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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ AugustusView Options:  |  |  | 

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

Octavian Augustus, the first and possibly greatest Roman emperor, founded the Roman empire after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra. He reformed the coinage and the military, and embarked on a huge building program all across the empire. Augustus was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius after a long reign of 41 years. He was 77, having ruled from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D.


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Mérida, Spain was founded by P. Carisius in 25 B.C., as Emerita Augusta, the name referring to the discharged soldiers who populated the city, by order of Augustus to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The city became an important city in the Roman Empire and the capital of Lusitania province. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan).
SH84707. Silver denarius, RIC I 9b, RSC I 398, BMCRE I 291, BMCRR Spain 128, BnF I 1039, Hunter I 124, SRCV I 1627 var. (head right), gVF, full circle centering on a broad flan, mint luster, weak strike areas, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.775 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 90o, Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) mint, P. Carisius, c. 25 - 23 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVST, bare head left; reverse P CARISIVS LEG PRO PR (P. Carisius Legatus [Augusti] pro Praetore), bird's-eye view of town with walls around, EMERITA inscribed above gateway in front with three battlements over two arched entrances; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; $870.00 (€739.50)
 


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Generals in their triumphs wore a toga picta (toga with a designs on it) and a tunica palmata (a purple tunic bordered with a band of gold). The same dress was also worn my praetors celebrating games and by consuls in the time of the emperors.
SL87036. Silver denarius, RIC I 99 (S), RSC I 78, BMCRE I 397, BnF I 1191, Hunter I 177, SRCV I 1604, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, punch mark (2490379-011); dark toning, weight 3.36 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 225o, Spanish (Colonia Patricia?) mint, c. 18 B.C.; obverse from left to right: aquila, toga picta over tunica palmata, and wreath; S•P•Q•R• PARENT (NT ligate) above, CONS•SVO below; reverse slow quadriga right, the car ornamented at front and on side with Victories and surmounted by four miniature horses galloping right, CAESARI above, AVGVSTO below; scarce; $600.00 (€510.00)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

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The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RB71004. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, green patina, weight 17.823 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (for quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it somewhat easier to acquire; $270.00 (€229.50)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Kyzikos, Mysia

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The Julio-Claudian princes depicted on this type are uncertain. References most often identify them as Caius and Lucius caesars, but Drusus and Germanicus have also been suggested, and there are other possibilities. The features of both portraits on this coin resemble Augustus, which doesn't help.
RP77421. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 2246 (7 spec.), SNG Ashmolean 1188, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, gF, nice green patina, old scratches, light corrosion, weight 2.040 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Erdek, Turkey) mint, c. 4 B.C. - 2 A.D.; obverse bare headed male head right; reverse KYZI, bare headed male head right; very rare; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

Click for a larger photo
The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RP77502. Bronze AE 28, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, porous, scratches, weight 19.349 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (for quaestor) below; ex H.D. Rauch e-auction 15 (16 Jun 2014), lot 145; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Germanicus, Caesar, died 10 October 19 A.D., Apamea, Phrygia

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Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). Christianity was very likely established early in the city. Saint Paul probably visited the place when he went throughout Phrygia.
RP87109. Leaded bronze AE 15, RPC I 3134 (8 spec.); SNGvA 3488; Waddington 5705; Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 210, 16; SNG Cop -; BMC Phrygia -, VF, nice portrait, bumps, scratches, encrustations, weight 2.886 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, magistrate Gaius Ioulios Kallikles, 14 - 19 A.D.; obverse ΓEPMANIKOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right; reverse IOYΛIOΣ KAΛΛIKΛHΣ AΠAMEΩN, Stag standing right on maeander pattern; rare; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Gaius Asinius Gallus, Roman Proconsul of Asia, 6 - 5 B.C., Temnos, Aeolis

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The larger denomination of the same series honored Augustus. On this coin Gallus gives himself the epithet Aγνος, meaning pure or holy! Later he was an ambitious and powerful senator. A foe of Tiberius, in 11 B.C. he married Tiberius' ex-wife, Vipsania. He was suspected of and never denied fathering Tiberius' son, Drusus the Younger. After Vipsania died, he courted the widow of Germanicus, Agrippina. In 30 A.D., Tiberius had him imprisoned and for three years kept him in solitary confinement and on the very edge of starvation until he died. To add further insult he was discredited by damnatio memoriae.
GB87100. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2447 (23 spec.); SNG Cop 276; SNG München 627; BMC Troas p. 146, 24; CRE Ashmolean 1261; Waddington 1350; SNGvA -, gF, slightly off center, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.835 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Temnos (Menemen?, Izmir, Turkey) mint, 5 B.C.; obverse ACINIOC ΓAΛΛOC AΓNOC, bare head of Asinius Gallus right; reverse APOΛΛAC ΦAINIOY TAMNITAN, head of Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Iberian(?) Barbaric Imitative

