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Julio-Claudian Dynasty


bill
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As I purchase the odd piece for my representative collection of the coins of Gaul, various themes begin to emerge into small collections in their own right. The Pixtilos coins of the Celtic tribe of Carnutes are one example. My coins of the Julio-Claudian era have emerged as a small, but now expanding collection as well. The first is a denarius of Julius Caesar and the only one not from Gaul and the only one without a portrait. It does, however, represent the period of the foundation of the dynasty (and the founding of Rome).

 

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Crawford 458/1 Caesar, Mint - Africa 47-46 B.C.

Obv: Head of Venus right wearing a diadem.

Rev: Aeneas left carrying palladium (a statute of Pallas) in right hand and Anchises on left shoulder.

 

Crawford records 390 obverse dies and 433 reverse dies.

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Augustus became the first Roman emperor after filling the vacuum created by the death of Julius Caesar. Octavian's mother was a niece of Julius Caesar and Octavian was adopted by Caesar shortly before being assassinated in Rome. Octavian prevailed in the power struggles that followed, prevailing over Anthony in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. Through Octavian, Caesar became a title rather than a family name. In 27 B.C., the Roman Senate conferred the title, Augustus, that also became part of the diefication of the Roman emperors.

 

Gaul was important to the victories and consolidation of Octavian's power and he founded the mint at Lugdunum. (Celtic tribes were already coining in the region and some believe they may have been responsible for the earliest quadrans attributed to Lugdunum.)

 

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The quadrans struck ca 15 B.C. to 10 B.C. in Lugdunum. The title IMP CAESAR on the obverse and AVGVSTVS on the reverse clearly indicate a post 27 B.C. date. This is one of my favorite Roman coins as i am particularly fond of the eagle on the reverse and intrigued by the links with the Celtic culture and regional art (the eagle is a common image on the Celtic coins of central France). The range of style of the coins and different die cutters can be seen in comparing it with a second piece I recently acquired.

 

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The quality of the planchet appears finer than that of the first coin, although that may in part be a preservation issue. I bought this coin because I liked it and not because I wanted to upgrade. The second piece came from the William C. Boyd (1840-1906) Collection. The accompanying cabinet tag indicates it was purchased from W.S. Lincoln in April 1905.

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Nemausus or Nimes became a colony early in the reign of Augustus as a settlement for soldiers from the conquest of Egypt. The selected a captive crocodile and palm branch as their civic badge. A local mint struck various heavy brass coins, the dupondius and the as (aes), for the local economy. They are frequently encountered cut in two to create smaller change.

 

912968.jpg

 

The series was struck ca. 20 B.C. to A.D. 14. The as pictured here is attributed to 10 B.C. to A.D. 10. The obverse features Agrippa left and Agustus right, IMP above and DIVI F below. (Divi filius, Son of the Divine - Julius Caesar was diefied in 42 B.C.) The reverse shows a crocodile chained to a palm shoot with a wreath trailing ribbons. COL NEM for the colony of Nemausus.

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Lugdunum (present day Lyon) emerged as the center of Roman Gaul and it was here that Augustus created the ceremonial center of the cult of Rome and Augustus. Lugdunum sat at the juncture of the three Gauls. Augustus created a new coin series commemorating the cult.

 

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The coin pictured here is a semis struck from 9 to 14 A.D. The obverse features Augustus right with the inscription, CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE (Caesar Augustus, Son of the Divine, Father of his Country). The reverse features an image of the Altar of Lugdunum and the inscription, ROM ET AVG (for the cult of Rome and Augustus).

 

This coin also came from the Boyd collection and was purchased in April 2005 from W.S. Lincoln as was the quadrans in an earlier post.

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While Augustus was a master at consolidating and expanding his imperial power, he had little luck in grooming a successor. Agrippa, his early choice died. Augustus himself did not have a male heir. Two other chosen successors died and eventually he turned to his step-son Tiberius and adopted him when Tiberius was 44. My portrait coin of Tiberius was actually struck by Agustus as part of the Altar of Lugdunum series.

 

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A brass as (aes) of 12 A.D. The image of the altar is more detailed than that on the semis in the previous post. The obverse features the bust of Tiberius right with the inscription, TI CAESAR AVGVST F IMPERAT VII (Tiberius Caesar Augustus Son Imperator (honorary acclamation no.) 7.

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Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian line and one of the best known of the Roman emperors. My Nero coin commemorates the establishment of the Quinquennial games in Rome.

 

912890.jpg

 

The brass (orichaclum) semis was struck in 66 A.D. in Lugdunum. The obverse features Nero left with the inscription IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONTIF (Imperator Nero Caesar Augustus High Priest [of the cult of Rome]). The reverse features a gaming table with an urn and wreath, two gryphons on the face of the panel below. The insciption reads CER QVINQ ROMAE CON, SC in exergue. (Certanem quinquennalibus Romæ Constitutum, Establishment of the quinquennial festival of Rome.)

 

This coins is also from the Boyd collection and was purchased from Spinks in February 1903.

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Nemausus or Nimes became a colony early in the reign of Augustus as a settlement for soldiers from the conquest of Egypt. The selected a captive crocodile and palm branch as their civic badge. A local mint struck various heavy brass coins, the dupondius and the as (aes), for the local economy. They are frequently encountered cut in two to create smaller change.

 

 

The `As de Nimes' is on my hit list to go along with my jeton of the Pont Du Gard, the bridge and aqueduct built by Agrippa...... and widened by Louis XV some 1750 years later. That it was still in use at the time of Louis XV (and obviously later as a result of the widening work) is a real testament to Agrippa's engineering genius.

 

I like the As de Nimes for the history you note and the extent of the comradeship between Agrippa and Octavian.

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The quadrans struck ca 15 B.C. to 10 B.C. in Lugdunum. The title IMP CAESAR on the obverse and AVGVSTVS on the reverse clearly indicate a post 27 B.C. date. This is one of my favorite Roman coins as i am particularly fond of the eagle on the reverse and intrigued by the links with the Celtic culture and regional art (the eagle is a common image on the Celtic coins of central France). The range of style of the coins and different die cutters can be seen in comparing it with a second piece I recently acquired.

 

I really like the eagle on that first coin as well. The obverse does seem more Celtic than the second coin you show although coming from the Boyd collection makes up for the traditional style :ninja:

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Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian line and one of the best known of the Roman emperors. My Nero coin commemorates the establishment of the Quinquennial games in Rome.

 

912890.jpg

 

The brass (orichaclum) semis was struck in 66 A.D. in Lugdunum. The obverse features Nero left with the inscription IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONTIF (Imperator Nero Caesar Augustus High Priest [of the cult of Rome]). The reverse features a gaming table with an urn and wreath, two gryphons on the face of the panel below. The insciption reads CER QVINQ ROMAE CON, SC in exergue. (Certanem quinquennalibus Romæ Constitutum, Establishment of the quinquennial festival of Rome.)

 

This coins is also from the Boyd collection and was purchased from Spinks in February 1903.

Any idea what he paid for it back then?

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Any idea what he paid for it back then?

 

Its not indicated on the cabinet tag. It would be interesting to know.

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