The Roman Empire

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New Owner's Comments, Page 3 "Succession" = Agrippina Sr



I recently finished and posted to my NGC Ancients Custom Set entitled "The Roman Empire" my Owner's Comments regarding my sestertius featuring Agrippina Sr.  For this essay, I decided to take the opportunity to provide some of my own personal musings regarding "raw" vs. "slabbed" ancient coins.  This topic has obviously garnered much discussion on both extreme viewpoints, so I wanted to provide my own perspective.  


Regarding Agrippina, she was quite a impressive woman for her time, and an important noblewomen of the Julio-Claudian dynasty: daughter of Agrippa and Julia, wife of Germanicus, and mother of Nero Julius Caesar, Drusus Julius Caesar, Gaius (better known and Caligula), Agrippina Jr., Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla. Sadly, her fate was to be defamed by Tiberius' infamous Praetorian Prefect Sejanus to the point that she was arrested and spent the last four years of her life confined to the island of Pandateria. 


Regarding the coin, it exhibits extremely fine craftsmanship as struck by Agrippina's brother-in-law Claudius, who emulated the arguably more impressive issue struck earlier by Agrippina's son Caligula.  Notably, Vagi describes these Agrippina portrait sestertii as "a height in Julio-Claudian artistry."


Regarding encapsulation of ancient coinage, I can't resist quoting the conclusion of my Owner's Comments wherein I opine about this sestertius' fine artistry: "Such artistry transcends clear plastic, even if some might draw parallels to the fate of this coin and its subject."




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