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RB70583. Copper as, cf. SRCV I 1685, RIC I 431, BMCRE 226, Cohen I 515, BnF I 687 (official, Rome mint, 7 B.C.), F, interesting crude style, nice green patina, edge cracks, scratches, pits on reverses, weight 10.390 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 225o, Iberian(?) unofficial mint, obverse bare head right; reverse large S C; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
RB86129. Bronze semis, McAlee 209(c); RPC I 4248; SNG Fitzwilliam 5859; BMC Galatia p. 166, 130; SNG Cop 140, F, tight flan, earthen deposits, porous, weight 9.736 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 5 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse AVGVST TR POT, laureate head right; reverse large S C within circle, laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves around, linear border; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Augustus and Agrippa, 16 - 15 B.C., Colonia Augusta Nemausus, Gaul

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This two-headed brass dupondius was commonly cut between the heads, creating two individual one-as coins.

The reverse commemorates the conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. and was probably issued in connection with Augustus' visit to Gaul in 16 B.C.
RP72851. Bronze cut half dupondius (as), cf. SRCV I 1729, RIC I 155, RPC I 523, VF, half of cut coin, green patina, scratches, weight 5.205 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Augusta Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, 16 - 15 B.C.; obverse IMP DIVI F, back to back heads of Augustus, bare head right, and [Agrippa, wearing rostral wreath, (cut, off flan)]; reverse COL NEM, crocodile right chained to a palm, wreath above, two palm fronds below; $75.00 (€63.75)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVGVSTVS
AVGVSTVSDIVIF
AVGVSTVSTRPOT
AVGVSTVSTRPOTVII
CAESARAVGPONTMAXTRIBVNICPOT
CAESARAVGTRIBVNPOTES
CAESARAVGVSTPONTMAXTRIBVNICPOT
CAESARAVGVSTVS
CAESARAVGVSTVSDIVIF
CAESARAVGVSTVS DIVIFPATERPATRIAE
CAESARAVGVSTVSSPQR
CAESARAVGVSTVSTRIBVNICPOTEST
CAESARAVGVSTVSTRPOT
CAESARAVGTRIBVNPOTES
CAESARCOSVI
CAESARDIVIFCOSVI
CAESARIAVGVSTO
CAESARIMP
CAESARIMPVII
CAESARIIIVIRRPC
CAESARPONTMAX
CCAESARIIIVIRRPC
CCAESARIMP
CCAESARIIIVIRRPC
DIVOAVGVSTO
DIVOAVGVSTOSPQR
DIVOAVGVSTOSPQROBCIVESSER
DIVVSAVGVSTVS
DIVVSAVGVSTVSPATER
DIVVSAVGVSTVSSC
DIVIIVLIF
GALVSMESSALLAIIIVIR
IMPCAESAR
IMPCAESARAVGVST
IMPCAESARAVGVSTTRPOTIIX
IMPCAESARDIVIF
IMPCAESARDIVIFAVGVSTVSIMPXX
IMPCAESARDIVIFCOSVILIBERTATISPRVINDEX
IMP CAESAR DIVI F III VIR ITER
IMP CAESAR DIVI F VIR ITER R P C
IMP CAESARI
IMP CAESAR DIVI IVLI
IMP IX TR POV
LAMIASILIVSANNIVS
OB CIVIS SERVATOS
PBETILIENVSBASSVS
PVLCHERTAVRVSREGVLVS
SCOBRPCVMSALVTIMPCAESARAVGCONS
S P Q R IMP CAESARI
S P Q R IMP CAESARI AVG COS XI TR POT VI
S P Q R PARENT CONSSVO


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Vol. One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Sutherland, C. & C. Kraay. Catalogue of Coins of the Roman Empire in the Ashmolean Museum, Part I: Augustus. (Oxford, 1975).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, April 21, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Augustus