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Claudius I British Imitation As - now added to my collection


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Claudius I, 10 BC - 54 AD
Roman Emperor 41 - 54 AD

Here is a British imitation from an unofficial mint in the West, in this case a copy from the Rome mint. 
It feature a portrait of Claudius and the striding figure of the goddess Minerva.

I get a kick out of the portraits on coins where Claudius I has that long neck. He's a bit rough, but ya know, I like it.


Claudius's maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus's sister, and he was therefore the great-great-grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar.
This gave him the right to become emperor when Caligula was assassinated.

As a youth he was awkward and weak.
Suetonius, a Roman historian describes the physical manifestations of Claudius's condition in relatively good detail.
"His knees were weak and gave way under him and his head shook. He stammered and his speech was confused. He slobbered and his nose ran when he was excited."

(sounds like me when I look at some of the members beautiful ancient coins on this forum)


He was made fun of as a child. As he got older, he relied on his mental abilities, his physical problems faded.

Claudius, was a good administrator and builder. He liked the public games.

He was married four times but chose his women poorly.
One was divorced for mental cruelty, one for infidelity and another for being a nymphomaniac. Claudius is believed to have been murdered by his final and powerful wife Agrippina by poisoning – possibly poison contained in mushrooms. He died on October 13th 54 AD.


Listing Desc: 
Claudius I, 41 - 54 AD, Barbarous British As with Minerva

Claudius I, 41 - 54 AD
Contemporary British Imitation
AE As, 27mm, 9.54 grams
Obverse: TI CLAVDIVS CARSAR AVG P M TR P IMP, Bare head of Claudius left.
Reverse: Minerva advancing right holding spear and shield, S C across fields.
Cf. RIC 100

Edited by thenickelguy
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  • thenickelguy changed the title to Claudius I British Imitation As - now added to my collection

Great addition. I also added one of these recently. Not as crisp but perhaps more barbarous with an oversized shield.

Claudius Barbarous As, after 41
British mint. Bare head of Claudius left; TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP. Minerva helmeted and draped, advancing right brandishing javelin in right hand and shield in left; S - C across fields (cf RIC I (dupondius), 100). Found in Essex.

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Of the relative few historical novels I ever read (most of them very creditable juvenile ones, notably by Henry Treece), the all-time favorite has to be this, whose literary value is on the same level as its unmistakably extensive primary-source research. 


I need how Claudius, with all of his social disadvantages (thanks, @thenickelguy), combined with his scholarly acumen (comparable, for instance, to Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus), managed to survive a couple of generations of more ambitious, self-absorbed Julio-Claudians.

(I also needed a representative, official Minerva as of his; sorry, bought too early to have pics.  ...Some day I'll break down and get a camera.  And spend a month learning how to use it.)

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