The Triumphal Coinage of 7 BC
|Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 830. Estimate $3000.
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008.
Sold For $5750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
27 BC-AD 14. Æ Sestertius (or Dupondius?) (21.63 g, 5h). “Triumphal Coinage” issue. Rome mint. P. Lurius Agrippa, moneyer. Struck 7 BC. CAESAR • AVGVST • PONT • MAX • TRIBV-NIC • POT, laureate head of Augustus left; behind, Victory, draped, touching fillet of laurel wreath with right hand and holding cornucopia in left / P • LVRIVS • AGRIPPA • III • VIR • A • A • A • F • F •, large S • C. RIC I 426; BMCRE p. 41, *; BN 618-20. Near EF, dark brown patina, a few trivial scrapes on obverse. Rare.
Giuseppe Mazzini Collection, 447.
Some question arises on what denomination this issue was. Based on this issue’s irregular weight, Mattingly suggested that the issue were dupondii, and part of a “triumphal coinage” issue. On the other hand, Sutherland opted to divide out the heavier types as dupondii, while the lighter counterparts became asses, a schema which is not without fault, owing to the overlapping of weight ranges for the two denominations. Giard, however, understandably avoiding any attempt to make sense of the divergence of weight, instead chose to classify these as medallions, a logical conclusion, owing to the figure of Victory crowning the head of Augustus.
The year 7 BC was an important year in the reign of Augustus. Five years earlier, with the death of Augustus’ lieutenant and heir, Agrippa, the sons of his wife Livia, Tiberius and Nero Claudius Drusus, were elevated to the status of potential heirs and given command of important expansive campaigns in Pannonia and Germany, respectively. With Drusus’ untimely death in 9 BC, Tiberius became sole commander on both fronts. His military abilities proved extremely effective against the enemy and by 7 BC, following his successful prosecution of those wars, Tiberius assumed the consulship. These exceptional pieces were struck in commemoration of Tiberius’ military victories. Clearly at this point, Tiberius was poised to be Agrippa’s replacement and Augustus’ heir.