserved better than the photograph shows.
3 commentsLucas H
Augustus_RIC_288.jpg
02 Augustus RIC 28820 viewsAugusts 27 B.C.- 14 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome mint, 19 B.C. P. Petronius Turpilianus, moneyer. (3.65g, 18.2m, 0h). Obv: TVRPILIANS IIIVIR FERON, Diad. and draped bust of Feronia r. Rev: CAESAR AVGVSTVS SIGN RECE, Parthian kneeling r. presenting standard w. X marked vexillum. RIC 288, BMC 14, RSC 484.

A historical type commemorating the return of the standards lost by Crassus at the battle of Carrhae during his Parthian campaign in 53 B.C. Rome was humiliated by the defeat and loss of several Legionary Eagles. Crassus and several of his generals were killed. Through diplomacy, Augusts secured the return of the Eagles, an important victory to tout on his coinage.

I've been wanting this type for some time because of it's historic significance, but as it's outside of my primary collecting area, I was willing to compromise on condition. This example is worn, but clearly recognizable. The obverse has banker's marks which seem to disappear or become much more scarce on denarii towards the end of the Republic and beginning of the Empire.
Lucas H
Augustus_RIC_37a.jpg
02 Augustus RIC I 0037a68 viewsAugustus 27 B.C.-14 A.D. AR Denarius. Spanish Mint c. 19-18 A.D. (3.43g, 19.7m, 6h). Obv: AVGVSTVS CAESAR, oak-wreathed head right. Rev: DIVVS IVLIVS, to l. and r. of eight-rayed comet with tail upwards. RIC I 37a. RSC 98.

The Caesaris Astrum, or Star of Caesar, appeared in 44 B.C., mere months after Caesar’s assassination during the Ludi Victoriae Caesaris. The appearance of the comet was taken as a dramatic sign of the deification of Caesar, and not lost on Augustus as an ongoing propaganda opportunity as this coin demonstrates.
4 commentsLucas H
Augustus_RIC_220.jpg
02 Augustus RIC I 022047 viewsAugustus 27 B.C.-14 A.D. AR Denarius. Lugdunum Mint 13-14 A.D. (3.57g, 19.5, 0 h). Obv: [CAESAR AVGVSTVS] DVI F PATER PATRRIAE, laureate head r. REV: [PONTIF] MAXIM, Liva as Pax seated r. on low-backed chair, vertical scepter in r., branch in left. RIC I 220 (R2), RSC 223.

Worn and on an irregular flan, I still wanted this example because of the reverse. Minted in his last year as emperor, this was Augustus’ precursor to Tiberius’ “tribute penny.” While this was one of many types during Augustus’ reign, it was one very few types for Tiberius.
1 commentsLucas H
Augustus_RIC_359.jpg
02 Augustus RIC I 035960 viewsAugustus 27 B.C.-14 A.D. Moneyer L. Vinicius. Rome Mint. 16 B.C. (3.72g, 18.8m, 5h). Obv: Anepigraphic, bare head right. Rev: L Vinicivs in ex., Triumphal arch inscribed SPQR IMP CAE in two lines sur. by Quadriga bearing Augustus, r. holding laurel-branch, l. scepter; smaller arch on sides w archer on l. and slinger on r. RIC I 359 (R2). RSC 544.

This coin depicts Augustus’ triple arch, perhaps the first in Rome. Beginning as a double arch to commemorate his victory at Actium, the third arch was probably added to commemorate the return of the lost standards from Parthia. For a scarce type, this example is well centered and has good details on the reverse including complete legends.
3 commentsLucas H
02_Octavian_RIC_I_266.jpg
02 Octavian RIC I 26633 viewsOctavian. AR Denarius. Italian Mint, possibly Rome. Autumn 30- summer 29 B.C. (3.45g, 19.8mm, 2h). Obv: Bare head right. Rev: IMP CAESAR on architrave of the Roman Senate House (Curia Julia), with porch supported by four short columns, statue of Victory on globe surmounting apex of roof, and statues of standing figures at the extremities of the architrave. CRI 421; RIC I 266; RSC 122.. Ex Andrew McCabe.1 commentsLucas H
Tiberius_RIC_I_4.jpg
03 01 Tiberius RIC 454 viewsTiberius 14-37 A.D. AR Denarius. Lugdunum Mint, 15-16 A.D. (3.74g, 17.6mm, 6h). Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right. Rev: [TR POT X]VII. IMP [VII] in exergue, Tiberius, laur. And cloaked, stg. In slow Quadriga r., holding laurel branch and eagle tipped scepter. RIC I 4 (R2), BMC 7, RSC 48.

