De vita Caesarum (On the Life of the Caesars) is commonly known as The Twelve Caesars. This is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire written by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. The work, was written in 121 A.D. by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, the personal secretary of the emperor Hadrian. The Twelve Caesars is considered very significant in antiquity and remains a main source of Roman history. The book discusses the significant and critical period of the Principate from the end of the Republic to the reign of Domitian. The Dunston Mint and dlpStudios have produced a limited edition of 200 copies of this piece.
The Twelve Caesar picture presents numismatic portraits of the first twelve Caesars. The coins used are lead free pewter reproductions of original coins plated in either copper or brass. All coins are marked COPY on the reverse in compliance with the Hobby Act of 1973.
Julius Caesar ? 1st Portrait: copper sestertius Gaius Julius Caesar, 100 B.C. to 44 B.C. He was excellent orator, commander, and politician. This coin shows a portrait of Julius Caesar struck by Octavian, later known as Augustus. The obverse shows a wreathed head of Caesar facing right with the description of DIVOS JVLIVS. The reverse shows the bare head of Octavian with the inscription CAESAR DIV F. Struck in Italy in 38 B.C. (Sear 1569)
Augustus ? 2nd Portrait: copper sestertius Caesar Augustus, 63 B.C. to 14 A.D. As emperor, Augustus quietly transformed the Republic into a constitutional hereditary monarchy. The second coin is a portrait of the Emperor Augustus facing left. The obverse shows Victory standing behind the head of Augustus adjusting tie of a wreath and holding cornucopiae. The reverse is inscribed SC. Struck in Rome in 7 B.C. (Sear 1672)
Tiberius ? 3rd Portrait: brass dupondius Tiberius Caesar Augustus, 52 42 B.C to 37 A.D. Tiberius was Augustus? heir for emperor. The third coin displays the head of Tiberius facing left with the inscription TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VIII. The reverse shows the inscription PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN POTEST XXIIII around large SC. Original coin struck in Rome in 22-23 A.D. (Sear 1770)
Caligula ? 4th Portrait: copper sestertius Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus known as Caligula, 12 A.D. to 41 B.C. Caligula is best known for his personal depravity and abuse of power. The fourth coin shows the laureate head of Caligula facing right with the inscription C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT. The reverse shows three sisters of Caligula with attributes of Securitas, Concordia, and Fortuna; inscription of AGTIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA SC. Coin struck in Rome between 37-38 A.D. (Sear 1800)
Claudius ? 5th Portrait: copper sestertius Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, 41 A.D. to 54 A.D. Claudius proved to be an effective defense in the treacherous world of the Julio-Claudian emperors. This fifth coin displays laureate head of Claudius facing right with the inscription TI CALUDIVUS CAESAR AVG P M TR P TMP P P. The reverse shows a wreathed inscription EX S C / OB / CIVES / SERVATOS. Struck in Rome between 37 to 8 A.D. (Sear 1850)
Nero ? 6th Portrait: copper sestertius Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, 37 A.D. to 68 A.D. Nero is one of the most infamous Roman emperors. In 68 A.D. Nero was murdered by he troops. He was the last of the Julian-Caludian emperors. The sixth coin displays the laureate head of Nero facing right with the inscription NERO CLVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TR P IMP P P. The reverse shows Anona standing right holding a cornucopia facing Ceres seated left holding corn ears and torch, modius on garlanded altar between them with the stem of a ship in the background; inscription of ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES. (Sear 1952)
Galba ? 7th Portrait: copper sestertius Servius Sulpicius Galba, 3 B.C. to 69 A.D. Galba is the first emperor to rein during the Civil Wars of 68 to 69 A.D. He was emperor for seven months.This sixth coin shows the laureate head of Galba facing right with the inscription SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P. The reverse shows the winged Victory facing left holding a wreath and palm inscribed SC. Coin struck in Rome in 68 B.C. (Sear 2123).
Otho - 8th Portrait: brass medallion Marcus Salvus Otho, 32 A.D. to 69 A.D. Otho ruled from January 15 to April 17, 69 A.D. This medallion shows emperor Otho bare headed facing right. The reverse shows the emperor standing right facing a group of citizens facing left with the inscription of SECURITAS PP SC. (attribution unknown)
Vitellius ? 9th Portrait: sestertius Aulus Vitellius, 15 A.D. to 69 A.D. Vitellius ruled from January 2 to December 20 69 A.D. This portrait shows emperor Vitellius, laureate facing right, the inscription A VITLLIVS GERMANICVS IMP AVG P M TR P. The reverse displays Pax standing left holding an olive branch and corucopiae with inscription PAX AVGUSTI SC. Struck in Rome between July and September 69 A.D. (Sear 2205)
Vespasian ? 10th Portrait: sestertius Titus Flavius Vespasianus, 9 A.D. to 79 A.D. The Civil Wars end with the accession of Vespasian on July 1, 69 A.D. This marks the beginning of the Flavian dynasty of Roman emperors. This portrait of the laureate head of Vespasian facing left with the inscription IMPCAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III. The reverse shows Roma standing left holding Victory and a spear with the inscription ROMA SC. Struck I Rome in 71 A.D. (Sear 2331).
Titus ? 11th Portrait: sestertius Titus Flavius Vespasianus, 39 A.D to 81 A.D. Son of Vespasian who ruled for 27 months. The eleventh portrait shows Titus laurate facing left with the inscription IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII. The reverse shows Palm tree, to left of which is a bound male Jewish captive to right of palm tree is Judea, as mourning female captive seated right arms on the ground IVD CAP SC. Struck in Rome in 80 A.D. (Sear 2524)
Domitian - 12th Portrait: sestertius Titus Flavius Domitianus 51 A.D. to 96 A.D. Son of Vespasian ruled from 81 to 96 A.D. This last portrait displays Domitian facing right with aegis on neck wit inscription IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XI CENS POT P P. The reverse shows Domitian togate standing right with clasped hands over an altar with an officer standing left accompanied by three soldiers. Coin struck in a Rome in 85 CE. (Sear 2775)
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