Mike Markowitz published the latest article in his CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on the coinage of Claudius. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for much more.
FOLLOWING THE MURDER of demented emperor Gaius (nicknamed
Caligula) on January 24, 41 CE, soldiers found the emperor's 50-year-old uncle, the aforementioned Claudius, hiding behind a curtain in the palace. Escorted to the fortified camp of the Praetorian Guard, the only surviving male of the Julio-Claudian dynasty was proclaimed as Rome's fourth emperor. To ensure their continued loyalty, every man in the elite Guard received a bonus of 15,000 sestertii–equivalent to over 16 years' pay for an ordinary soldier. For English-speaking viewers, the 1976 BBC TV series based on Robert Graves's 1934 novel, I Claudius, is the classic retelling of this story.
Coins of Claudius in gold, silver, and bronze have always been popular with collectors, especially those pursuing a set of the
Twelve Caesars. Many were designed and executed to a high artistic standard, and some are highly sought-after rarities.
A few years after Claudius came to power, a coin issued in both silver and gold celebrated the Praetorian Guard's role in his accession.
Claudius 41-54. Aureus 44-45, Rome. TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P IIII laureate bust of Claudius, right / IMPER RECEPT inscribed on the wall of a fortress, emperor holding scepter standing within a columned building, legionary standard to left 7,72g. C. 43; RIC 25; Calicó 361. An elegant and pleasant specimen, extremely fine. NGC Ch AU 5/5, 3/5. Numismatica Genevensis SA > Auction 13 15 November 2021, Lot: 6. Realized: 34,000 CHF (approx. $36,872).
On the reverse, we see a standing figure, sometimes identified as Fides Praetorianum (
Loyalty of the Praetorians) within a fortified camp above the inscription IMPER(atore) RECEPT(o) (
The Emperor Received). An exceptional example of the gold aureus brought over $36,000 USD in a recent Swiss auction. Examples of the silver denarius with this design typically sell for $1,500 to $2,000 and up.
To read the complete article, see:
CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Coinage of Claudius
Wayne Homren, Editor
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