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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|
Grapes, the vine and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of the first-fruits and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.
JD98803. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6365 (S); Meshorer TJC 326; Sofaer 23; RPC I 4963; BMC Palestine p. 254, 27 & pl. XXVII, 15, VF, well centered, ragged edge, pit on reverse, applied/enhanced patina, weight 1.925 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, 17 - 18 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA (Greek: Julia), tendrils, leaf, and small bunch of grapes on branch; reverse amphora with scroll handles flanked by date L - ∆ (year 4 of Tiberius); from an Israeli collection; scarce; $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Unofficial Imitative or Counterfeit

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.,| |Unofficial| |Imitative| |or| |Counterfeit||prutah|NEW
This specimen is so crude it seems unlikely that even a complete illiterate wouldn't notice it was a bit strange.
JD98801. Bronze prutah, cf. Hendin 6364a, Meshorer TJC 321a; Sofaer 18; SNG ANS 344; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16; RPC I 4961 (none this crude and blundered), VF, extremely crude, barbaric, irregular, weight 1.719 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial mint, c. 16 - 20 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (blundered illegible Greek: Julia) in two lines within wreath, closed with an annulet at top; reverse three formal lilies in bloom springing from a single base, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius, Γ blundered) divided across field; this is the most barbaric crude specimen of the type known to FORVM; very rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


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|
Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.

In the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and its derived films, Gratus is almost killed by a tile accidentally dropped by Judah Ben-Hur. This prompts all subsequent events of the story. In the novel Gratus is portrayed as a corrupt governor who acted against Ben-Hur's family in order to enrich himself.
JD98800. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6364, Meshorer TJC 321, Sofaer pl. 219, 18; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16 & pl. XXVIII, 11; RPC I 4961, VF, well centered, enhanced patina, weight 2.158 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 3.15o, Jerusalem mint, 16 - 17 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (Greek: Julia) in two lines within wreath; reverse three formal lilies in bloom springing from a single base, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius) divided across field; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Unofficial(?)

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.,| |Unofficial(?)||prutah|
The blundered obverse inscription indicates this specimen may be unofficial. Crude examples and even retrograde inscriptions are known for the type, and apparently official specimens. We were unable to find an example similarly as crude as this coin.

Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.
JD98158. Bronze prutah, cf. Hendin 1333b, Meshorer TJC 317a, RPC I 4959, Sofaer 12 (all Jerusalem mint official specimens), VF, highlighting earthen deposits, ragged sprue cuts, edge split, weight 1.715 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 240o, Jerusalem (or unofficial?) mint, 15 A.D.; obverse OY/AIΛ (Greek: Julia, blundered) in two lines within wreath; reverse palm frond, flanked by L - B (year 2 of Tiberius); rare variant; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripolls. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
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).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, May 21, 2022.
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