A Sestertius of Agrippina Junior

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Dec 7, 2022.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Agrippina Minor, fourth wife (and niece) of Claudius and mother of Nero, had not only the most illustrious pedigree of any roman empress (great-granddaughter of Augustus, Marcus Antonius, Livia and Octavia, granddaughter of Nero Claudius Drusus, Agrippa, Julia and Antonia, daughter of Germanicus Agrippina Senior), but also a life and death of Shakespearean dimensions.

    And we must not forget that she was the first ruling empress to have her name and portrait struck on the obverse of roman coinage.


    AGRIPPINA AVG GERMANICI F CAESARIS AVG - Draped bust of Agrippina Junior right /
    (no legend) – Carpentum left, drawn by two mules, the cover supported by standing figures.
    Brass Sestertius, Perinthus (?) mint, AD 51-54 (struck under Claudius)
    32mm / 26.99 g / 6h
    Cohen -, BMCRE Claudius p. 195 note and plate 37.3, RIC I (Claudius) 103 (R3), H.-M. von Kaenel, “Britannicus, Agrippina Minor und Nero in Thrakien”, SNR 63 (1984), p. 130 ff, Type A (7 specimens) and plate 24, 30 (same obverse die), Cayon “Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano” Vol. 1 (1984), 1 (80.000 SFR) and plate p.74 (same reverse die), Sear RCV I, 1910

    Ex CNG E-auction 525, 19.10.2022 (lot 1045), “From the S & S Collection”


    While Sestertii of Agrippina Senior, struck by her son Caligula, are not cheap but available, those of her daughter, Caligula´s sister, were an enigma until recently.

    Sestertii and dupondii in the name of Agrippina Junior have been found apparently exclusively localized in the Balkan region, and were most likely struck at a local mint servicing the legions guarding the border. Despite their latin obverse legends, the lack of reverse legends on both the sestertius and dupondius, specifically the S C, would be in keeping with a provincial issue not issued under the nominal authority of the Roman Senate.

    Unknown to Cohen, called doubtful by Sutherland in 1984, and mentioned but omitted in RPC I in 1992 (p. 318), because at the time the RPC authors were hesitant to accept them, just like the equally enigmatic Sestertii of Britannicius and Nero Caesar, due to there being no corresponding pieces for Claudius.

    Also, the Sestertii of Agrippina Minor were virtually unobtainable to collectors with all seven specimens published by von Kaenel in 1984 residing in museums: four in Berlin, one in Vienna, one in Sofia, and the last one in Boston by 1986.

    After the fall of the iron curtain, however, metal detectorists in Bulgaria have seemingly dug up dozens of further specimens which are entering the market (many after extensive tooling or in a deplorable state) at a rate of about one per year, giving completists (like myself) a chance to own one. My new acquisition seems to be the only specimen offered at auction in 2022.

    While von Kaenel attributed his seven specimens to two obverse and five reverse dies (mistakenly not recognizing a third obverse die in his illustrations), I have compiled a corpus of a total of 44 genuine Sestertii known by 2022 (there a reportedly two additional specimens in the museums of Plodiv and Vidin, Bulgaria), which I could attribute to a total of 5 obverse dies and 7 reverse dies while 7 specimens feature a blank reverse. There are a five other Sestertii sharing the die combination of my coin (obverse die 3, reverse die 6), which looks genuine and un-tooled to me.

    Please show your coins of Agrippina Junior (a Sestertius anybody?) or anything related.

    And does anybody know anything about the “S & S collection”?
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Looks like a nice color and portrait on it.

    I just have this.

    Nero (54 - 68 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: NE KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEΡ AYTO, laureate head right.
    R: AΓPIΠΠINA, draped bust of Agrippina Junior right. LE . Dated RY 5 (AD 58/9)
    RPC I 5231; Köln -; Milne 167; Emmett 107

    Ex. CNG Electronic Auction #76, Lot 33
    Ex. CNG Electronic Auction #157, Lot 108
    Ex T. R. McIntosh Collection

    Published on Wildwinds!
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page