A Provincial "12 Caesars"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Apr 14, 2021.


Where was this coin most likely minted?

  1. Thessalonica

  2. Uncertain Asia Minor mint

  3. Who knows?

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    There have been more than 50 threads on CT with "12 Caesars" in the title. NGC has an all gold set displayed. It is a question that comes up fairly often: "do you have all 12 Caesars". A 12-Caesars set was not something that I had as a goal, but Suetonius inevitably pulled me in. When I added recently a provincial portrait coin of Julius Caesar and a didrachm with Vespasian and Titus, with thanks to @PeteB, I wondered, "Do I have a portrait of all 12?"....
    12 Caesars Prov.jpg
    12 Caesars, provincial style with a Vitellius from Rome to represent the city. I like the mix - it would be nice to swap out the Vitellius to go full provincial. Would it be understatement to say that Vitellius' major contribution to Roman history was uniting astrologers and comedians against the emperor?

    "he was especially hostile to writers of lampoons and to astrologers, and whenever any one of them was accused, he put him to death without trial, particularly incensed because after a proclamation of his in which he ordered the astrologers to leave the city and Italy before the Kalends of October, a placard was at once posted, reading: "By proclamation of the Chaldeans [astrologers], God bless the State! Before the same day and date let Vitellius Germanicus have ceased to live."
    -Seutonius, The Life of Vitellius, 14.4

    Here's a close-up of the Julius Caesar:
    Macedon Thessalonica Augustus & Julius Caesar.jpg
    Macedon, Thessalonica, Augustus, with Divus Julius Caesar, 27 BC-AD 14, Æ (21mm, 8.66g, 6h)
    Obv: ΘEOC, bare head of Divus Julius Caesar right
    Rev: CEBACTOY ΘE, bare head of Augustus right
    Ref: BMC 61; Varbanov 4154; RPC I 5421 (uncertain mint)
    Note: more here : Not the Usual 12-Caesars

    There is an open puzzle on the mint and date (see notes on this 2018 CNG Lot, or this 2020 ROMA Lot). I think that RPC I 1555 provides fairly compelling, even conclusive, evidence that this coin is from Thessalonika. RPC 1555 is similar and spells out (ΘΕCCΑΛΟΝΙΚΕΩΝ). I am interested to hear what others think - you can vote in the poll.

    Post your provincial coins of any of the 12 Caesars, 12 Caesar sets, or anything else that you find interesting or entertaining.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Love it!
    I don't think I'd ever be able to complete a full 12 Caesars set but I like the idea of doing it with provincial coins. There are so many great designs!
    galba68 and Sulla80 like this.
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Provincial is pretty much the most affordable too. Mine is a mix of imperial & mostly provincial.

    I do have tetradrachms of Titus & Vitellus but they both had Covid so they sat out for the photoshoot due to being worse for wear from it.

  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Excellent coin:cigar:

    Augustus with Divus Julius Caesar
    (27 BC-14 AD) MACEDON. Thessalonica. Obv: ΘEOΣ.
    Wreathed head of Julius Caesar right; uncertain c/m on neck.
    Bare head of Augustus right; Δ below. RPC I 1554.
    Fine. 12.3 g.21 mm.
    Former: Numismatik Naumann
    The D has been interpreted as either a denomination mark (four assaria) or, more likely, a date - year four of the Actian era (28/7 BC). The ligate NK monogram has been generally accepted as a reference to Nero (Nerwn Kaisar). This is problematic considering that Thessalonica had abundant coinages issued under Claudius and Nero, such that countermarking these quite older coins would be unlikely. Touratsoglou (p. 105) follows Kraay's suggestion that the NK is an abbreviation for Nike (NiKh), and was applied to the coins during celebrations of the city's 50th anniversary of its grant of liberty by the Romans. All but two of the known specimens of this countermark occur on the coins of this first issue of Thessalonica, and the wear on the countermarks is nearly identical to that of the coins, suggesting that the countermarks could not have been applied very long after the coins entered circulation.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Augustus 9.jpg
    AE Dupondius
    OBVERSE: CAESAR DIVI F, bare head of Octavian right
    REVERSE: DIVOS IVLIVS, wreathed head of Julius Caesar right
    Gallic or Italian mint 38 BC
    30mm; 17.90 g
    CR535/v1, RPC620v

    12 Caesars #3.jpg
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I have 10 of the 12 Caesars -- all but Julius Caesar and Otho, the two most expensive/difficult ones. But I have only two of those 10 as Provincials, namely Claudius I and Nero, both from Alexandria.

