Claudian sestertii

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by jamesicus, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    At one time I had a fairly extensive collection of these impressive coins issued by Claudius - my favorite Julio-Claudian Emperor. Now I only have the following three. Not the most pretty looking specimens, but I cherish them due to their historical association.

    RIC Vol. I, CLAUDIUS, SESTERTIUS, Rome, No. 112, 50-54AD (36mm, 28.2gm)
    Obverse depiction: Claudius, laureate head facing right
    Reverse depiction: Civic Oak Wreath
    Inscription in four lines:
    EX SC
    P P

    (within wreath)

    RIC VOl. I, CLAUDIUS, SESTERTIUS, Rome No. 99, 41-50 AD, (36mm, 25.3gm)
    Obverse depiction: Claudius, laureate head facing right
    Reverse depiction: Personification of Spes
    holding flower in right hand and demurely raising skirt with left hand
    Inscription: SPES AVGVSTA - S C (exergue)

    RIC Vol. I, CLAUDIUS, SESTERTIUS, Rome, No. 109, 42-43AD (38mm, 28.0gm)
    Obverse depiction: Nero Claudius Drusus (father of Claudius), bare head facing left
    Reverse depiction: Claudius seated left on curule chair holding olive branch,
    panoply of weapons and armor beneath
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  3. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Lovely coins.

    Wasn’t that OB CIVES SERVATOS legend used for persons who had saved the life/lives of Roman citizens? Or was it just for generic public service?
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  4. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you Gavin.

    All of my references affirm that it originally was - often to soldiers of all ranks who had saved the life of a comrade. It was usually accompanied by award of the Civic Oak Wreath ……… [/quote]

    Again, my references assert that it was Augustus who first asked (or proclaimed) that it should also be awarded, again accompanied by the Civic Oak Wreath, under authority of the Senate to anyone who had “saved” the Roman citizenry at large, or rendered exemplary service to it. Claudius used the Civic Oak Wreath and citation as shown on the reverse of this sestertius to promote his service to the Empire - especially his recalling from exile, and restoring to them their land and civic status, numerous Roman citizens condemned by Caligula. Several of his statues depict Claudius wearing the Civic Oak leaf crown (Corona Civica).
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  5. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Well given his military campaigns in Britannia, he was probably more entitled to it than most. An underrated Emperor, I think.
  6. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    But to be accurate, I think he visited Britannia once the fighting was over.
  7. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, he was my kind of guy.
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  8. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    My only Claudius. But I love the patina.
  9. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Ah yes, Gavin. Here is my take on this (influenced by Josiah Osgood):
    “Claudius perceived that it was imperative for him to accomplish a great feat of arms in order to enhance his prestige with the Senate and prove himself worthy of the title of Augustus. His own father NERO CLAUDIUS DRUSUS and brother GERMANICUS had been acclaimed as great military leaders on the northern frontier and he was determined to emulate their successes. His predecessor (and nephew), CALIGULA, had set out to conquer Britain and add that island outpost to the Empire, but had failed. Now Claudius was determined to fulfill that mission and to that end in AD 43 he dispatched an advance force consisting of four legions commanded by a renowned general, AULUS PLAUTIUS, to invade Britain and engage the Britannic forces there.

    Shortly thereafter Claudius landed in Britain and assumed command of the army led by General Plautius. In short order Claudius accepted the surrender of the Britannic forces, appointed Plautius Governor of Britannia and subsequently returned to Rome to celebrate his Triumph.”

    My take-away is that it was indeed a “staged event” - I believe Plautius and his Legions had done most of the fighting and “sealed the deal” so to speak before Claudius set foot in Britain - it seems he was only in Britain for a few weeks (just maybe months). But our under-rated Emperor was no Warrior - he simply did what he had to do.

    The Senate and the Citizenry accepted him as a conquering Imperator - and that was all that mattered.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  10. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    All are great!

    My first Claudius

    and my upgrade

  12. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I agree, of course, Randy. Thank you for posting your Claudians. That upgrade coin is really nice - the reverse depiction of Libertas is spectacular.
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  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

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  14. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    My own adaptation of Roman Capitalis Monumentalis lettering (depicted in my avatar) is based on that employed on Julio-Claudian aes coins - particularly those of Caligula, Claudius and Nero - mostly Claudius.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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