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OTD 2004 years ago massively popular, great general, Germanicus is murdered: And so dies one of the greatest of the Julio-Claudian line without donning the purple (but don't worry, his son won't leave a name to live in infamy like no other;))


Ryro

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The 25th of August 19 into the CE (2004 years ago): The Roman general Germanicus dies near Antioch. History remembers the illness that ended in his death as result of poisoning by his enemy, the Syrian governor, Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, whom he had ordered to leave the province. 

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Germanicus

As (42, Rome) - Restitution of Claudius

A/ GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N. Bare head of Germanicus right.

R/ TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM TR P IMP PP. Legend around a large SC.

B+

C.9 (3f)-RCV.1905 RIC.106

Ae ; 11.31 gr ; 30 mm, Purchased from Monnaies d’Antan May 2022

GERMANICO-PER-ALTERNARE-TESTO-DENTRO-IL-3-LIVELLO-PT2-673x1024.jpg.384b71e1605e2fa60564a0cf18625511.jpg

He was, well...

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son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia the Younger:

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NERO CLAUDIUS DRUSUS, father of Claudius, died 9 BC. Æ Sestertius (24.6 gm 33mm). Bare head / Claudius seated on curule chair, captured arms and armor at feet. RIC.193. VF, olive brown patina. Dent is under patina, probably ancient (damnatio ?) Purchased from Varian Museum Oct 2021 

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ANTONIA MINOR, wife of Nero Claudius Drusus, mother of Germanicus and Claudius. Died 37 AD. Æ Dupondius (25 MM, 13.25 gm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Claudius, 41-42 AD.

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 His lovely wife Agrippina the elder, also a massively popular "big deal", was the daughter of the other greatest general to come out of the post Republic era, Agrippa and Augustus only child, Julia the elder:

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Agrippina/Germanicus

(Died 19 and 33, respectively). PHRYGIA. Aezanis. Ae. 17 MM 3.4 gr Lollios Klassikos, magistrate.

Obv: ΓЄPMANIKOC.

 Laureate head of Germanicus right.

 Rev: AΓPIΠΠINA ЄΠI KΛACCIKOV AIZANITωN.

 Draped bust of Agrippina right.

RPC I 3081; SNG Copenhagen 71-2

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Agrippa

Æ As. Struck under Caligula, 37-41 AD. M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing rostral crown / S-C, Neptune standing facing, head left, naked except for cloak draped behind him & over both arms, holding small dolphin in right hand & vertical trident in left. Cohen 3. Former @GregH

 

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Posthumous Coinage of Augustus

Julia Daughter of Augustus by his first wife Scribonia. Born 39 BC, she was the wife of Marcellus, Agrippa and Tiberius, respectively. Banished by her father to the island of Pandataria in 2 BC, she remained there 5 years and then was allowed to reside in Rhegium, where she died in 14 AD.

Livia and Julia under Augustus. Bronze 10-2 BC, Pergamum/Mysia. LIBIAN HPAN XAPINOS Draped bust of Livia (as Hera) to r. Rev.( IO)YLIAN (AFP)ODIT(HN) Draped bust of Julia (as Venus) to r 18 mm,. 3,79 g. BMC 248. RPC 2359. Vagi 370. Very rare

Ex: Savoca Blue 89

But don't worry. If history has shown one thing it's that the children of great individuals always bring the same amount of talent, hard work and inspiration as their ancestors. Don't they?

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Think of how excited Rome must have been when their limp, wayward emperor Tiberius died and the son and grandson of all these GREAT people would step forward to wear the purple and run the empire!

Enter Caligula!

52141ea0be0ac9a8546824bf47a6abbd(2).jpg.532596b8fdfd08a76df4a84c2ffbeb30.jpg

 

Edited by Ryro
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  • Ryro changed the title to OTD 2004 years ago massively popular, great general, Germanicus is murdered: And so dies one of the greatest of the Julio-Claudian line without donning the purple (but don't worry, his son won't leave a name to live in infamy like no other;))

normal_germanicus.jpg.ea650cb62b76aa4d80a00aafc8e97133.jpg

Germanicus, with Divus Augustus (15 B.C. - 19 A.D.)
AR Drachm
CAPPADOCIA, Caesarea
O:GERMANICVS CES TI AVGV COS II PM, bare head of Germanicus right.
R:  DIVVS AVGV-STVS, radiate head of Augustus left.
3.23g
16.5mm
RPC I 3623a; cf. Sydenham, Caesarea 50; RIC I 61; BMCRE 106

The date of this issue remains uncertain. RPC places it late in Tiberius' reign, circa 33/4 AD, while the traditional dating, adopted by RIC and Sydenham, place's it in the first year of Caligula's reign, 37/8 AD.

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Great post and coins. It is too bad (and kind of puzzling) that Caligula somehow became emperor when there were at least a couple other options, infinitely more qualified! But I guess that is nothing new in politics. 😉 

 

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This julio claudio family tree still makes me Dizzy.... But I do have a Germanicus to share. If only he would wear the purple, who would have known..... And to be fair, it is thought that Caligula suffered from an illness and his behavior deteriorated. And having loads of his family members murdered would not have helped either.

