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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Rare Portrait of the Administrator Vedius Pollo

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 1318. Estimate $150. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $930. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LYDIA, Tralles. Vedius Pollio. Administrator in Asia, circa 30-28. Æ 24mm (12.78 g, 12h). Menadrios, son of Parrhasios, magistrate. Bare head of Pollio right; to left, uncertain object (fiscus?) / Octastyle temple façade; in pediment, eagle standing facing, head and tail left, with wings displayed; winged and filleted caduceus in right field. RPC 2634.10 = Stumpf 154a = SNG von Aulock 3277 (this coin; illustrated in von Aulock). Fine, black patina with some toned brass highlights.

From the Patrick Villemur Collection. Ex Malter 34 (13 December 1986), lot 362; von Aulock Collection, 3277.

An equestrian and confidant of Augustus, Vedius Pollio seems to have had an important administrative career, serving in the restoration of a proconsular government in Asia and possibly even in the refoundation of Tralles as Caesarea. His personal cruelty, especially toward slaves, however, more than matches his public deeds, as he is said to have thrown slaves with whom he was displeased into a pool of lampreys which he kept for such acts.