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731847. Sold For $450

MAURETANIA, Kings of. Juba II and Cleopatra Selene. Married 11 AD. AR Denarius (2.87 gm). REX IVBA, diademed head right / BA-CILI-CC KLEOPATR, head-dress of Isis and sistrum. Mazard 309 var. (rev. legend); SNG Copenhagen 571-572. Toned, good VF. $450.

Juba II was born about 50 BC, the son of King Juba of Numidia who lost his kingdom and his life following Caesar's victory over the Pompeians at Thapsus (46 BC). The child was brought to Rome to adorn the dictator's triumph and then remained in the capital where he received a good education and was later granted Roman citizenship. During this time he became a close friend of Octavian who was thirteen years his senior. In 25 BC Octavian, now Rome's first emperor under the name of Augustus, granted his friend Juba the North African Kingdom of Mauretania which had been annexed by the Romans following the death of Bocchus III in 33. About five years later Juba II married the 20-year-old Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, who had been brought up by the emperor's sister, Octavia, following her parents' suicide in Alexandria in 30 BC. Their rule over Mauretania was benevolent, and quite prosperous, though there was constant border security problems. Juba survived to an advanced age and was eventually succeeded by Ptolemy, his son by Cleopatra Selene, in 23 AD.