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Emperors of Rome - A (Chronological) Portrait Gallery


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Of course, I have to post my avatar coin!

Tiberius, AD 14-37.
Roman AR Denarius, 3.87 g, 18.5 mm, 5 h.
Lugdunum, AD 16-37.
Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head, right.
Rev: PONTIF MAXIM, Female figure seated right, holding long olive branch and inverted spear; legs of chair ornate, triple line below.
Refs: RIC 28; BMCRE 42-44; RSC 16b; RCV 1763 var.

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Here is my favourite Tiberius (recently purchased too).


Tiberius Aureus Date: 15 to 18 AD Mint: Lyon, Lugdunum

Material: Gold

Weight: 7.52 g

Diameter: 19.00 mm

Obverse: Tiberius, laureate head, facing right, TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS

Reverse: Livia as Pax, seated right on throne with ornamented legs, holding reversed spear, PONTIF MAXIM

Reference: RIC:29 

Edited by AussieCollector
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Since there will be more Livias, I post another type:


Phrygia, Laodicea
Æ 19mm
Obv: ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ. Bare head right.
Rev: ΔIOΣKOVPIΔHS TO ΔEVTEPON - ΛΑΟΔΙΚЄΩΝ, Zeus Laodikeos standing left, holding eagle and sceptre? Control monogram PK right.
Æ, 19mm, 6.51g
RPC 2911, SNG Copenhagen 549, BMC 143.

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One more Tiberius :


obv. TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AUGUSTUS   : head laur.

rev.  PONTIF MAXIM  : femal figure seated r. holding long vertical scepter, a single line below

A.D.36 – 37, 3.77 gr, 18.18 mm, Lugdunum, RIC I 30, denarius

Edited by mc9
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I'm in the market for a nice tribute penny for under $1,000.

For now, I'll offer up this quote:

"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? shew me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."


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AE As.
Obv:- TI CAESAR AVGVST F IMPERAT VII, laureate head right
Rev:- ROM ET AVG, front elevation of the Altar of Lugdunum, decorated with the corona civica between laurels, nude figures, & Victories.
Minted in Lugdunum. A.D. 12-14
Ref:- RIC 245 [Augustus], Cohen 37, BMC 585, Paris 1769
27 mm, 10.04gm


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Asses of Tiberius and his two Caesars:


TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VII - Bare head of Tiberius left /
PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN POTEST XVII S C - Livia (?), veiled, sitting right, holding scepter and patera
Copper As, Rome 15-16 a.D.
11,20 gr / 29 mm


GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVGVST F DIVI AVG N - bare head of Germanicus left /
Copper As, struck under Caligula, Rome AD 37/39
28,13 mm / 11,10 gr
RIC (Caligula) 35; BMCRE (Caligula) 49; CBN (Caligula) 73; Cohen 1; Sear 1821


DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N - bare head of Drusus left /
Copper As, struck under Tiberius, Rome AD 22/23
29,80 mm / 11,32 gr
RIC (Tiberius) 45 ; BMCRE (Tiberius) 99; CBN (Tiberius) 78; MIR 2, Series 38/6; Cohen 2; Sear 1794

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My actual coins of Tiberius and fam...

I personally hope to eventually collect at least one "tribute penny" denarius, but every time I'm in a bidding war, it just never seems like a good idea to keep going, since there are usually like 2-10 in every auction.

So, I have two main Tiberius asses -

First, as "caesar" under Augustus - the TRP isn't visible on this coin (its XII, 8 AD) but the AVGVST F is clear, indicating that he is the son of the (mortal) Augustus


On this one as Augustus, he is Divi Avg F, son of the divine Augustus546613264_TiberiusAEAs22AD.jpg.5f3b55c98e8cc4be9823cd447e371098.jpg

And of course most coins of Livia seem to date from the reign of her son, I chose this one because it is one of the few who showed her actual character - positively ruthless in her quest for power


And the only imperial coin that is almost certainly her (low grade, but it was a lot find)1601515984_LiviaAEAsSALVSAVGVSTAbyTiberius.jpg.0c41edb08f2d4b41253a691e06ca2c49.jpg

And his first two Caesars, Germanicus and Drusus (both lifetime, a tough feat for Germanicus)


Drusus alone


Drusus' Pietas.... possibly Livia, possibly Livilla, possibly Vipsania, possibly just Pietas?


