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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 

The Twin Caesars: Tiberius & Germanicus Gemellus

431, Lot: 349. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Tiberius & Germanicus Gemellus. AD 19-37/8 and 19-23/4, respectively. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 27.01 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Tiberius, AD 22-23. Crossed cornucopias, each surmounted by the bareheaded bust of a boy facing one another; winged caduceus between / Legend around large S • C. RIC I 42 (Tiberius). VF, attractive green and brown patina, minor pitting on obverse.


Ex Goldberg 100 (5 September 2017), lot 2164.

This issue, commemorating the birth of twin sons to Drusus Caesar and his wife Livia Drusilla (Livilla), was part of the series issued under the Tiberius in AD 22-23 to promote the imperial virtue and dynastic solidity of the emperor's family. Although Germanicus Gemellus died very young, his brother Tiberius lived into his adulthood, with the expectation that he would be heir to his grandfather following the premature death of his father, Drusus. In the later years of the emperor’s life, though, Gaius (Caligula) was often seen in close company with the emperor, while Tiberius Gemellus’s status was shrouded in obscurity. Thus, after the death of the emperor, Caligula, assisted by the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, quickly moved to take the purple. Upon the reading of the deceased emperor’s will, however, it was discovered that Tiberius intended for both Tiberius Gemellus and his cousin Gaius to be jointly elevated, and, moreover, that Gemellus was to be the senior partner. Under unknown authority, Caligula quickly had the will vacated, and, shortly thereafter, his cousin murdered.