|Classical Numismatic Group > Triton XIII||Auction date: 5 January 2010|
|Lot number: 311|
Tiberius. AD 14-37. Æ “Sestertius” (27.48 g, 12h). Colonia Iulia Pia Paterna in Zeugitana mint. Q. Junius Blaesus, proconsul for the second time and P. Gavius Casca. Struck AD 23. TI CAE DIVI AVG F AVG IMP VIII COS • IIII • (beginning below head and going clockwise), bare head left within pelleted border / PERM[ISSV Q IVN B]LAESI PRO COS IT C • P • GA VIO CAS • D D, Nude Hermes, wearing winged petasus and talaria, seated left on rock outcropping, holding winged caduceus in extended right hand and leaning on left set on rocks; C P I in fields; all within pelleted border. RPC 765 var. (placement of legends); cf. Amandry, Notes V, 7.II B.a1-2 (for type; dies unlisted); Müller, Afrique -; SNG Copenhagen -. Good VF, red, brown, and green patina, minor smoothing in fields. Extremely rare and of historical interest.
Quintus Junius Blaesus was one of the novi homines, or “new men”, who built his career in the miltary under Augustus and Tiberius. He was also the maternal uncle of Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the praefectus praetorio of Tiberius, who reputedly called him “the partner of my labors”.
Beginning in AD 10, when he served as a suffect consul, Blaesus was put in command of the armies in Pannonia. He was involved in putting down the revolt that broke out among his troops following the death of Augustus in AD 14 – an event that counted his nephew among the negotiators. As a result of the increasing influence of Sejanus at court, in AD 21, Blaesus was appointed governor of Africa proconsularis, a post he held until AD 23. During that time, he finally defeated the Numidian revolt led by Tacfarinas, a deserter from the legions. This revolt was sparked by the Roman administration’s enclosure system for farming, which prevented the local tribes from using that same land for grazing. After a series of successful diplomatic maneuvers, including pardons for the rebels, which siphoned off much of Tacfarinas’ support, as well as the capture of the rebel leader’s brother, effectively ending the revolt , Blaesus returned to Rome in AD 23, where he was accorded a triumph. In AD 31 Sejanus was accused of treason and executed by order of Tiberius. As a result of his familial connection to Sejanus, Blaesus was put on trial as an associate. While awaiting execution, however, he committed suicide, a move which would save his family’s fortune and reputation.
Estimate: 1500 USD