And his two sons, Tiberius and Germanicus Gemellus


His next two Caesars, Nero and Drusus (elder brothers of Caligula)


Then his final Caesar, Caligula (This is the only type of Caligula in the position of Caesar, extant in only 3 denominations, and perhaps less than 200 examples total in all 3!)


And a personal tragedy - when I bought this one, it was commonly believed to depict Tiberius Gemellus as a teenager, but alas! An example of the type was found with CEBACTOY in front of the portrait, making it just an unusually youthful Tiberius. I sold some very rare and interesting coins to be able to keep this coin out of the CNG lot 😞


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My own small handful, mostly the typical Tiberius types:

Tiberius, AE As, 15-16 AD, Rome Mint [bronze equivalent of “Tribute Penny” design]. Obv. Bare head right, TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST[VS?] IMP VII / Rev. Draped female figure [Tiberius’s mother Livia, or Livia as Pax or Justitia]* seated right, head covered, with feet on stool, holding long sceptre with left hand and patera with extended right hand, PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN POTEST XVII, S-C across fields. RIC I Tiberius 33 if AVGVST [listed as “R3”; see p. 96] or RIC 35 if AVGVSTVS [listed as R2]; BMCRE I Tiberius 65 [or 66 if AVGVSTVS]; cf. Sear RCV I 1769 (var. with Tiberius facing left). 28 mm., 10.9 g. Purchased from Felicitas.Perpetua Numismatics, UK, July 2021.


*See RIC I Tiberius, Introduction at p. 87: “As a type, the ‘Pontif. Maxim.’ design was far from informative. Modern scholars are not agreed upon its interpretation, some regarding the seated female figure as Livia in the guise of Pax, some as Pax-Justitia, some simply as the priestess Livia, revered as the wife of the first imperial pontifex maximus and the stepmother of the second. Its significance in the ancient world can hardly have been much more immediate than it is to the modern, and it was probably viewed as a type suggesting (in association with the legend) nothing more definite than sanctity.”

Tiberius AR Denarius, 18-35 AD, Lugdunum (Lyons) Mint, “Tribute Penny.” Obv. TI CAESAR DIVI AVG AVGVSTVS, Laureate head right/ Rev. PONTIF MAXIM, Livia [Tiberius’s mother], as Pax, holding long sceptre & olive branch, seated right on throne with ornate legs, her feet resting on low footstool, single line below.  RIC I 30, RSC II 16a, Sear RCV I 1763, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150 [Jean Baptist Giard, Le Monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon (Wetteren, 1983)] [see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=tribute penny].  19 mm., 3.82 g.  Purchased from Kirk Davis. Ex Kirk Davis, Cat # 72, Fall 2018, Lot 80; ex Tom Cederlind Sale 86 (1989), 305; ex JMB collection.


Tiberius, AE As, 14-37 AD, Hispania Tarraconensis, Turiaso Mint [now Tarazona, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain], M. Pont. Marsus and C. Mari. Vegetus, duoviri. Obv. Laureate head right, TI CAESAR AVG F IMP PONT M / Rev. Bull standing right, head facing, M PONT MARSO; MVN TVR in field above bull, C MARI VEGETO below, II VIR in right field [ligate letters underlined]. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. I 418 (1992); RPC I Online at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/1/418; ACIP 3291a [Villaronga, L. & J. Benages, Ancient Coinage of the Iberian Peninsula: Greek / Punic / Iberian / Roman, Societat Catalana D 'Estudis Numismatics, Institut D 'Estudis Catalans (Barcelona, 2011)]; FAB 2450 [Alvarez-Burgos, F., La Moneda Hispanica desde sus origines hasta el Siglo V (Madrid, 2008)]; SNG Copenhagen 606 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Copenhagen, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Part 43, Spain-Gaul (Copenhagen 1979), Parts 40-43 reprinted as one volume, 1994]. 28 mm., 11.98 g. Purchased from Tom Vossen, Netherlands, May 2021; ex. Aureo & Calico, Auction 364, 21 April 2021, Lot 1202. *


