Over the years, numismatists have wondered who is depicted on this coin, a dupondius issued possibly as part of a family series, an As of Drusus, a Sestertius which honors the twin sons Drusus allegedly sired, and three dupondii, portraying Salus, Pietas, and Justitia. Coins portraying Tiberius, Augustus, and Livia are considered by some to be part of this series. Issued under Tiberius Roman AE Dupondius Rome, AD 22/23 14.32 gm; 29.15 mm Obv: PIETAS, veiled, diademed and draped bust of (?) as Pietas, right. Rev: DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVGVSTI F TR POT ITER around large SC. Refs: RIC Tiberius 43; BMCRE Tiberius 98; CBN Tiberius 74; Cohen 1; Sear 1741 The identity of the woman portrayed on this coin is far from certain. It certainly may simply be a personification of Pietas. RIC doesn't attribute the coin to a person and apparently considers it a personification of Pietas. However, the portrait on this coin often demonstrates subtle signs of aging, which is inconsistent with the personification only idea. The coin has long been attributed to Livia. It appears the first major catalog to do so was Cohen. This was followed by BMCRE and Sear. The reasoning behind the attribution to Livia is that its companion coin, the Dupondius portraying Salus (RIC Tiberius 47), matches Livia's sculpture portraits closely. Moreover, the date of issue and the legend--SALVS AVGVSTA, not just SALVS--suggest that the coin commemorates Livia's recovery from a serious illness at this time, which is documented by ancient historians. However, just because the Salus dupondius portrays Livia doesn't necessarily mean that the other two in the series do as well, especially as the portraits seem to indicate three separate visages. Livilla, the wife of Drusus, was proposed late in the 19th century but was not taken seriously until the theory was revived in recent decades, its most popular proponent being David Vagi, who details his reasoning in Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, Volume One, p. 127. Briefly, he notes: It would be good PR for Livilla to be portrayed as Pietas. Of the three dupondii (Pietas, Justitia, and Salus, RIC 43, 46 and 47), only this one bears the name Drusus and his titles (the other two name Tiberius). In the family series of AD 22/23, only three coins bear the name of Drusus: a sestertius for the children, a dupondius for the mother of the children (Livilla), and an as for the father (Drusus). Vagi (ibid.) says the evidence for Livilla is "overwhelming." However, Vagi also notes that the issue "ironically ... reflects the public image of Livilla as a devoted mother and wife," and notes that "in reality she saw neither. Not only did she conspire with her adulterous lover Sejanus to murder her husband, but it seems likely her twin sons were sired by Sejanus." It is precisely this issue--which Vagi calls ironic--that calls into question the attribution of this coin to Livilla. Jasper Burns, a proponent of the Vipsania theory (The Celator. 2004 May;18(5):6 and reprinted online), believes this is a severe problem with the Livilla theory and notes the following: Drusus' mother was Vipsania, Tiberius' first wife, who died in AD 20, three years before the coins were issued for Drusus. Portraits of deceased women were generally shown veiled, such as on this coin, and Pietas was especially associated in Roman culture wiht the devotion of a child to a deceased parent. At the time, it would have been unprecedented for a Caesar to portray his wife on coins. Marriages were readily dissolved in those times--it was the blood line that mattered. The first time a Caesar's wife was definitely portrayed on a coin was in AD 26, by Claudius, and the practice remained rare until Hadrian in the 2nd century. However, depicting ancestors, siblings--and especially parents--on coins and monuments was often done. The whole family series of AD 22/23 portrays Tiberius, his adoptive father, Augustus, his mother Livia, his son Drusus, and Drusus' twin sons. Only Drusus' mother (Vipsania) appears to be missing from this family group. Although divorced from Tiberius, after Vipsania's death, Tiberius restored her to his family and had her image and titles included in numerous monuments to the imperial family. Issuing a coin in her honor may very well have been one of these many memorials to her as well. The coins were reissued nearly 60 years later by Titus as part of a series of coins that were struck to commemorate the familiar coin types and members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty that were still in favor. Titus did not reissue the coins of disgraced personalities like Caligula and Nero. Livilla was caught in her murderous adultery and Sejanus was executed and Livilla was starved to death by her own mother to preserve the family honor. She was subjected to damnatio memoriae--her name and memory was officially condemned and her portraits were destroyed--and there is no hint that her reputation was rehabilitated. Her story was one of the great scandals of the era and Burns considers it inconceivable that Titus would reissue this coin (RIC 222; BMCRE 291) if it portrayed the disgraced and hated Livilla. Lastly, he notes that the portrait on the coins resembles surviving portraits of Vipsania. So, who do you think it is?