Featured Lovely Livia, Julia Augusta/ My new black beauty is no black widow

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    One of my most exciting recent purchases showed up a couple weeks back and I am in LOVE!
    I think I now know what young Octavian (recently having changed his name to Caesar) must have felt when he came across the striking, and married to an opponent of the heir to Rome, beauty of Livia Drusilla:

    (This bust was made after Tiberius ascension when Livia would’ve been between 72-87 years old #hotmom)

    Whether due to her beauty, the fact that she was known for her virtue or that I’ve just read far to much of the individuals and circumstances I just cannot subscribe to the rumors that she had anything to do with the wild “slay” ride that led to her awkward son Tiberius becoming the second Augustus. Nor do I believe for a second that she killed her ailing hubby at his very advanced age to make way for Tibs.


    You can save that nonsense for the folks that think COVID will be gone by Easter. All that silliness aside, who was she and where did she come from?


    Sadly, and due to her, well, being a her, there is little known of her early on. We do know she was Born January 30 (same birthday as my dad), in either 59 or 58 BCE (close to the same year as my dad;)). Her family, the Claudians, had been a well connected family with plenty of old ties into the deep republican past. Those connections and her beauty must have been mighty attractive for a man in the rise. One hitch though, her father had already married her to Tiberius Claudius Nero. A bit of a dupe who had sided with Marc Antony against the future Augustus. He was eventually exiled and had to flee Rome to Greece with wife Livia and even baby Tiberius in tow! Eventually allowed to come back to Rome. Leading to the encounter between a young man and woman that would change world history.
    Like so many celebs nowadays, once Octavian hit the big time he traded in his old wife to land him a Livia.


    She was just too fine for that doofus she was with anyway. So, even while pregers with her second son via her current husband, Livia divorced him to marry Caesar (Augustus) to later become Julia Augusta (not to be confused with Augustus only daughter, Julia).
    The mother of her nation, most powerful woman of her time and one of the most influential woman of all time. (Yeah, she was kind of a big deal)


    Due to her immense popularity there are many wonderful images and coins celebrating the “Romana Princips” covering a long period in time.


    One group that I’ve found particularly appealing are the ones of her as the personification of various goddesses.
    Without further ado, my latest show stopper is of Julia Augusta as the goddess Justia. Who we refer to nowadays as “Lady Justice”:

    E99C4676-6E13-42A4-8A7A-520F275BB0AE.jpeg 84315EFB-98FD-4B05-B699-B415ED721EBA.jpeg

    Livia, wife of Augustus
    (died in 29 AD). AE As, struck under Tiberius, 22-23 AD. D / Diademed and draped bust of Livia (as Justitia) right; IVSTITIA below. R / TI CAESAR DIVI F AVG PM TR POT XXIIII around large SC. RIC (Tib.) 46. AE. g. 13.18 mm. 29.00 R. Rare. Dark green patina. F. Ex Artemide Aste

    Renowned far and wide, here she is in all her glory on coinage from Egypt:
    Æ23 of Alexandria, Egypt.
    Year 41 (= AD 11/12).
    Draped bust r. / Oak-wreath
    enclosing date. RPC 5061.
    10.04g, 24mm

    Here is a coin giving homage to the passing of Rome’s First Lady issued by her son:

    Livia as Julia Augusta
    Æ Sestertius. Rome, AD 22.
    Decorated carpentum drawn
    r. by two mules / Legend
    around large S •, RIC
    Tiberius 51. 23.1g, 36mm,
    9h. Brass-brown tone

    Please post your coins of the original Augusta, your favorite Augusta or whatever personified your gods and goddesses!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice Livias.

    I only have 1 of her.

    Livia (30 B.C. - 29 A.D)
    IONIA, Ephesos
    Æ 16
    Magistrate, Aristeas Asklepiades
    O: Draped bust of Livia right, hair in a bun.
    R: EFE GRAMMATEUS ARISTEAS ASKLHPI-ADHS in five lines across fields and in exergue, Stag standing right.
    RPC I 2576; SNG Cop 367

  4. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

    AAW #304. Ancient and Medieval Coins 8/31/02. $22.50 – Bronze coin (AE 22) minted at Ephesus during the reign of AUGUSTUS & LIVIA between 27 B.C. – 14 A.D. Obv. Conjoined heads r., of AUGUSTUS laur. & LIVIA. Rev. Stag std. r., quiver above. GIC #183 pg.17. AAW-304 OBV.jpg AAW-304 REV.jpg
  5. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    My only coin bearing a representation of Livia:

    Tiberius AR Denarius, AD 18-35, Lugdunum (Lyons) Mint, “Tribute Penny.” Obv. TI CAESAR DIVI AVG AVGVSTVS, Laureate head right/ Rev. PONTIF MAXIM, Livia, as Pax, holding long sceptre & olive branch, seated right on throne with ornate legs, single line below. RIC I 30, RSC II 16a, Sear RCV I 1763, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150. 19 m., 3.82 g. Toned Very Fine. Ex: JMB collection; Ex: Tom Cederlind Sale 86 (1989), #305; Ex: Kirk Davis, Cat #72, Fall 2018, Lot 80.

