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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.


15-37, issued by Tiberius


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


Ancient Roman


Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Tiberius


Lyon (Minted in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

15 CE–37 CE




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


Diam.: 2 cm (13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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