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Nero considered himself an artist, perhaps he was and took an interest in his coinage - the sestertii of Nero are considered by many to be the finest numismatic art of the Roman Empire.RB84073. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 443 (S), Mac Dowall WCN 428, Giard Lyon 119, BnF II 83, Cohen I 262, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SGCV I -, VF, finestyle, excellent portrait, attractive brown toning, obverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 25.990 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum mint, 65 A.D.; obverseNEROCLAVDCAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck; reverseRoma seated left on cuirass and shields, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory in offering wreath in her right hand, her left hand resting on parazonium at side, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center, ROMA in exergue; $1450.00 SALE PRICE $1305.00
Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, FlaviaDomitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.
Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.
Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. FlaviaDomitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $1300.00 SALE PRICE $1170.00
Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.
Macrinus was Praetorian Prefect for Caracalla but arranged Caracalla's assassination and seized power. He and his son were accepted by the senate. The Syrian legions, inspired by Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, revolted after he concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. He was defeated and executed.SL84525. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 139 (S), BMCRE V 120 var. (also draped, noted), Cohen IV 66 71, SRCV II 7386, Hunter III -, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4373010-005), lovely mahogany tone with lighter tones on the high points, weight 20.5 g, maximum diameter 31 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, 11 Apr 217 - 31 Dec 217 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right, from the front; reversePONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, drapery over left arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; NGC Certified, ex Stacks-Bowers; $990.00 SALE PRICE $891.00
Antonia, Daughter of Mark Antony, Wife of NeroDrusus, Mother of Claudius, Grandmother of Caligula
Antonia was the daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia, the wife of NeroDrusus, the mother of Claudius, and a grandmother of Caligula. Renowned for her beauty and virtue, Antonia was revered by the Roman people. She was probably poisoned by Caligula or committed suicide. She never loved her son Claudius, calling him a monster and a fool, but he posthumously made her Augusta in 41 A.D. and issued all her coinage.SH68887. Silver denarius, RIC IClaudius 66, BMCRE IClaudius 111, Cohen 2, SRCV I 1900, F, toned, weight 3.717 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, struck under Claudius, c. 41 - 42 A.D.; obverseANTONIAAVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing barley wreath; reverseCONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI (consistency of the emperor), Antonia standing facing, draped as Constantia, long torch in right, cornucopia in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare (R2); $880.00 SALE PRICE $792.00
Roman Republic, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, 69 B.C.
The moneyer, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, was from Praeneste, in Latium, 23 miles east-southeast of Rome, home of the great temple to FortunaPrimigenia. Her sanctuary was an immense complex of buildings rising up the hillside on five vast terraces, connected with each other by grand staircases, visible even from the sea. The reverse likely depicts a pediment in the sanctuary. The epithet of Primigenia means "Original." She was represented suckling two babes, said to be Jupiter and Juno, and she was especially worshiped by matrons. The oracle continued to be consulted down to Christian times, until Constantine the Great, and again later Theodosius I, forbade the practice and closed the temple.SH76980. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3524 (same wheel control); Crawford 405/1b; Sydenham 800a; SRCV I 340, F, banker's mark, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 69 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of FortunaPrimigenia right, hair in net, wheel (control symbol) behind; reverse temple pediment, ornamented with sculpture of an anguipede (snake legged) giant holding a club(?) in his left hand, M PLAETORI (AE ligate) on the architrave, CEST S C in exergue; very rare; $720.00 SALE PRICE $648.00
Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