* Turiaso was "a municipium of Hispania Tarraconensis, now Tarazona, situated on a small river that runs into the Ebro, to the south of Tudela." https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Turiaso (quoting Stevenson's Dictionary of Roman Coins (1880)). See also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/x51280 ("Located in the hinterland of NE Spain close to the Ebro river valley, c. 60km north of the ancient site of Bilbilis Augusta, the Iberian settlement named Turiasu later became an important Roman city called Turiaso. Under Visigothic rule it was called Tirasona and is now called Tarazona").

Tarazona is now in Aragon in the north of Spain. Under the Roman Empire, it was part of Hispania Tarraconensis, the largest of the three provinces in Roman Spain, along with Hispania Baetica and Lusitania. Under the Republic, before Augustus's reorganization in 27 BCE, Turiaso was part of Hispania Citerior (Nearer Iberia, i.e., closer to Rome, as compared to Hispania Ulterior).

For a discussion of Turiaso's coinage, see the section entitled "Regio Turiasonensis Turiaso," in Sir George Francis Hill, "Notes on the ancient coinage of Hispania citerior" (Numismatic Notes and Monographs, American Numismatic Society 1931) at http://numismatics.org/digitallibrary/ark:/53695/nnan86651. The article includes, among other things, a list of all the names of magistrates (duoviri) found on the coins of Augustus and Tiberius minted in Turiaso, and notes that "G. Marius Vegetus [named on my coin] appears both as aedile and as duumvir. Under Augustus, both asses and semisses were struck by duoviri, and the aediles do not seem to have issued coins. Under Tiberius, as usual, the duoviri strike the asses, the aediles the semisses; but who was responsible for the sestertii or dupondii does not appear."

As for the bull on the reverse, Kevin Butcher notes at p. 62 of Roman Provincial Coins, supra, that "A standing bull, probably connected with anniversaries commemorating the foundation of the various colonies, occurs at Caesaraugustus, Celsa, Calagurris, Cascantum, Ercavica, Graccurris, Turiaso, and Clunia." Oxen pulling a plow were certainly a common symbol of the foundation of colonies on Roman coins, so such an interpretation is not surprising, even though a plow is nowhere in sight! See Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby 1990) at pp. 121-122 (entry for “Founder”), explaining that the Romans “inherited a custom from the Etruscans of defining the boundaries of a new city by marking them with a plough,” so that certain coins showing plowing can be interpreted as a reference to the founding of colonies. 

Drusus Minor or the Younger, full name Drusus Julius Caesar (13 BCE-23 AD, son of Tiberius and Vipsiana), AE As, 23 AD, Rome Mint, issued by Tiberius. Obv. Bare head left, DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N / Rev. PONTIF TRIBVN POTEST ITER around large SC. RIC I Tiberius 45, Sear RCV I 1794 (ill. p. 353), BMCRE Tiberius 99, Cohen 2. 28 mm., 10.4 g.



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I have two coins from Tiberius.

The first is this tribute penny.  It was my fourth ancient coin and the second in my Twelve Caesars set.


Tiberius, AD 14-37.
AR Denarius, 3.6 g, 19.0 mm, 4 h.
Lugdunum mint, AD 36-37.
Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS; Head of Tiberius, laureate, right.
Rev: PO[NT]IF MAXIM; Female figure, draped, right, seated, right holding branch and long vertical sceptre, on chair with ornamented legs; below chair, a single line.
Refs: RIC 30, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152.
Acquired from Incitatus Coins and Antiquities, 11 February 2018.

 This is my other coin of Tiberius.  I like the portrait on this one. 


Tiberius, AD 14-37.
AE As, 10.1 g, 27.7 mm, 1 h.
Rome mint, AD 34-35.
Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VIII; Head of Tiberius, laureate, left.
Rev: PONTIF MAX TR POT XXXVI S C; Rudder placed vertically across banded globe; small globe at base of rudder, right.
Ref: RIC 52.
Acquired from Incitatus Coins and Antiquities, 28 October 2021.