    Tiberius denarius jpg version.jpg

    Tiberius denarius Obv 1.jpg

    Tiberius denarius Rev. 1.jpg
  6. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Fun thread and great coins @Ryro . It’s unfortunate that most of the powerful Roman women that outlived their husbands seem to be accused of having a hand in it.

    On second thought maybe it would be worth it to marry an actual Black Widow...
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    Pontius Pilate -
    Julia - IOYLIA KAICAPOC Julia Caesar -
    LIVIA wife of Augustus
    Hendin 1341

    Egypt, Alexandria. Dattari.
    In the name of Livia, wife of Augustus
    Diobol circa 1-2 (year 31),
    Æ 23.5mm., 7.46g.
    Draped bust r.
    Rev. Athena standing l., holding Nike and leaning on shield; L-ΛA.
    Dattari-Savio Pl. 3, 60 (this coin). RPC pag. 692, 5 (this coin cited).
    Very rare. Nice brown-green tone. Very Fine
    From the Dattari collection.
    In our opinion is correct the interpretation of Dattari on this coin and the date shown on the Rev. is L-ΛA and not LMA as suggested from RPC.
    Ex: Naville
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Entertaining write-up, @Ryro , and cool coins!

    A couple of Livias:

    Livia Alexandria diobol.jpg Livia, under Augustus, 27 BC - AD 13.
    Roman Æ diobol, 7.41 g, 24.2 mm, 1 h.
    Egypt, Alexandria, 6th series, AD 10-11.
    Obv: Bare head right with Nodus hairstyle.
    Rev: Date (LM=40) within oak wreath.
    Refs: BMC 16.4, 31; SGI 209; Emmett 57; RPC 5054.
    Notes: Lindgren sale 38, lot 110.

    Augustus and Livia, issued under Tiberius, AD 14-29.
    Roman provincial Æ 31 mm, 21.48 g.
    Spain, Hispalis, Colonia Romula, AD 14-29.
    Obv: PERM DIVI AVG COL ROM, radiate head of Augustus right; thunderbolt before, star above.
    Rev: IVLIA AVGVSTA GENETRIX ORBIS, head of Livia, left; globe beneath, crescent above.
    Refs: RPC-73; SGI-189; Heiss 393, 2; Cohen 169, 3; Alvarez-Burgos 1587; Lindgren II 69; SNG Tubingen 118; SNG Copenhagen 423.13.35.

    And this one has been attributed to Livia, but I subscribe to the Vipsania, mother of Drusus, theory.

    Vipsania dupondius.jpg
    Issued under Tiberius, A 14-37.
    Roman AE Dupondius, 14.32 g, 29.15 mm, 1 h.
    Rome, AD 22/23.
    Obv: PIETAS, veiled, diademed and draped bust of (Vipsania?) as Pietas, right.
    Refs: RIC Tiberius 43; BMCRE Tiberius 98; CBN Tiberius 74; Cohen 1; RCV 1741.
  9. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

    ABA #237. AH Pegasi Numismatics 5-25-96 $175.00 - Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted at Lugdunum during the reign of TIBERIUS between 14 - 37 A.D. Obv. TI.CAESAR.DIVI.AVG.F.AVGVSTVS. laurel. hd. r. Rev. PONTIF.MAXIM.: Livia std. r., ABA-237 OBV.jpg ABA-237 REV.jpg r. holding inverted spear, l. branch, in a chair with ornate legs, and her feet rest on a small footstool. RCS #567. RSCII #16a. RIC #30 pg.95. DVM #8c pg.75. (Tribute penny of the Bible).
  10. Gary R. Wilson



    Tiberius (Augustus)
    Coin: Brass Sestertius
    S P Q R IVLIAE AVGVST - Carpentum, ornamented with Victories and other figures, drawn right by two mules
    TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXIIII - Legend surrounding large S C

    Mint: Rome (22-23 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 25.80g / 34mm / 3h
    Rarity: Scarce
    RIC I (second edition) Tiberius 51
    C. 6
    BMC Tiberius 76
    CBN Tiberius 55
    Acquisition/Sale: CNG Internet 433 #355 $0.00 11/18
    Notes: Feb 11, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection


