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.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Roman
- Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Tiberius
- Lyon (Minted in)
- 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.)
- Gift of Martin A. Ryerson