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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheImperators>OctavianPAGE 1/4123»»»
Octavian, Triumvir and Imperator, Augustus 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was adopted by his great-uncle Julius Caesar in 44 BC, and between then and 27 BC was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar. After 27 BC, he was named Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus. Because of the various names he bore, it is common to call him Octavius when referring to events between 63 and 44 B.C., Octavian (or Octavianus) when referring to events between 44 and 27 B.C., and Augustus when referring to events after 27 B.C. The first and possibly greatest Roman emperor, he founded the Roman Empire after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra. As emperor, he reformed the coinage and the military, and embarked on a huge building program all across the empire. After a long reign of 41 years, from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D., he died at the age of 77. The coins below were struck before he was renamed Augustus in 27 B.C.


Octavian and L. Pinarius Scarpus, Imperator and Provincial Governor of Cyrenaica, September 31 - 29 B.C.

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According to Crawford, this type was the last denarius of the Roman Republic. L. Pinarius Scarpus commanded four legions for Marc Antony in Cyrenaica against Octavian's African army, which was under the command of Cornelius Gallus. After learning of Antony's defeat at Actium, Scarpus changed his allegiance to Octavian. This issue was struck shortly after the battle of Actium, the open hand signalizing a gesture of friendship toward Octavian.
RR71863. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1554; Crawford 546/6; Sydenham 1282; RSC I 500; Sear CRI 413; Kent-Hirmer pl. 32, 114; BnF I 896, VF, centered, toned, weight 3.560 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Cyrenaica provincial mint, L Pinarius Scarpus, Sep 31 - 29 B.C.; obverse open right hand reaching left, IMP. CAESARI above, SCARPVS IMP below; reverse Victory standing right on globe, wreath tied with a fillet in right, palm branch over shoulder in left, DIVI. F on right, AVG. PONΓ (sic) on left; ex Savoca Coins; rare; $850.00 (€739.50)


Octavian and Divus Julius Caesar, Second Triumvirate, 36 B.C., Lugdunum, Gaul

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Lyon was originally founded as the Roman city Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods. The city became increasingly referred to as Lugdunum by the end of the 1st century A.D. The etymology of Lugdunum is a latinization of the Gaulish place name Lugodunon. While dunon means hill fort, the source of Lug is uncertain. The most commonly offered meaning is the Celtic god named Lug. During the Middle Ages, Lugdunum was transformed to Lyon by natural sound change.
RR70870. Bronze dupondius, RPC I 515, Giard Lyon 7, SNG Cop 689, F, weight 16.797 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 36 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR DIVI F DIVI IVLI, two heads back to back: laureate head of Divus Julius Caesar to left and bare head of Octavian to right; between them palm branch with its tip bent to right over Octavian's head; reverse Prow of galley to right, ornamented with an eye and dolphin; star superimposed on globe and meta above deck, COPIA below; rare; $760.00 (€661.20)


Roman Republic, Octavian (Later Augustus), Imperator and Consul, Autumn 30 - Summer 29 B.C.

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David Sear writes that CAESAR is on the reverse separated from IMP may indicate that it does not refer to Octavian, but rather to Julius Caesar. Also, the star in the center of the shield may represent the Julian star, and thus the divine Caesar. Mars on the obverse would then suggests Octavian is the avenger of his slain adoptive father.
RR73978. Silver denarius, RSC I 44a, RIC I 274, Sear CRI 428, BMCRE 644, BnF I 87, SRCV I 1563, VF, some porosity, weight 3.929 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Italian (Rome?) mint, autumn 30 - summer 29 B.C.; obverse beardless head of youthful Mars right wearing a crested Corinthian helmet, IMP below; reverse round shield, CAESAR inscribed around upper part of the rim, boss ornamented with a star, sword and spear crossed in saltire behind; ex CNG e-auction 346, lot 422; $450.00 (€391.50)




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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, April 26, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Octavian