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ANCIENT ROMAN COINS - Imperial
"Julio-Claudian"

27 BC to AD 69

Coins from the Julio-Claudian period (27 BC to AD 68) and the civil war of AD 69.

*Click on images to see larger images.*

(Reference: S=Sear Roman Coins and Their Values (2000 edtion), RSC=Roman Silver Coins, RIC=Roman Imperial Coinage, MILNE=Catalogue of Alexandrian coins; GIC=Greek Imperial Coinage by Seaby)

Augustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. Silver Cistophorus.

Augustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. Silver Cistophorus.

Denomination: Silver Cistophorus (3 denarii).
Mint: Pergamon.
Date: 19 to 18 BC.
Reference: Sear-1589.  RPC-2220.  RIC-507.  BMC 7084.  C-202.
Size: 24.3 x 25.3 mm.  Weight: 11.13 grams.
Grade: Fine.
Obverse: Head of Augustus right, with IMP IX TR PO V below (much of the inscriptions is weakly struck).
Reverse: Temple of Mars Ultor containing a legionary standard, with MART VLTO to the sides.

Mars Ultor means Mars the Avenger.  Augustus build this small temple to house the Legionary standard that was recovered by Augustus after it has been lost by Crassus and Antony to the Partians many years earlier.

SOLD

Order # 4446

Nero, AD 54 to 68. Copper As from Perinthus mint. RARE TYPE.
Nero, AD 54 to 68.
Copper As from Perinthus mint. RARE TYPE.


Denomination:  Copper As.
Mint: Perinthus in Thrace
Date: The portrait style is ca. AD 65 to 66.
Reference: RPC I, 1762 (variety with slightly different inscription).
Rarity
: RPC lists only one specimen of this type between all the collections they included in their study. There only seem to be two specimens in Coin Archives, one of which is this coin Gorny & Mosch, Auction 122, lot 2006, March 10, 2003).
Size: 25.8 x 27.1 mm. Weight: 11.34 grams.
Grade: gVF/VF with minor encrusting dirt.  A very attractive sea green patination.
Obverse: Head of Nero right, with NERO CLAVDIVS CASESAR AVG GERM P M TR around (RPC lists the inscription as ending in TR P, but the P is not present on this specimen.
Reverse: Eagle standing forward on a globe, with head right, with S C flanking.
This reverse appears to be copied directly from the As of Augustus struck by Tiberius in AD 34 to 37 (Sear #1790).


SOLD

Order # 3090

Magnesia ad Sipylum in Lydia. Caligula with Germanicus and Agrippina Sr. AE 19.
Magnesia ad Sipylum in Lydia.
Caligula with Germanicus and Agrippina Sr. AE 19.


Denomination: AE 19.
Mint: Magnesia ad Sipylum in Lydia.
Date: AD 37 to 41.
Reference: GIC 414.
Size: 18.8 x 19.8 mm.  Weight: 5.54 grams.
Grade: good Fine / VF.
Obverse: Bust of Caligula right, with GAION KAICARA CEBACTON around.
Reverse: Standing figures of Germanicus as high priest, and Agrippina as Demeter, holding ears of corn and a sceptre between them, with GERMANIKON KAI AGRIPPINAN around.


SOLD

Order # 4429

Vitellius, AD 69. Silver denarius
Vitellius, AD 69. Silver denarius

Denomination : Silver Denarius.
Mint : Rome.

Date
: April to May AD 69.
Reference
: Sear-2196.
Size
: 16.7 x 17.7 mm.  Weight : 3.20 grams.
Grade
:aVF/gF.
Obverse
: Head of Vitellius right, with A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P around.
Reverse
: Concordia seated left holding a patera and double cornucopiae, with CONCORDIA P R.


SOLD

Order # 4472

(Reference: S=Sear Roman Coins and Their Values (2000 edtion), RSC=Roman Silver Coins, RIC=Roman Imperial Coinage, MILNE=Catalogue of Alexandrian coins; GIC=Greek Imperial Coinage by Seaby)



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ancient moneyerCalgary Coin

THE JULIO-CLAUDIAN DYNASTY

The five Julio-Claudian emperors are the most famous, and the most collected of the Roman series.

In 30 B.C., Octavian achieved absolute control of Rome and its territories, but the Roman Empire, along with the Julio-Claudian dynasty really began in 27 B.C. when the senate granted Octavian (the adopted son of Julius Caesar) the surname "AVGVSTVS". For the next ninety-five years the Roman Empire would be ruled by men connected with his family, although power would never pass directly from father to son.

Even beyond the end of the Empire, the names of Caesar and Augustus would be associated with absolute power. The title "AVGVSTVS" would be adopted by each emperor (and "AVGVSTA" by their wives). The title "CAESAR" would be conferred, by the emperor, upon the heir (or heirs) apparent, effectively their second in command. Even into this century, the Russian ruler was known as a Czar and the German ruler as Kaiser, both derived from the title Caesar.

If what you see here inspires you to seek further information on Roman history, we recommend the book Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, by Chris Scarre (ISBN 0-500-05077-5). If you cannot find it, let us know and we will see if we can get it for you.


THE CIVIL WAR OF AD 68-69

The turbulent reign of Nero ended with no obvious successor, throwing the Empire into a year-long period of civil unrest. The term civil war is really miss-leading, because there were few actual battles. The period started with the Revolt of Vindex which resulted in Galba being the first to grab power and gain the support of the senate. After supporting Galba, Otho expected to be granted the rank of Caesar but when it was not forthcoming, Otho assassinated Galba. Galba never fought a major battle.

Otho took power on January 15, AD 69 but about three months later his army was defeated in a battle near Bedriacum and he committed suicide.

Vitellius, a friend of the Julio-Claudians, and to whom Galba had given command of the legions in Lower Germany, after defeating Otho proclaimed himself Emperor. Dismayed by the fact that Vitellius appeared to be far more interested in culinary pleasures than in good government, the general Vespasian declared himself to be Emperor and had Vitellius murdered. This brought an end to one of the most turbulent years in Roman history.


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