For an emperor with relatively long reign, Tiberius’ silver coinage was remarkably unvaried with the ubiquitous “tribute penny” making up the bulk of his denarii. This is a decent example of, perhaps, the second most common silver coin. Although the reverse legends are largely off the flan, the obverse has a decent portrait and legend.
2 commentsLucas H
03_Tiberius,_RIC_I_30.jpg
03 02 Tiberius RIC 30149 viewsTiberius. 14-37 A.D. AR Denarius. Lugdunum (Lyon) Mint. 3.78 g., 19 mm. Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right. Rev: PONTIF MAXIM, Livia as Pax, seated right, holding scepter and olive branch. Feet on footstool. Ornate chair legs. One line below throne. RIC I 30, RSC 16a.

The well known "tribute penny." When brought a coin as requested, Jesus 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.
8 commentsLucas H
Tiberius_RPC_I_3620.jpg
03 04 Tiberius RPC I 362044 viewsTiberius, 14-37 A.D. AR Drachm. Caesarea-Eusebia Mint. (3.61 g, 19.8m, 0) Obv: TIBEPIOS KAISAP SEABASTOS, Laureate head right. Rev: QEOY SEBASTOY YIOS, Mount Argaeus surmounted by a statute of Helios holding orb in right and long scepter verticle in left. Ex Forvm. 1 commentsLucas H
gaius_RIC_I_14.jpg
04 Gaius (Caligula) RIC I 014120 viewsGaius (Caligula). 37-41 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint, 37-38 A.D. (3.55g, 19.1m, 5h). Obv: [C CAE]SAR AVG GERM P M TR POT, laureate head right. Rev: AGRIPPINA MAT C CAES AVG GERM, Agrippina, bust, draped right, hair falling in queue down her neck. RIC I 14 (R), RSC 2. Ex personal collection Steve McBride.

Agrippina “the elder” was Gaius’ mother. Falsely accused of wrongdoing by Tiberius, Agrippina was exiled and died of starvation, whether self-imposed or at the orders of Tiberius, is not clear. Upon ascending the throne, Gaius, recovered his mother’s ashes, and restored her name. This coin commemorates the veneration of his mother.
10 commentsLucas H
Caligula_denarius.jpg
04 Gaius (Caligula) RIC I 2221 viewsGaius (Caligula) 37-41 A.D. AR Denarius. Lugdunum (Lyons) Mint 37 AD. (3.3g, 18.5mm, 2h). Obv: C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT COS, bare head right. Rev: anepigraphic, Augustus, radiate head right between two stars. RIC I 2, BMC 4, Sear 1808. Ex personal collection Steve McBride/Incitatus Coins.

Son of Germanicus, Gaius was adopted by Tiberius and was proclaimed Emperor on Tiberius’ death. His reign, marked by cruelty, was ended when he was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard. There is some question when the Imperial Mint was moved from Lugdunum to Rome, but the majority view holds at least Gaius’ early issues were still from Lugdunum.

With more than moderate wear and damage, this coin still has an almost complete obverse legend, and is a decent weight. It was very difficult for me to track down a denarius of Gaius.
2 commentsLucas H
Claudius_RIC_I_58.jpg
05 Claudius RIC I 58249 viewsClaudius 41-54 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 50-51 A.D. (3.58g, 18.4mm, 8h). Obv: TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P X PP IMP XVIII, laureate head right. Rev: PACI AVGVSTAE, Pax-Nemesis advancing right, holding winged caduceus pointed at snake. RIC I 58, RSC 66a. Ex CNG 258, Lot: 348.

Claudius was a capable, yet unlikely emperor. Shunned as an idiot by his family due to a limp and embarrassing stutter. After Caligula's murder the Praetorian Guard proclaimed him emperor. He governed well and conquered the troublesome island of Britain. He was poisoned by his second wife, mother of Nero. It was very difficult for me to find a denarius of Claudius, and I love this reverse.
8 commentsLucas H
Nero,_RIC_I_64.jpg
06 Nero RIC I 6484 viewsNero 54-68 A.D.. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. c. 66-67 A.D. (3.25g, 17.2mm, 6h ). Obv: l to r in- IMP NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right. Rev: l to r in- IVPPITER CVSTOS, Jupiter, bare to waist, seated left holding thunderbolt ring right, and long scepter in left. RIC I 64, RSC 121.6 commentsLucas H
Nero_RIC_I_15.jpg
06 Nero RIC I 1539 viewsNero. 54-68 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 54 A.D. Oct.-Dec.. (3.43g, 19.1mm, 9h) . Obv: NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right. Rev: PONTIF MAX TR P IIII PP around oak-wreath enclosing EX SC. RIC I 15 (R2).

