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Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Tiberius

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

15-37, issued by Tiberius

Artist:

Roman, minted in Lyon

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this gold coin portrays the head of Emperor Tiberius to the right, laureate. The back (reverse) possibly portrays Livia as Pax, enthroned on a chair with scepter in right hand, branch in left.

The inscription on the front of this coin, TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVTVS ("Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of divine Augustus"), was important to marking the transition of power in the early Roman Empire. The title helped Tiberius to advertise his inherited right to rule, as Augustus’ heir and deified first Roman Emperor. The back design showing a female figure is frequently assumed to be Livia, Tiberius’s mother and Augustus’s wife of fifty-three years. Livia is depicted as the Roman deity for peace, Pax. The inscription around her, “PONTIF MAXIM”, refers to the title of Pontifex Maximus, a title held by each of the Roman Emperors and signified the religious authority held by the Roman Emperor.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Tiberius

Origin

Lyon

Date

15 CE–37 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Obverse: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS "Tiberius Caesar, son of divine Augustus" Reverse: PONTIF MAX "Highest Pontiff"

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 7.81 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4857

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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