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Imagines Imperatorum - Images of Power
- Roman Portraits on Coins -
First Century AD
Imperial Portrait types were controlled by the imperial administration, aligned to and combined with propaganda messages such as military victories, or strength of the dynasty. Portraits were distributed to the people across the empire using different and parallel news media. Main news media were sculpture, paintings, medals, and coins. Roman coins of even the most shortlived emperors survived till today, as millions and millions of coins were issued, and people in ancient times proactively tried to hide them away due to their intrinsic metal value. Thus coins are a major source of information for Roman imperial portraits. Except the most esotheric usurpators, all Roman Emperors and many of their family members had coins with their portraits issued.
For a recent example showing the value of Roman coins for portrait research see for an article on Geta and Caracalla by clicking on this link.

In this section we present high quality portrait coins for every Emperor or family member known to have been shown on Roman coins, with portraits from the late Roman Republic after the middle of the 1st century BC to Justinian 1st in the early 6th century AD. Coins were selected for highest quality representation of each portrait type and best state of conservation. 

All images are copyright protected, please respect this copyright ! Any use without written permission is illegal.
Images are shown here in reduced resolution but can be made available in  highest resolution for print publications (300dpi up to poster size).  Also all reverse images are available.
Please note some exceptional coin images are marked with the request to contact us to see the full image.
Please contact Andreas Pangerl at for details.



Agrippa, Julia, Caius and Lucius Caesares

Julia and Tiberius

Tiberius and his Son Drusus minor

Drusus minor and his children

Drusus major


Antonia and Germanicus

Agrippina major and Germanicus

Agrippina and her older sons Nero and Drusus


Caligula and his uncle Claudius


Claudius and Messalina

Britannicus and Nero with Agrippina minor

Agrippina minor and Nero

Agrippina minor and Claudius

Agrippina minor


Clodius Macer and Galba


Galba and Otho


Otho and Vitellius


Vitellius' father and Vespasian


Diva Domitilla


Titus and his daughter Julia


Domitian and Domitia

Domitia (who supported the assassination of Domitian) and Nerva (candidate of the senatorial assassins)



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