A worn but scarce pre-reform denarius from early in Nero’s reign. Despite the wear, the weight of this specimen is quite nice. The EX SC with the oak wreath could allude to the Senate’s awarding of the corona civica to Nero. This specimen also has a very unusual die axis for imperial coinage of the Roman mint from this time.
1 commentsLucas H
Nero_RIC_I_55.jpg
06 Nero RIC I 5528 viewsNero. 54-68 A.D. Rome Mint. 65-66 A.D. (3.30g, 18.7m, 5h). Obv: [N]ERO CAESAR AVGVS[TVS], laureate head right. Rev: ROMA in ex., Roma, helmeted and dr., seated l. on cuirass, r. holding Victory, l. parazonium by side, r. foot resting on helmet; shields, with greaves behind. RIC I 55 (R).

A worn denarius of Nero, but with an interesting reverse. Roma, deprecated frequently on denarii during the Republic, was as not frequently used during the empire. While not necessarily a scarce type, it seems less ubiquitous than Salas and Jupiter for Nero.
1 commentsLucas H
Galba,_RIC_204.jpg
07 01 Galba RIC 20449 viewsGalba. 8 June 68-15 Jan. 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. (3.22g, 19.3mm, 6 h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, bust, laureate draped right. Rev: ROMA RENASCES, Roma standing left, holding Victory on globe and transverse eagle tipped scepter. RIC 204. Ex HBJ.

Galba’s reign marked the end of the Julio-Claudian’s rule of Rome. Rated R3 in the RIC, this type appears fairly scarce with 2 examples in the Reka Devnia hoard, and only 2 in Berk’s photofile. Galba, the first of the 4 emperors of 69 A.D, was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis during Nero’s reign. He was assassinated after 7 months of rule and succeeded by his former supporter, Otho
3 commentsLucas H
Galba_RIC_I_168_Clashed_Dies.jpg
07 Galba RIC I 168 Clashed dies25 viewsGalba. AR Denarius. Rome Mint July 68- Jan. 69 A.D. (3.29g, 19.6m, 11h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA AVG, laureate head right. Rev: [SPQR/OB]/CS in three lines in oak-wreath. Reverse clashed dies. RIC I 168 (R). RSC 287a.

With complete obverse legends and a high relief portrait, the obverse is worn and the coin is on an oblong flan. The reason I added this to my collection is the reverse. I initially thought the reverse was an obverse brockage, which had been restruck. A more experienced collector pointed out it was produced by clashed dies. An interesting oddity.
Lucas H
Otho_RIC_I_12~0.jpg
08 02 Otho RIC I 1221 viewsOtho. 15 Jan. to April 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 69 A.D. (3.23, 18.5mm, 6h). Obv: IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head left. SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing left, wreath in right, scepter in left. RIC I 12, RSC 19. Ex Forum.

While coins of Otho are fairly rare given the short length of his reign, this issue is perhaps more so with the left facing bust. (RIC 3). Otho supported Galba’s revolt, and then turned on Galba when he wasn't named Galba's heir. He committed suicide after his forces were defeated by those of Vitellius during the Year of the Four Emperors. A nicely centered and well toned coin.
Lucas H
Vitellius_RIC_I_81.jpg
09 01 Vitellius RIC I 8167 viewsVitellius 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. Late April-Dec 20, 69 A.D. (2.91g, 18.8mm, 5h). Obv: A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P, laureate head right. Rev: LIBERTAS RESTITVTA, Libertas, draped, standing facing, head right, r. holding pileus, l. scepter. RIC I 81, RSC 48. Ex CNG 258, Lot 367.

In the year of 4 emperors, Vitellius assumed the throne after his German legions proclaimed him emperor, marched on Rome, and murdered Otho. Vitellius only ruled for mere months before Vespasian’s eastern legions arrived and murdered him in turn. He was known for his gluttony. I have a Vitellius denarius, but couldn't help picking up this nice example from a reputable dealer for a reasonable price.
2 commentsLucas H
Civil_Wars_RIC_I_121.jpg
09.5 Civil Wars RIC I 12148 viewsCivil Wars. 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Southern Gaul mint. 69 A.D. (2.97g, 18.5mm, 6h). Obv: FIDES, above EXERCITVVM, below clasped hands. Rev: FIDES, above,PRAETORIANORVM, blow, Clasped r. hands. RIC I 121; RCV 2048.

This is thought to be an issue by pro Vitellian forces in southern Gaul for the purpose of influencing Otho’s Praetorians in the capital. In March 69 AD, Vitellian commander Fabius Valens entered Italy from Southern Gaul at the head of a small band to sway the loyalty of Otho’s forces, and this type of coin would have been “bribe” money for that purpose.
1 commentsLucas H
12_Caesars_silver.jpg
Twelve Caesars in Silver242 viewsComplements of Jay GT4's handy work to make this collage.6 commentsLucas H
     
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