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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
61184
61, Lot: 184. Estimate $300.
Sold for $260. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

AGRIPPA. Died 12 BC. Æ As (29mm, 11.01 gm). Struck under Caligula, 37-41 AD. Head of Agrippa left, wearing rostral crown / Neptune standing left, holding small dolphin and trident. RIC I 58 (Gaius); Cohen 3. Nice VF, dark brown patina, partial flat strike.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa had been a loyal friend of Augustus since boyhood. As naval commander, he was instrumental in overcoming Sextus Pompey; his defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC ended the period of civil war and made Octavian the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Agrippa's non-noble background hindered his advancement, however, and it was not until after the death of Marcellus and the ensuing turmoil that Augustus persuaded his friend to return, and, in 17 BC adopted him as heir. One of Agrippa's conditions was his marriage to Augustus' daughter Julia; this union produced several children, including Agrippina Senior, the wife of Germanicus and the mother of the emperor Caligula. Agrippa himself, however, died in 12 BC, leaving Augustus to pin his succession hopes on his young grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesars. Caligula's memorial issue to his maternal grandfather reflects the theme of pietas found in his bronze types, though tradition records that Caligula was uneasy with this connection, owing to Agrippa's non-noble birth.