Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 97   |   12 December 2016
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Lot 67





Estimate: 20'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 16'000 CHF Price realized: 27'000 CHF
The Roman Empire
Nero Claudius Drusus, father of Claudius. Denarius, Roma circa 41-45, AR 3.80 g.
Description: NERO CLAVDIVS DRVSVS GERMANICVS IMP Laureate head l. Rev. DE – GE – R – MA – NIS Vexillum between two oblong shields crossed, and two pair of spears and two trumpets crossed. References: C 6
BMC Claudius 107
RIC Claudius 74
CBN Claudius – Condition:Very rare and among the finest specimens known. A wonderful portrait and a lovely light iridescent tone. Extremely fine Provenance: NAC sale 9, 1996, 816
Tkalec sale 23 October 1998, 124
Calicò sale 241, 2012, Imagines Imperatores, 13
Ira & Larry Goldberg sale 80, 2014, 3113 Note: Roman history, like that of any enduring empire, allows for speculation about how the course of events might have changed had certain people died, or in this case, not died. A perfect study in this is Nero Claudius Drusus, the younger brother of Tiberius. Unlike Tiberius, whom Augustus had always disliked, Drusus was much beloved by Rome’s first emperor. When Augustus wrested Livia from her first husband, she was pregnant with Drusus, and gave birth to him months after her marriage to Augustus. It is commonly understood that Livia’s first husband had sired Nero Claudius Drusus – but perhaps it is not impossible that Augustus was the father. Speculation aside, Augustus took instantly to the newborn Drusus and treated him as if he was a son of his own blood. The same cannot be said for Drusus’ brother Tiberius, who was already four years old when he came to live in Augustus’ household. Augustus saw personally to Drusus’ education and arranged his marriage to his extraordinarily noble and wealthy niece Antonia. Drusus’ career advanced quickly and, after commanding alongside his brother, he spent three years leading a campaign in Germany. Whilst there Drusus was able to dedicate the great Altar of Lugdunum to Augustus on August 1, 10 B.C., the very day that his youngest son, Claudius was born. But Drusus’ great possibilities ended tragically in 9 B.C. when he died of injuries he received falling off a horse at age 29.

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