    Claudius I - Antonia (mother) Roman Alexandria Tetradrachm jpg version.jpg

    Nero-Alexandria Tetradrachm COMBINED.jpg

    I almost bought a Provincial of Otho a couple of weeks ago, but decided not to, even though the price was only about half of what an Imperial of Otho would cost. The obverse portrait simply didn't look anything like Otho as he appears on Imperial coins; the difference was greater than for most other emperors. I'll probably regret my decision, because who knows when I'll find a decent Imperial Otho I can afford. Never mind a Julius Caesar.
  8. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    A lovely set, Sulla. But my OCD doesn’t like that Vitellius before Otho. But what are we talking about, really? A few weeks or months? Here’s mine.
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I have a few. These are some of my favorites.

    Augustus, 27 BC - AD 14.
    Roman provincial AE 23.
    Macedon, Amphipolis, 10.25 g, 23.3 mm, 1 h.
    Obv: ΚΑΙΣΑΡ ΘΕΟΥ ΥΙΟΣ, bare-head, right.
    Rev: ΑΜΦΙΠΟΛΙΕΙΤΩΝ, Artemis Tauropolos with inflated veil, riding on bull galloping right.
    Refs: BMC 5, p. 52, 73; Sear Greek Imperial 29.

    Caligula, AD 37-41.
    Roman provincial Æ 20 mm, 6.74 g.
    Peloponnese, Corinthia, Corinth, Ae. P. Vipsanius Agrippa and M. Bellius Proculus, duoviri, AD 37-38.
    Obv: C CAESAR AVGVSTV, bare head right.
    Rev: M BELLIO PROCVLO IIVIR / COR, Pegasus flying right.
    Refs: RPC I 1173; Amandry (1988) XVII; BCD Corinth 405-6.

    Claudius, AD 41-54.
    Roman provincial Æ 23.2 mm, 7.13 g, 12 h.
    Cilicia, Caesarea (formerly Mopsuestia), AD 50/1.
    Obv: ΤΙΒЄΡΙΟϹ ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ; bare head of Claudius, right.
    Rev: ΚΑΙⳞΑΡΕΩΝ ΕΤΟΥⳞ Ε; veiled Tyche, seated right, on rocks and holding ears of corn; below, river god.
    Refs: RPC I 4086; SNG von Aulock 6348 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Copenhagen 177 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Schweiz II (Righetti) 1759 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Österreich (Caesarea in Cappadocia) 2759-60; RG 4744-45; BMC 21.31,4 (Anazarbus?).
  10. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great effort, congrats, my only JC portrait coin. unnamed.png
  11. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I am also thinking about this as a long term goal (.. very long term)
    3 sets of the 12 Caesars - one in Imperial silver, one in Imperial bronze and one in provincials.
    This is easier said than done though.
    (of course, one set in gold is always an option, in a few lifetimes)

    I recently added (as in - just received it 20 minutes ago) a coin from an emperor who was completely missing from my collection - Caligula. Provincial from Ionia, Smyrna

    After winning it I had some second thoughts, wondering if the coin is worth the price, but in hand it is quite acceptable.