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Here's my Germanicus, together with Divus Augustus 🙂

8 hours ago, Kali said:

The date of this issue remains uncertain. RPC places it late in Tiberius' reign, circa 33/4 AD, while the traditional dating, adopted by RIC and Sydenham, place's it in the first year of Caligula's reign, 37/8 AD.

Same here:

image.jpeg.639d3e0534128e899f997446e705ef41.jpeg

Nero Claudius Germanicus and Divus Augustus under Tiberius or Caligula
Drachm of the Roman Imperial Period 33/34 AD or 37/38 AD
Diameter: 18mm, Weight: 3.68g. Mint: Caesarea-Eusebia, Cappadocia
Reference: RPC I. 3623D, RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 62

Obv: GERMANICVS CAES TI AVG F COS II IMP, for Germanicus Caesar Tiberii Augusti Filius Consul Secundum Imperator (Germanicus Caesar, son of Augustus Tiberius, Consul for the second time, Imperator). Bearded head of Germanicus, right. 
RevDIVVS AVGVSTVS. Radiate head of Augustus, left.

 

Edited by Salomons Cat
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Entertaining and informative write-up, as always, @Ryro! And a multimedia extravaganza! I have but one coin of Germanicus, but does anyone really need more than one? It's not like his coinage is a treasure-trove of interesting reverse types.

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The only thing interesting about this reverse is that it's a die match to the BnF specimen, illustrated by a LINE DRAWING in Cohen.

GermanicusAsCohen.jpg.4d8987332fcef903ba047331f7bae251.jpg
GermanicusAsreversediematchtoCohen.jpg.fd5fc2dc6d72f7d98202f227a1877d11.jpg

 

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Wonderful post!

One of my favorite Roman coins is one I had to hunt a few years for - a lifetime issue of Germanicus as Caesar alongside Drusus from Sardes, Lydia:

GermanicusandDrususSardesLydia.jpg.e61aea66259d9bb2b54d5d3d6e191506.jpg

Perhaps the most honest portrait of Germanicus to survive, we can see a young man with curly, tousled hair, sideburns, and a sharply aquiline nose and an intense, determined stare. This can be observed in watered down format in some of his imperial busts

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Sadly, coins of Germanicus from his own lifetime are quite rare, restricted to provincial coins only, and usually of poor style.

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3 hours ago, Octavius said:

 Denarius of Caligula with his dad , Germanicus...

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Dupondius of Germanicus , struck by his son....

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Two asses of Germanicus ... first one struck by his son  Caligula ,  and the second one struck by his brother, Claudius....

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Impressive, to say the least! Love 1 and 3 the most

Edited by El Cazador
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Ae As of Germanicus struck during the reign of Caius 37-38 AD obv Head left bare Rv. Inscription around SC RIC 35 Banti-Simonetti 6/5 This coin illustrated 11.42 grms 28 mm Phot by W. Hansen

germanicus6.jpg.7af8bc57dd6c2219bc05f2009b21d783.jpg

This coin is part of the extremely large issue struck by Caligula honoring his father. 

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Great post and illustrations @Ryro

 

On 8/25/2023 at 1:50 AM, Ryro said:

 

GERMANICO-PER-ALTERNARE-TESTO-DENTRO-IL-3-LIVELLO-PT2-673x1024.jpg.384b71e1605e2fa60564a0cf18625511.jpg

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Germanicus, Dupondius - Posthumous issue of Caligula, in honour of his father (died AD 19)
Rome mint, AD 37-41
GERMANICVS CAESAR, Germanicus in triumphal quadriga right
SIGNIS RECEPT DEVICTIS GERM, Germanicus standing left, rising right arm, holding legionnary eagle
17.79 gr
Ref : RCV #1820, Cohen #7

 

Mummy Antonia

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Antonia, As - Restitution of Claudius
ANTONIA AVGVSTA, bust of Antonia right
TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG PM TRP IMP, Claudius standing left, holding simpulum. SC in field
11,37 gr
Ref : RCV #1902, Cohen #6

Q

 

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Great post, @Ryro, an entertaining mix of multimedia, humor, and history!

Here's my favorite coin of Germanicus from Sardes in Lydia.  

image.png.8e199581880921d8e59fb0accce66029.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardis

Germanicus had a complicated and regal family tree: he was the son of general Nero Claudius Drusus who was the son of Livia Drusilla and stepson the Emperor Augustus.  He was also the son of Antonia who was the daughter of Mark Antony with Augustus' sister Octavia minor.  He was also the nephew and adopted son of the emperor Tiberius. Easy to be confused at this point. 

For a guy who died at ~35 he was busy: Quaestor at 21, twice consul, triumphant commander of armies on the Rhine and in Gaul, successful suppressor of an uprising with the death of Augustus, father of 9 children (six of whom outlived him), supreme commander of the eastern provinces.  When he died AD 19, there was suspicion that he was poisoned by Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, or perhaps an order of Tiberius, jealous of his adopted son's popularity.  

