Heritage World Coin Auctions > ANA Signature Sale 3101Auction date: 25 August 2022
Lot number: 35227

Price realized: 3,200 USD   (Approx. 3,206 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Tiberius (AD 14-37). AV aureus (20mm, 7.71 gm, 1h). NGC VF 5/5 - 2/5, ex-jewelry. Lugdunum, ca. AD 14-17. TI CAESAR DIVI-AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head of Tiberius right / PONTIF-MAXIM, Livia, as Pax, seated right, olive branch in left hand, grounded spear in right, feet on stool; chair with ornate legs, single line below. RIC I 29. Calicó 305b.

As the stepchild and unwanted heir of Augustus, Tiberius had a difficult act to follow. Nevertheless, for the first few years of his reign, he did a commendable job running the vast empire bequeathed to his care. Cautious and frugal, he engaged in no wars of conquest and kept the Empire's finances in good order. However, he soon tired of the endless toil and began handing off duties to his unscrupulous second-fiddles, namely the Praetorian Prefect Sejanus and his eventual replacement, Macro. The resulting bloodbath among members of his own family, and their Senatorial supporters, tarnished his name throughout history. There are reports that in the end, Tiberius did not die of natural causes. Suetonius, himself, believed rumors that Caligula had poisoned, starved, smothered him with a pillow, and then he fell dead. He was deified upon death.

His cautious nature is reflected in his coinage - unlike the proliferation of types employed by Augustus, Tiberius kept the same simple design for both silver denarii and gold aurei for almost the entirety of his reign. This uniformity of type makes it virtually impossible to date any particular aureus or denarius more precisely than somewhere within the last two decades of his reign. Hence, virtually any of his coins could have been struck in the same year as the momentous event he probably never heard about, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Judaea, likely between AD 30 and 34. The coin associated most closely to Tiberius is the "Tribute Penny," the silver version of this aureus, as they are mentioned in the Bible.



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