    Drusus (Caesar)
    Coin: Brass Dupondius
    Pietas - (Livia) PIETAS, veiled, diademed, and draped bust of Pietas right
    DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVGVSTI F TR POT ITER around large S C - Legend around S C

    Mint: Rome (22-23AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 12.07g / 29mm / 180
    Rarity: Scarce
    RIC I 43
    BMCRE 98 (Tiberius)
    BN 74
    Cohen 1 (Livia)
    Acquisition/Sale: sculptor17 Ebay $0.00 11/17
    Notes: Jan 5, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AE Dupondius
    OBVERSE: IVSTITIA, draped bust of Livia as Justitia right, wearing stephane
    Restoration issue under Titus.
    Rome, AD 80-81
    9.9g, 27mm
    Cohen 9, RIC II 424 (Titus), BMC 289 (Titus), Komnick 15
    Modern stamp, 7 over 36 on obverse
  12. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Congrats on the good looking Livia - I only have a Livia (as Pax) seated on the reverse of a denarius:
    Tiberius tribute.jpg
    Tiberius, 14-37 AD, AR Denarius
    Obv: Laureate head right
    Rev: Livia (as Pax) seated right, holding olive-branch and long vertical sceptre; ornate legs to chair
    I enjoy the exuberant ride of your posts!
  13. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Awesome and lovely coins everybody :)

    @Ryro Nice write-up, great coins and a beautiful sculpture of Livia (do you know where it is exhibited?)

    Thank you so much @Roman Collector for linking to the thread about Vipsania, which I had missed, and of course for sharing your Livias.

    @Jim Coins do you know what catalogue is DVM, the one you are using in the attribution of your Tribute Penny?

    Also a couple:
    Æ As, Rome, 15 - 16 AD
    27 mm, 10.641g
    RIC 33, Cohen 17, BMC 65; RCV 1769

    Ob.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VII Tiberius head, bare, right
    Rev.: PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN (POTEST) XVII Livia seated right between large S C holding patera and scepter
    upload_2020-4-6_0-47-39.png upload_2020-4-6_0-48-24.png

    Augustus struck under Tiberius
    Æ As, Rome, 15 -16 AD
    25 x 26 mm, 10.895 g
    RIC I 72 (Tiberius); Sutherland, Divus 2;
    Ob.: DIVVS AVGV - STVS PATER head left wearing Phokaian crown; star above, thunderbolt before
    Rev.: Seated female figure (Livia) right, feet on stool, holding patera and scepter; large S - C

    upload_2020-4-6_0-59-10.png upload_2020-4-6_0-59-25.png

    this one is the same only the pictures and the coin are a little bit better:D
    upload_2020-4-6_1-1-25.png upload_2020-4-6_1-1-37.png
  14. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Supporter! Supporter

    Here's another example of Livia on the reverse of the denarius of Tiberius:

    Tiberius Denarius gVF.jpg

    Several of the coins (AE prutah) of Valerius Gratus, the Roman Governor of Judaea preceding Pontius Pilate under Tiberius, bear the Greek inscription IOY/ ΛIA (Julia):
    Hendin 1333 Gratus.jpg
    Hendin 1335 Gratus.jpg
    Hendin 1336 Gratus.jpg
    Hendin 1338 Gratus.jpg
    Hendin 1339 - Gratus.jpg Hendin 1340 Gratus.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  15. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

    David Van meter The Book of Roman Imperial Coins
    Ryro and cmezner like this.
  16. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Funny and informative post @Ryro thank you !!!

    I have the compulsory Tiberius "tribute penny" featuring Livia and a dupondius with Livia as Salus :

    Tiberius, Denarius - Lyon mint after AD 15-16
    TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGUSTUS, Laureate head of Tiberius right
    PONTIF MAXIM, Woman seated right (Livia ?)
    3.71 gr
    Ref : RIC # 30, RCV #1763, Cohen #16

    Livia (+ AD 29), Dupondius - Rome mint, AD 22-23 under the reign of Tiberius
    SALVS AVGVSTA, draped bust of Salus (Livia) right
    13.90 g, 27 mm,.
    Ref : RCV # 1740 (450), Cohen # 5 (6), RIC I, 47.
    Ex Auctiones.GmbH

  17. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Very nice! Between @Roman Collector, you and I we have the set! I was just on the look out for a Salus version...
    Roman Collector and Cucumbor like this.
  18. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    She was also an able administrator, according to Robert Graves, indeed running and overseeing many state functions, especially budgetary, during the reign of Augustus, a truly remarkable person.
    Ryro likes this.
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