Claudius, 41-54. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.81 g, 11 h), Lugdunum, 46-47. TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG•P M•TR•P•VI IMP•XI Laureate head of Claudius to right. Rev. Triumphal arch surmounted by equestrian statue left between two trophies, the rider raising his right hand in salute and holding spear in his left; on architrave, DE BRITANN. BMC 32. Calicó 349a. CBN 54. Cohen 17. RIC 33. An very attractive example of this historically important issue, well struck in high relief and with a very expressive portrait. Traces of mounting and with a few light marks, otherwise, about extremely fine.
Ex Auctiones AG 24, 23-24 June 1994, 460.
When Claudius was made emperor by the Praetorian Guard in 41, it was more because of his pedigree than any suspected skill at governing. Perhaps to make up for this, he quickly sought to conquer new territory. Britain had already been invaded twice before by Julius Caesar without any permanent annexation, while Caligula's intended campaign in 40 reportedly ended in little more than ordering his troops to stab at the English Channel's waves and collect seashells. In 43, perhaps under the pretext of restoring Verica, the Atrebatic king, the southern part of the island was conquered in a swift military operation. After receiving the submission of several rulers, Claudius returned to Rome victorious, and a splendid arch was built to commemorate his success, as depicted on our coin. Unfortunately for the Britons and the Roman soldiers on their island, Claudius' return to Rome did not bring the bitter campaigns to a close, and it would take the empire several more decades to permanently subdue the resistance of the various indigenous tribes in what is today England and Wales.