During the reign of Augustus, the step-father of Tiberius, the Roman monetary system was dramatically reformed. The gold aureus was minted as a regular issue coin despite its high value. The ancient Roman gold aureus was the highest denomination in the Roman Empire. One gold aureus was equal to 25 silver denarii.
During the last years as the ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar, took the extraordinary step of having his portrait on the current coinage of the official mint. These were the first Roman coins to show the likeness of a living man; a practice to be followed by his successors as shown in the set of replicas.
As a ruthless leader of armies throughout the area, Julius Caesar gained power and wealth and became ruler dictator of Rome 49 44 B.C. He was assassinated in 44 B.C., by enemies who thought him to be too ambitious. Mark Anthony, Caesars¹ most trusted general and Octavian (Augustus) Caesars¹ grandnephew and adopted son and heir, vied for Caesars¹ throne. At the famous naval battle of Antium, Octavian was victorious defeating the combined forces of Queen Cleopatra and Marc Anthony.
Augustus ruled well for 41 years restored peace, organized a standing army to defend the expanding frontiers, improved administration practices, promoted better standards of public and private behavior, embellished Rome, and above all, maintained law and order, while respecting Republican traditions. Augustus died a natural death in 12 A.D.The next four successors were related to Augustus by birth or marriage.
Tiberius (14-37) during whose reign Christ was crucified, was succeeded by Gaius, better known as Caligula.
Caligula (37-41) ruled with absolutism featured by reckless spending, callous murders and humiliation of the Senate and inept foreign policy. Assassination ended his tyranny.
Claudius (41-54) ruled well, enlarged the Empire overseas incorporating Mauretania, Lycia, Thrace, and annexing Britain. Claudius improved the roads and harbors, but was murdered by his fourth wife, Agrippina, who was impatient for the succession of her 16 year-old son by a previous marriage Nero.
Nero (54-68) recorded in history as a vicious despot, murdered his stepbrother, Brittannicus, his mother, Agrippina, his wife, Octavia, his tutor, Seneca, and he was the first to execute Christians.Under Nero revolt flared in Judea, fired by Roman soldiers¹ cruelty. This revolt was put down by a strong army, years later, under the rule of Vespasian. Nero committed suicide.
The year 69 A.D., saw four Emperors: Galba, whose murder was arranged by Otho. Otho¹s army was defeated by that of Vitellius, (Galba committed suicide).
Vitellius. Vitellius' army was defeated by that of Vespasian, who was pronounced Emperor by the Senate on the death of Vitellius.
Vespasian ruled from 69 to 79 A.D., which period his son, Titus, brought bloody war in Judea to its end by besieging, capturing and destroying Jerusalem. Vespasian, in order to rehabilitate the public finances ruined by Nero, introduced a poll tax on Jews and other imposts and practiced stringent economies. His reign with the Senate was capably administered. Vespasian died in 79 A.D., and was deified.
Titus ruled 79 to 81 A.D., during which occurred the volcanic eruption of Pompeii and another great fire in Rome. Titus died at an early age, and was followed by his younger brother Domitian.
Domitian (81-96) was acclaimed by the praetorians and ratified by the Senate. Domitian, high-handedly aimed at administrative efficiency in which he succeeded, but incurred disfavor by ignoring the dignity of the Senate. His tyranny ended by is assassination in 96 A.D.
The gold aureus was minted as a regular problem coin in spite of its high value. The ancient Roman gold aureus was the highest denomination in the Roman Empire. During the ins 2013 as the ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar, took the amazing step of having his portrait on the existing coinage of the official mint. These were the very first Roman coins to show the similarity of a living male; a practice to be followed by all of his successors and revealed in theis set of gold 12 Caesar coins.