Photo credit: Incitatus Coins and Antiquities

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Here are some of my as coins from Tiberius and Drusus :


TI CAESAR AUGUST F IMPERAT VII  ,  laureate head right

ROM ET AVG  , Altar , decorated with the corona civica between laurels,  figures, and Victories.

A.D. 12 , 4,75 gr, Lugdunum , RIC I 246 , 24mm  ( As or Semis )




LIBERTAS AUGUSTA  S|C  , Libertas standing front, looking right

RIC I 97, Rome , 9.48 gr




NERO ET DRUSUS CAESARES QVINQ Q V I N C , heads of nero ( left ) and Drusus ( rifght ) looking to each other

13.21 gr , Cartago Nova Spain, 27 mm, RPC 179





A.D. 23 , RIC I 45 , ROME , 10.51 gr , As


Edited by mc9
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Lots of great Tiberius portraits have been posted! We've seen a lot of the classic "tribute penny" denarii, plus a nice sampling of Imperial and Provincial bronze portraits.

Now it's time for Caligula!

Unfortunately, I only have this very corroded portrait to offer. However, for the price paid I am happy with it. I like that the obverse inscriptions stand out nice and clear:

(Maybe later I can give it a photo update!)



Please share your portrait coins of the third Emperor!

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Caligula, AD 37-41.
Roman provincial Æ 20 mm, 6.74 g.
Peloponnese, Corinthia, Corinth, Ae. P. Vipsanius Agrippa and M. Bellius Proculus, duoviri, AD 37-38.
Obv: C CAESAR AVGVSTV, bare head right.
Rev: M BELLIO PROCVLO IIVIR / COR, Pegasus flying right.
Refs: RPC I 1173; Amandry (1988) XVII; BCD Corinth 405-6.

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On 1/4/2023 at 2:54 PM, Octavius said:

 His son, Drusus and another As variety with caduceus reverse...



I love all your bronzes but how confident are you that these were not tooled or smoothed? Since about 80% of these came from European auctions were the tendency is not to disclose tooling or smoothing… + none of these have been submitted to TPGs… i do love all of these, but the reason i didn’t bid - tooling concerns…thank you!

Edited by El Cazador
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I have only one lonely coin for Caligula, plus a couple of memorial issues struck during his reign. I doubt I'll ever be willing or able to spend what it costs to buy a denarius of Caligula or Claudius.

Caligula, AE As, 37-38 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head left, C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT/ Rev. Vesta seated left, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above, S - C across field. RIC I 38, Sear RCV I 1803, Cohen 27, BMCRE 46.  30x28 mm., 10.32 g.


Germanicus (died 19 AD, father of Caligula [Gaius] & brother of Claudius), AE As, Memorial issue struck under Caligula, 40-41 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head left, GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N / Rev. Legend  C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P around large S C in center. RIC I Caligula  [Gaius] 50, Sear RCV I 1822. BMCRE 74 (Caligula), Cohen 4. 28 mm., 11.99 g., 6 h.


Agrippa (d. 12 BCE), AE As, Memorial issue struck by Caligula, 37-41 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Head of Agrippa left, wearing rostral crown, M AGRIPPA L - F COS III / Rev. Neptune standing left, holding trident in left hand; dolphin resting left on his right forearm; S - C on either side of Neptune. RIC I Caligula [Gaius] 58, Sear RCV I 1812, Cohen Agrippa 3. 31 mm., 11.0 g.


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Some Asses from or for Caligula ( the Agrippa one has no brons - or koper rot ).


VESTA S|C : Vesta seated left, holding patera in left hand and sceptre in right, Vesta above

A.D. 37 - 41 ,RIC I 38, Rome, 9.72 gr


M AGRIPPA L F COS III : head left, wearing crown

Neptune standing left, between S C , Neptune standing left, holding trident in left hand; dolphin resting left on his right fore arm

A.D. 37 - 41, RIC I 58, AE AS, 10.51 gr


DIVVS AVGVSTVS  S|C : laurreate and radiate head left

CONCENSU SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R : Augustus, laureate and togate, seated left on curule chair holding branch and globe

RIC 56 , Rome, , 15.42 gr


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