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    Description

    Caligula's Virtuous Mother

    Gaius 'Caligula' (AD 37-41), with Agrippina Senior. AR denarius (19mm, 3.71 gm, 9h). NGC AU 5/5 - 3/5.  Rome, AD 37-38. C · CAESAR · AVG · GERM · P · M · TR · POT ·, laureate head of Caligula right / · AGRIPPINA · MAT · C · CAES · AVG · GERM ·, draped bust of Agrippina right, hair arranged in ringlets along browline and gathered into looped plait at back. RIC 14. BMCRE 15. RSC 2. Small patch of reverse porosity, otherwise quite exceptional, with two wonderful portraits on a round flan displaying full legends.

    Ex Goldberg 70 (4 September 2012), lot 3224; Freeman & Sear Manhattan III, (3 January 2012), lot 169; Gorny & Mosch sale 175 (9 March 2009), lot 224. 

    All ancient historians agree Agrippina Senior, the granddaughter of Augustus, was a model of rectitude and matronly virtue. She also went beyond the traditional role of a Roman wife in accompanying her husband Germanicus on dangerous military campaigns and foreign postings. The Roman people admired her courage; however she also had an imperious nature that irritated her peers and relations, particularly the Emperor Tiberius. The mysterious death of Germanicus in AD 19 led to further clashes. Agrippina believed Tiberius and/or Livia had a hand in his demise and made no secret of her suspicions. In AD 29 she was charged with treason and banished to a remote island; repeatedly abused and starved, she died four years later. Upon the death of Tiberius, her son Gaius 'Caligula' became emperor and rehabilitated his mother's reputation, ostentatiously placing her ashes to the Mausoleum of Augustus and striking this attractive denarius pairing her portrait with his own. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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