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527207

Pleasing ‘Tribute Penny’

527207.

Tiberius. AD 14-37. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.73 g, 9h). “Tribute Penny” type. Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Group 6, AD 36-37. Laureate head right; long, parallel ribbons / Livia, as Pax, seated right, holding scepter and olive branch, feet on footstool; ornate chair legs, single line below. RIC I 30; Lyon 154; RSC 16a. A few faint scratches. Near EF. Strong portrait.


Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give. But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, "Why tempt ye me? Bring me a penny, that I may see it." And they brought it. And he saith unto them, "whose is this image and superscription?" And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus, answering, said unto them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:14-17)

Since Tiberius was the reigning Caesar at the time this famous incident took place in Jerusalem, it is widely assumed the "penny" (a James-era English translation of "denarius") mentioned in this passage was a silver denarius of Tiberius.