Roman Empire

Julia Augusta (Livia), Empress AD 14-29

RIC 46; BN ; BMC 57-61; BMC 79-80, Superb Extremely Fine

Rome, under Tiberius, AD 22/3. IVSTITIA, diademed and draped bust of Julia Augusta (Livia, as Justitia) right. Reverse: TI CAESAR DIVI F AVG P M TR POT XXIIII, large S C.

It is interesting that Iustitia, the Roman personification of Justice, occurs on an issue of Tiberius struck in AD 22/23. According to ancient accounts of his reign, like the Annales of Tacitus and the biography of Suetonius, up until this date the Tiberius had ruled reasonably well, but after the death of his son Drusus in AD 23, the emperor gave up any taste for justice he might have had before and descended into a hell of debauchery and cruelty and became the model for all Roman tyrants who would follow him. As with the depiction of Pax on Tiberius’s silver and gold, it has been suggested that Iustitia here might also conceal the features of Livia who was a further contributing factor in the disintegration of Tiberius’ reign.