Silver Denarius, Ancient Rome, "Tribute Penny"
Ruler: Tiberius - reign 14-37 AD
Obv: Laureate Head of Tiberius, right
Rev: Pax (or Livia) seated right,” PONTIF MAXIM”
Sear-R1763, 19mm, 3.75gm
Extremely fine condition, nicely struck with attractive, well centered portrait
Tiberius was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. During Tiberius' reign, Jesus of Nazareth preached and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea province. Tiberius is mentioned by name in Luke 3:1, which states that John the Baptist began his public ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius' reign. Most New Testament references to Caesar, without further specification, refer to Tiberius. Similarly, the "Tribute Penny" in Matthew and Mark ("Render unto Caesar...") is popularly thought to be this silver denarius coin of Tiberius.
Tiberius was born in 42 BC, to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian (Augustus) in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian. Tiberius married Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder and was later adopted by Augustus, becoming a Julian bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. Tiberius became the third Caesar and second Emperor of Rome upon Augustus' death in 14 AD.
Emperors after Tiberius continued this blended "Julio-Claudian" dynasty of both families for the next forty years. In relation to the other emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero. He was an able administrator and one of Rome's greatest generals, conquering Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and temporarily, parts of Germania. He died at age 79, having retired eleven years earlier to his retreat on the island of Caprea.