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

Livia (Julia), Augusta, 14 - 29 A.D., Wife of Augustus, Mother of Tiberius, Grandmother of Claudius

Livia was the wife of Augustus, mother of Tiberius, paternal grandmother of Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of Nero. When Octavian and Livia met, both were already married, Livia already had a son, Tiberius, and was pregnant with a second, Nero Claudius Drusus. Legend says that Octavian fell immediately in love with her. Octavian divorced Scribonia, on the very day that she gave birth to his daughter Julia. Tiberius Claudius Nero was persuaded or forced by Octavian to divorce Livia. Augustus and Livia married, three days after her second son was born. Tiberius Claudius Nero gave her away at the wedding, "just as a father would." There are probably more political explanations for the union. Nevertheless, Livia and Augustus remained married for the next 51 years. They had no children. Livia always enjoyed the status of privileged counselor to her husband, petitioning him on the behalf of others and influencing his policies, an unusual role for a Roman wife. Living very simply and frugally, Livia set an example of Roman virtue which made her quite popular with the people. According to some ancient historians, however, Livia poisoned Augustus' potential heirs and then Augustus himself to make her son emperor. When he was emperor, Tiberius and Livia had a falling out. On her death in 29 A.D., he did not see fit to have her consecrated. When Claudius came to power, he argued that every god needed a consort (referring to the deified Augustus). The Senate accepted this logic, and she was declared a goddess.

Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
In 18 A.D., Germanicus Caesar arrived in Syria, as the new commander for the Roman East. Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, governor of Syria, ignored Germanicus' order to send Syrian-based legions to Armenia to back his planned coronation of Artaxias III. Some Roman sources of the period suggest that Tiberius gave Piso secret instructions to thwart and control Germanicus. The following year Germanicus died at Antioch. On his deathbed he accused Piso of poisoning him. Tiberius was forced to order an investigation and a public trial in the Roman Senate for Piso. Piso committed suicide, though it was rumored that Tiberius, fearing incriminating disclosures, had him put to death.
JD110291. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, F, earthen deposits, areas of corrosion, reverse edge beveled, sprue remnant, weight 2.461 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 330o, Jerusalem mint, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse TIB / KAI/CAP (Greek: Tiberius Caesar) in three lines within wreath tied at base with an X; reverse palm branch curving right, flanked by IOY-ΛIA (Greek: Julia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; from an Israeli collection; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|Livia|, |Livia| |(Julia),| |Augusta,| |14| |-| |29| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Augustus,| |Mother| |of| |Tiberius,| |Grandmother| |of| |Claudius||dupondius|
In 22 when Livia fell ill, Tiberius hastened back to Rome from Capri in order to be with his mother. This coin was probably issued to thank Salus for her recovery. Ancient historians say, however, the reason Tiberius retired to Capri was because he could no longer endure his mother. Livia fell ill again in 29. Dying, she held out several days in hope of his coming but he remained on Capri and sent Caligula to deliver the funeral oration. Tiberius vetoed divinity and all the other honors the Senate granted her after her death.
SH89838. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Tiberius 47 (S), BMCRE I Tiberius 81, BnF I Tiberius 63, Cohen I 5, SRCV I 1740, Hunter I -, VF, well centered, brown and blue-green patina, weight 12.418 g, maximum diameter 28.23 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under her son Tiberius, c. 22 - 23 A.D.; obverse SALVS AVGVSTA (arcing counterclockwise below bust), draped bust of Livia (as Salus) right, her hair waved and knotted behind; reverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVG P M TR POT XXIIII, legend around large S C (senatus consulto); rare; SOLD


|Livia|, |Livia| |(Julia),| |Augusta,| |14| |-| |29| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Augustus,| |Mother| |of| |Tiberius,| |Grandmother| |of| |Claudius||dupondius|
In 22 when Livia fell ill, Tiberius hastened back to Rome from Capri in order to be with his mother. This coin was probably issued to thank Salus for her recovery. Ancient historians say, however, the reason Tiberius retired to Capri was because he could no longer endure his mother. Livia fell ill again in 29. Dying, she held out several days in hope of his coming but he remained on Capri and sent Caligula to deliver the funeral oration. Tiberius vetoed divinity and all the other honors the Senate granted her after her death.
SH76396. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Tiberius 47 (S), BMCRE I Tiberius 81, BnF I Tiberius 63, Cohen I 5, SRCV I 1740, Hunter I -, Choice VF, near black patina, well centered, nice style, small closed flan cracks, weight 14.582 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, struck under her son Tiberius, c. 22 - 23 A.D.; obverse SALVS AVGVSTA (arcing counterclockwise below bust), draped bust of Livia (as Salus) right, her hair waved and knotted behind; reverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVG P M TR POT XXIIII, legend around large S C; from the Jeff Michniak Collection; rare; SOLD


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

|Tiberius|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.||aureus|
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him: Caesars agents demand taxes from us. He said to them: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH43071. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 1, 143; RIC I 25 (R2); BMCRE I 30; SRCV I 1760; Calico 305d (S.1); Cohen I 15; SRCV I 1760, aVF, nicely centered, weight 7.523 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, early 'plain' fine style, c. 15 - 18 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; rare (R2); SOLD


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

|Tiberius|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.||aureus|
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him: Caesars agents demand taxes from us. He said to them: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH56930. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 4, 149; RIC I 29 (R); BMCRE I 46; Calico 305b (S.1); Cohen 15; SRCV I 1760, aVF, weight 7.475 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, c. 18 - 35 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; 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; scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
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Giard, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R. 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. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Vol. One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C. The Cistophori of Augustus. (London, 1970).
Sutherland, C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Sutherland, C. & C. Kraay. Catalogue of Coins of the Roman Empire in the Ashmolean Museum, Part I: Augustus. (Oxford, 1975).
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Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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