Collecting coins of the Twelve Caesars of Rome a popular method

Building set of ancient Roman coins can challenge
By , Coin World
Published : 03/18/16
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Editor's note: this is the first part of a story by Jeff Starck exploring the options and approaches to building a collection of the coins of Twelve Caesars of Rome. The full story appears in the April 2016 monthly issue of Coin World.

Coins of the Twelve Caesars, a group of Roman rulers as described by an ancient author, are generally considered among the most desirable coins sought by collectors of ancient coins.

This set of rulers received its classification in the ancient work De vita Caesarum, which translates literally from Latin to “About the Life of the Caesars.”

Early in the second century A.D., Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus authored this set of 12 biographies, the stories of the dictator Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire, covering history from 49 B.C. to 96 A.D.

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These men ruled in a volatile and formative period of Roman history, overseeing the collapse of the Republic, civil war, and the rise of an empire that would dominate the Mediterranean world.

The biographical series remains a primary source of Roman history.

Compiling a set of coins of the Twelve Caesars is a common goal, but the set is costly to finish, making completion a challenge for buyers on a budget.

Who are the Twelve Caesars?

Julius Caesar needs no introduction to those familiar with the foundations of Western Civilization, nor does his successor, Augustus (Octavian), who actually established the empire. 

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