This coin declares Caesar as dictator for the second time, consul for the third time, augur and pontifex maximus. The head of Ceres refers to the grain producing wealth delivered to Rome by his victory in Africa. The D (and on similar coins an M) indicates this type was struck to be distributed as a donativum (largess) or munus (gift) to his legions. Some may have been distributed at Caesar's quadruple triumph celebrated in 46 B.C., when celebrations included public banquets, plays and gladiatorial games, lasting forty days. Vercingetorix was paraded and executed. Also in 46 B.C., Caesar made his nephew Octavian his heir. Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Caesar's mistress, and Caesarion, his bastard son by her, moved into one of his residences on the Tiber. They would remain in Rome as Caesar's guests until his assassination on 15 March 44 B.C.SH84609. Silver denarius, Crawford 467/1a, Russo RBW 1637, Sydenham 1023, RSC I 4a; Sear CRI 57, BMCRRAfrica 21, SRCV I 1403, gVF, dark toning, some marks and scratches, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.283 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, African, Utica(?) mint, 46 B.C.; obverseDICT ITER - COS TERT (counterclockwise from lower right, dictator for the 2nd time, consul for the third time), head of Ceres right, wreathed with grain; reverse implements of the augurate and pontificate: simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), capis (jug), and lituus (wand), AVGVR (augur) above, below D (donativum = largess) to right, PONT MAX (pontifex maximus) below; from the James Campbell Collection, purchased in 2004 from Roma Numismatica (9A Via Barberini, Rome); $670.00 SALE PRICE $603.00
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia
Dido, the founder and first queen of Carthage, is primarily known from Virgil's Aeneid. Upon succeeding their father as king of Tyre, Dido's brother Pygmalion had her husband Sichaeus killed in a plot to seize his immense wealth. Dido, with a large group of friends and followers, escaped Tyre, carrying with them all of Sichaeus' treasure. As depicted on the reverse of this coin, Dido made a sacrifice at the temple of Melqart-Hercules before leaving. The reverse on some other Valerian types, we know of one example struck with this same obverse die, depict Dido in Carthage beginning construction.RP75357. Bronze dichalkon, Unpublished in the many references examined by Forum, cf. SNG Righetti 2354 (radiate and cuirassedbust), Rouvier 2503 (same), VF, well centered, porous, flan adjustment marks, weight 11.064 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP CP LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverse COL TVRO MET, Dido standing right, kalathos on head, extending both hands toward a distyle temple of Melqart-Hercules in perspective to upper right, club within the temple, flaming column altar at her feet, murex shell on right below temple; from the J. BerlinCaesarea Collection; the best of the few examples of the type known to Forum; extremely rare; $640.00 SALE PRICE $576.00
Roman Republic, Sextus Pompeius Magnus, 45 - 44 B.C.
This type was struck while Sextus Pompey was free-booting in Spain following the Battle of Munda. Pietas was the Pompeians' battle cry at Munda and the reversetype refers to his vow to avenge the deaths of his father and elder brother. Babelon and Grueber interpret SAL as salutatus. Crawford and Buttrey identify it as a mintmark for Salpensa, but David Sear points out that such a prominent mintmark would be unprecedented on a denarius of the period and seems to be an integral part of the legend.RR77515. Silver denarius, Buttrey PietasType 4 (6/D); Crawford 477/3a; Sydenham 1042a; Sear CRI 232b, RSC IPompeia 13, gF, attractive old cabinet tone, banker's marks, light bumps and scratches, weight 3.331 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Hispania mint, 45 - 44 B.C.; obverse SEX MAGNPIVS IMP SAL, bare head of Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) right; reversePietas standing left, palm branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, PIETAS downward on right; From the Andrew McCabe Collection, Roma Numismatics auction 23, lot 372, ex Gemini auction X (13 Jan 2013), lot 261, ex Randy Haviland Collection; very rare; $640.00 SALE PRICE $576.00
Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.
The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.SH84074. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 388 (S), BMCRE I 70, Cohen I 112, Cayon I 54, SRCV I 2118 var. (laureate head right), Hunter I 23 var. (same), aVF, excellent portrait, attractive dark sea-green patina, shallow old cuts on the reverse, areas of corrosion, weight 23.372 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. Oct 68 A.D; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESARAVG TR P, laureate and draped bust right; reverseLIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people), Liberty standing half left, pileus liberatis in right hand, rod in left hand and cradled in left arm, S - C (Senatus Consulto) flanking across field at center; scarce; $640.00 SALE PRICE $576.00
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.RB76153. Orichalcumsestertius, GŲbl MIR 38dd, RIC V 248, Cohen V 1293, Hunter IV 33, SRCV III 10495, Nice gVF, excellent portrait, green patina, tight flan cutting off much legend, weight 10.962 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $630.00 SALE PRICE $567.00
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