During Tiberius' reign (AD 17), there was a devastating earthquake in the Roman province of Asia with Sardes the likely epicenter.  Tiberius navigated a rough political patch celebrating a Triumph for Germanicus in Rome, and sending Germanicus with another troublesome fellow, Piso, to Asia where Tiberius embarked on a lavish rebuilding of cities in Asia Minor.  (See: Daryn Graham(2019) "Tacitus, Tiberius, and the CE17 Earthquake in the Roman Province of Asia of Asia")

Quote

"In the same year, twelve important cities of Asia collapsed in an earthquake, the time being night, so that the havoc was the less foreseen and the more devastating. Even the usual resource in these catastrophes, a rush to open ground, was unavailing, as the fugitives were swallowed up in yawning chasms. Accounts are given of huge mountains sinking, of former plains seen heaved aloft, of fires flashing out amid the ruin. As the disaster fell heaviest on the Sardians, it brought them the largest measure of sympathy, the Caesar promising ten million sesterces, and remitting for five years their payments to the national and imperial exchequers."

-Tacitus, Annals, II.47

LydiaSardesGermanicus.jpg.9c44cbaa3d79ec9493e4bcb07bc34075.jpg

Lydia, Sardes, Germanicus, father of Gaius (Caligula), brother of Claudius, died 19 AD, Æ (16mm, 3.3 gm, 1h), Mnaseas, magistrate.

Obv: ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ, bare head left

Rev: ΣΑΡΔΙΑΝΩΝ (down right) ΜΝΑΣΕΑΣ (down left), Athena standing left, holding phiale

Ref: RPC I 2993

Edited by Sulla80
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3 hours ago, kapphnwn said:

Ae As of Germanicus struck during the reign of Caius 37-38 AD obv Head left bare Rv. Inscription around SC RIC 35 Banti-Simonetti 6/5 This coin illustrated 11.42 grms 28 mm Phot by W. Hansen

germanicus6.jpg.7af8bc57dd6c2219bc05f2009b21d783.jpg

This coin is part of the extremely large issue struck by Caligula honoring his father. 

Just fantastic 

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3 hours ago, Sulla80 said:

Great post, @Ryro, an entertaining mix of multimedia, humor, and history!

Here's my favorite coin of Germanicus from Sardes in Lydia.  

image.png.8e199581880921d8e59fb0accce66029.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardis

Germanicus had a complicated and regal family tree: he was the son of general Nero Claudius Drusus who was the son of Livia Drusilla and stepson the Emperor Augustus.  He was also the son of Antonia who was the daughter of Mark Antony with Augustus' sister Octavia minor.  He was also the nephew and adopted son of the emperor Tiberius. Easy to be confused at this point. 

For a guy who died at ~35 he was busy: Quaestor at 21, twice consul, triumphant commander of armies on the Rhine and in Gaul, successful suppressor of an uprising with the death of Augustus, father of 9 children (six of whom outlived him), supreme commander of the eastern provinces.  When he died AD 19, there was suspicion that he was poisoned by Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, or perhaps an order of Tiberius, jealous of his adopted son's popularity.  

During Tiberius' reign (AD 17), there was a devastating earthquake in the Roman province of Asia with Sardes the likely epicenter.  Tiberius navigated a rough political patch celebrating a Triumph for Germanicus in Rome, and sending Germanicus with another troublesome fellow, Piso, to Asia where Tiberius embarked on a lavish rebuilding of cities in Asia Minor.  (See: Daryn Graham(2019) "Tacitus, Tiberius, and the CE17 Earthquake in the Roman Province of Asia of Asia")

LydiaSardesGermanicus.jpg.9c44cbaa3d79ec9493e4bcb07bc34075.jpg

Lydia, Sardes, Germanicus, father of Gaius (Caligula), brother of Claudius, died 19 AD, Æ (16mm, 3.3 gm, 1h), Mnaseas, magistrate.

Obv: ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ, bare head left

Rev: ΣΑΡΔΙΑΝΩΝ (down right) ΜΝΑΣΕΑΣ (down left), Athena standing left, holding phiale

Ref: RPC I 2993

I think I have a die-match to yours (obverse and reverse?):

SardesLydia-GermanicusAthenastandingRPC2993-MINEpic0.jpg.a86c82b17d3faed741adb478c91ef70a.jpg

Germanicus  Æ 16 Magistrate Mnaseas Sardes, Lydia (d. 19 A.D.,  c. 19-41 A.D.) Mnaseas, magistrate. ΓEΡMANIK[OΣ KA]IΣAΡ, bare head left /ΣAΡΔIANΩN MNAΣEAΣ, Athena standing left, holding patera, resting hand on shield; spear behind to right. (3.26 grams / 16 x 15 mm) eBay Aug. 2018 RPC I 2993; BMC 113 corr.

Here's a comparison photo:

SardesLydia-GermanicusAthenastandingRPC2993-MINEpic0COMPSulla.jpg.29920ea80853b17801427526e9a7dda4.jpg

And thank you @Ryro for the informative and amusing post!  

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