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

Roman Coins of the 12 Caesars
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.
SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $2070.00 (1904.40)


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

|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Otho first appears as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero. This friendship was brought to an end in 58 A.D. At her insistence, Otho introduced his beautiful wife, Poppaea Sabina, to the Emperor. Poppaea soon became Nero's mistress, divorced Otho, and had Nero send Otho away as governor to the remote province of Lusitania. Otho remained in Lusitania for the next ten years, administering the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 A.D. his neighbor, the future Emperor Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Resentment toward Nero may have impelled him to this course, but he was soon inspired by personal ambition.
RS97221. Silver denarius, RIC I 8 (R2), RSC II 17, BMCRE I 18, BnF III 10, Hunter I C3807, SRCV I 2162, VF, nice portrait, light scratches, die wear, tight flan, weight 2.552 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb-Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R (security of the people of Rome), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, raising wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik auction 12 (30 May 2020), lot 1077; rare; $1100.00 (1012.00)


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

|Cilicia|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.,| |Aegeae,| |Cilicia||diassarion|NEW
Aegeae or Aigai was a town on the coast of ancient Cilicia, on the north side of the Bay of Issus. It is now separated from the outlet of the Pyramus (the modern Ceyhan) by a long narrow estuary called Gulf of Alexandretta. In Strabo's time it was a small city with a port. Aegae was a Greek town, but the origin of it is unknown. A Greek inscription of the Roman period has been discovered there; and under the Roman dominion it was a place of some importance. Tacitus calls it Aegeae. It was Christianised at an early date.
RP92556. Bronze diassarion, RPC Online I 4031 (4 spec.), SNG Levante 1688, SNG BnF 2316, Waddington 4069, BMC Lycaonia -, VF, superb portrait, green patina with some red copper high points, earthen deposits, beveled reverse edge, weight 10.798 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aegeae (near Yumurtalik, Turkey) mint, magistrate Eyan, c. 30 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Tiberius left; reverse AIΓE/AIΩN / EYAN, inscription in three lines within wreath; from the Errett Bishop Collection, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $800.00 (736.00)


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $600.00 (552.00)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

|Roman| |Asia|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Uncertain| |Mint,| |Anatolia| |or| |Syria||AE| |27|
The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RP96854. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), gF, dark green patina, flan adjustment marks, strike a little weak, edge crack, weight 14.989 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, c. 39 B.C.(?); obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it easier to acquire; from a Florida collector, ex Trusted Coins; $550.00 (506.00)


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

|Tiberius|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
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.
RS97220. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 6, 154; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, VF, excellent portrait with high relief for this type, marks, reverse a little flatly struck, off center,, weight 3.086 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, laurel wreath ties fall stiffly, Tiberius features are older and have become caricatures; 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; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 88 (5 Apr 2020), lot 602; $550.00 (506.00)


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

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Cordova, a city in Andalusia was the first colony planted by the Romans in Spain. Its original name was Corduba. When it was made a Roman colony it was renamed Colonia Patricia, to honor the veterans and worthy men who settled it, to whom honor was due, as to Fathers (Patribus). Augustus visited Patricia in 15 or 14 B.C.
RS97474. Silver denarius, RIC I 115 (S), RSC I 280, BMCRE I 389, BMCRR 4427, BnF I 1219, SRCV I 1635, VF, toned, scratches, porosity, weight 3.258 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Patricia (Cordoba, Spain) mint, 18 B.C.; obverse CAESARI AVGVSTO, laureate head left; reverse domed temple with four columns on a podium of three steps, triumphal car right inside, car with shaft upward, containing legionary eagle and surmounted by four miniature horses rearing right, S P Q R (Senatus Populusque Romanus - The Senate and the Roman People) in exergue; ex Janumismatics; $550.00 (506.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
In 85 A.D. Domitian appointed himself censor for life, which gave him control over the Senate. His totalitarian tendencies put the senatorial aristocracy firmly in opposition to him.
RB93381. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 352, BMCRE II 362, BnF III 351, Cohen I 307, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, Choice aF, well centered, toned brassy surfaces, bumps and scratches, pit on obverse at neck, weight 26.289 g, maximum diameter 34.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Nov - Dec 85 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XI CENS POT P P, laureate head right, wearing aegis; reverse IOVI VICTORI (Jove the victorious), Jupiter seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs and over left arm, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 (138.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Judaea Under Agrippa II

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Judaea| |Under| |Agrippa| |II||AE| |14|
This Judaea Capta type was minted at Caesarea Maritima, Judaea. Caesarea, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus Caesar. It became the capital of Iudaea Province and the residence of the Roman procurators and governors including Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. In 66 A.D., the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt. After the revolt was suppressed, 2500 Jewish captives were slaughtered at Caesarea in Gladiatorial games held by Titus to celebrate his victory. Today, Caesarea's ruins lie on Israel's Mediterranean coast about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower").
RP96395. Bronze AE 14, RPC Online II 2303 (5 spec.); Hendin 1453; Carradice INJ pl. 3, 22; Kadman -; BMC Palestine -; SNG Cop -, aF, rough dark green patina, light encrustations, weight 1.739 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 180o, Caesarea Maritima mint, struck under Agrippa II, c. 81 - 82 A.D.; obverse DOMITIANVS CAESAR DIVI F AV, laureate head right; reverse rudder, no inscription; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; rare; $150.00 (138.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||denarius|
In 88 A.D., the First Dacian War ended. Decebalus became a client king of Rome, he received money, craftsmen and war machines and agreed to protect the borders (Limes) of the Roman Empire. For the remainder of Domitian's reign Dacia remained a relatively peaceful client kingdom, but Decebalus also used the Roman money to fortify his defenses against Rome.
JD97442. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 580, RSC II 234, BMCRE II 119, BnF III 116, Hunter I 45, cf. SRCV I 2737 (TR P XIIII), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, flow lines, areas of dark toning, scratches, weight 3.266 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 88 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $150.00 (138.00)











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