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Tiberius “Caesar’s Tribute Penny”
Ancient Roman Silver Denarius for Emperor Tiberius, Caesar’s (Silver 3.73 g), Tribute Penny (14-37 AD).
Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, Laureate head right.
Rev. PONTIF MAXIM, Livia as Pax, seated right on throne with ornamented legs, holding olive-branch and reversed spear.
Extremely Fine condition
When the pharisees attempted to trap Jesus into betraying his duty to God or to Caesar, he called for a denarius to show that it was issued by Caesar. the coin shows a portrait of the roman emperor on the obverse, and his mother Livia on the reverse.
The denarius of Tiberius with Livia as Pax on reverse is commonly known as the ‘Tribute Penny”. The coin to which Jesus referred to when he was discussing paying taxes to the Romans and said: “render,
therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to god the things that are gods.” (Matthew 22:15-22)
Although there are two other reverse types on denarii of Tiberius, they were only issued during the first two years of his reign, while the Pax reverse was employed throughout the remainder,
making it the more likely coin referred too. The term ‘penny’ is from the 1611 King James translation of the Bible, and was adopted since the penny was the standard denomination of King James’ time.