Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman
[photo: My complete gold and silver Twelve Caesars Sets]

My complete gold and silver Twelve Caesars Sets

Lives of the Twelve Caesars

The book Lives of the Twelve Caesars was authored by the ancient Roman writer Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, who lived circa A.D. 71-135 and is popularly known today as Suetonius. This remarkable work was rediscovered during the Renaissance, and popularized the collecting of coins of the Caesars by travelers to Italy beginning in the 16th century (you can find the text of the Suetonius book free on the Internet through this link or in affordable paperback editions.) With this book in hand, you’ll learn about the lives of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. At times, much of it reads like a modern-day soap opera!

Collecting the coins of the Twelve Caesars is a compelling challenge, and completing a set of the Twelve Caesars in silver or gold has always been a mark of distinction. The photo above shows me holding both my gold and silver sets, which took me more than a decade to assemble. *You have to be very patient to put together a set that is balanced both in toning and overall quality, as coins of several of the emperors are very rarely encountered.

If you would like to accept the challenge, we offer a beautiful Capitol plexiglass holder with 12 inserts that you can carefully trim to fit your own coins, and we can help you fill in the empty holes with coins of the Twelve Caesars. Remember, it can take several years to complete the set, and it is not for the faint of heart or wallet!

*Sadly, it is not possible to complete the Twelve Caesars set in bronze. Otho did not issue any bronze coinage.