What is the story of Caesar Tiberius

Faculty of History

13) A denarius from the end of the reign of August 13/14 AD.


This Roman denarius was minted in an imperial mint established in Lugdunum. The front and back are surrounded by a pearl circle.
The well-known portrait of Augustus with a laurel wreath is depicted on the front. The viewing direction of the profile points to the right. The legend CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE begins on the right-hand side and extends around the entire edge of the coin. The portrait of Augustus corresponds to a ruler that is supposed to be timeless and therefore does not age. This image of a ruler was to shape the imagination of Augustus for future times, although it probably had little to do with his real appearance. The reverse shows Tiberius as a triumphant emperor in a triumphal quadriga, in the right he is holding a branch of laurel (laurus delphica), in the left an eagle scepter (aquila). The legend TI CAESAR AVG F TR POT XV begins at the lower edge of the coin and also runs completely along the pearl circle. The time of our coin can be seen from the title of the two sitters: The obverse legend CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F (ilius) PATER PATRIAE calls the emperor “son of the deified and father of the fatherland”. The ideological foundation of the principate can now be found in his set of names: Augustus has been (since 42 BC) the "son of deified Caesar" and since 27 the "sublime" (Augustus). The climax of the recognition of his position is the award of the title of Fatherpatriae ("Father of the Fatherland") in February 2 BC. By the Senate. It is certainly related to the (supposedly final) settlement of the succession by his two grandsons Gaius and Lucius Caesar (see previous coin). The legend on the back shows that a few years later Augustus's plans to settle his succession had failed: TI (berius) CAESAR AVG (usti) F (ilius) TR (ibunicia POT (estate) XV - “Tiberius Caesar, son of Augustus, with the 15 tribunician authority ”.
The tribuniciapotestas, one of the fundamental legal competences of the emperor, Tiberius was already in the year 6 BC. Was awarded for the first time. However, it was only renewed year after year after his return from voluntary exile in Rhodes and his adoption and appointment as successor by Augustus in AD 4, and thus became part of the imperial titulature. The 15th tribunician authority falls in the period between July 1st, 13th and June 30th, 14th AD, which is why the dating of this denarius can be narrowed down relatively precisely.
The reverse is dominated by the depiction of Tiberius as a triumphant: the quadriga he controls is pulled by four white horses (with this denarius, all four horses look forward). The eagle is considered the most distinguished bird of antiquity. As the only divine and mantic bird, he was a herald of victory and was one of the standards of the Roman army. Last is the laurel (laurus delphica), a sign of peace, with which the victorious weapons of the general were adorned. With the triumphal insignia of the laurel branch, the eagle scepter and the quadriga, Tiberius took over the heroic part of this coinage.
The reverse depiction of the Triumphator riding the Quadriga probably refers to the Dacian-Pannonian triumph of the year 9 AD, which Tiberius was unable to celebrate because of the defeat of Varus against the Germanic tribes in the same year and only in the year 12 AD caught up. "At the same time, however, it propagates military proficiency in a general sense (virtus) of the prince, who, as a native Claudian who was proud of his family, did not participate in the Julian family myth, but rather had to acquire the right to succeed Augustus through his own achievements Increase in the incumbent ruler.
This coin is one of other issues that were a numismatic expression of the will of April 3, 13 AD, when Augustus appointed his designated successor and adoptive son Tiberius as heir. Not only the will of Augustus, but also the propaganda for the future emperor Tiberius ensured a smooth change of rule.

Inv. No. 3283 (3.82g, stamp position 4)
RIC I2, No. 222
Ludmilla Fichtner
Literature:

  • Trillmich, Werner, in: Antikenmuseum Berlin (ed.): Kaiser Augustus and the lost republic, Berlin 1988, p. 527.

  • Eck, Werner: Augustus and his time, 2nd edition, Munich 2000.

  • Kienast, Dietmar: Augustus, Prinzeps and Monarch, 3rd edition, Darmstadt 1999.

  • Zanker, Paul: Augustus and the power of images, 2nd edition, Munich 1990.