    My current status, not bad for a budget collection started in October 2020

    Attached Files:

  12. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Julius Caesar - Thessalonica
    Augustus - Amphipolis
    Tiberius - Pella
    Claudius - Thessalonica
    Nero - Macedonia
    Vitellius - Macedonia
    Vespasian - Macedonia
    Limes, ancientone, Spaniard and 9 others like this.
  13. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Many excellent additions of the first Roman emperors and nice sets from @Mat, @Bing, and @Gavin Richardson. @Mat, I had noticed your earlier post as another "provincial" approach.
    I can see why you would want "the guys from 69" in alphabetical order :) and....I changed the photo as not being chronologically ordered didn't make sense. Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Gavin Richardson likes this.
  14. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    P1140140 julius caesarb.jpg P1140140 julius caesarbest.jpg

    I have 2 sets. dont like to mix silver and bronze so I have one in silver and one in bronze:

    P1140136face12 smaller new.jpg P1140173c small b pics.jpg
  15. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I have to say I like the idea of a 'Provincial Twelve Caesars' set. A goal much more within reach of many who post here.

    Great sets everyone!
  16. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Nice set!
    I «finished» the 12 Caesars in silver last year. That was a long term goal.
    I’ve also considered sets in bronze and provincials, but right now I’m more tempted to try to get the last 12 Caesars in gold, and work on upgrading the silver set I have. (I mean, sooner or later that weekly lotto coupon has to deliver....)
    Roman Collector and Sulla80 like this.
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Nice goal. I have eight of the Caesars - missing Tiberius, Caligula, Otho, and Vitellius. Tiberius will be a tribute penny, Caligula a sestertius, Otho a denarius, and likewise Vitellius. I have Nero, Galba, Vespasian, and Titus tets of Alexandria.
    DonnaML and Sulla80 like this.
  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone have a Provincial of Otho? If so, does his portrait look anything at all like the portraits on Otho's Imperial coins to you? On the ones I've seen, there's no resemblance at all that I can discern.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    That may be due to the fact that the celators had yet to receive their busts of Otho in time to impact the design of the coinage. So they had to go with a pseudo-Galba portrait based on extrapolation of his feautres. Most likely they had orders to strike coins in the name of the new emperor without the foggiest idea of what he looked like. It reminds me of the early issues of Maximinus Thrax which resembled Severus Alexander. Here's an Alexandrian tet of Galba, for good measure.

  20. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I just have two Tets, and have never seen one look like his imperial portraits.

    Otho (69 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: ΑΥΤΟΚ ΜΑΡΚ ΟΘΩΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ, laureate head right; L A (date) to right.
    R:ΡΩΜΗ, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Roma right, holding shield and spear.
    Dattari (Savio) 330; K&G 18.9; RPC I 5362; Emmett 186.1

    Published on Wildwinds!

    Otho (69 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, LA (year 1) lower right.
    R: EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, wreath in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, leaning with left elbow on column, simpulum (ladle used for tasting and pouring sacrificial libations) left in lower left field.
    Milne 359; RPC I 5354 (5 spec.); Dattari 327; BMC Alexandria p. 25, 208; Curtis 238; Kampmann 18.6; Emmett 184

    Ex. Jyrki Muona Collection

    This variety with a simpulum on the reverse is much rarer than the same type without this control symbol. RPC reports only 5 specimens with the simpulum and 17 specimens without it. This variety is missing from the important collections in Cologne, Paris, and Milan, and we know of only one example offered at auction in the past two decades (CNG 76, 12 Sep 2007, lot 3152, VF, $430 plus fees).

    Published on Wildwinds!
    Broucheion, Limes, Orfew and 6 others like this.
  21. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    mine is very "Nero-like" as described above, but I also have a Vespasian that I think is Otho-like - although Otho clearly had more wavy hair in his official portrait. Maybe this is what happens when a mint worker, tired, starts cranking out new dies after being overworked for the Vitellius transition and he is starting up with his 3rd new portrait in < 9 months. Vespasian Fort Red 70.jpg
    Vespasian, AR Denarius, Rome, AD 70
    Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head to right
    Rev: COS ITER FORT RED, Fortuna standing to left, resting right hand on prow and holding cornucopiae in left
    Ref: RIC II 19; RSC 84
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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