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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.


Augustus and Gaius Caesar, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Caius Caesar, born in 20 B.C. and Lucius Caesar, born in 17 B.C., were the sons of Agrippa and Julia, and the grandsons of Augustus. Augustus adopted them and designated them as his successors. As boy's, they were declared consul elect, princeps juventutis, honored with priesthoods, and admitted to the senate. In 1 A.D. Caius was consul and was sent to Armenia, where he showed talent for both civil government and military enterprise. In 2 A.D., rather than invade, Gaius met with King Phraates V and concluded peace with the Parthians, who recognized Roman claims to Armenia. The brothers seemed destined for greatness. But Lucius, the younger of the two, died suddenly at Marseilles on 20 August 2 A.D. And, on his return from Armenia, Caius was treacherously wounded by a local Roman magistrate, fell into a lingering illness, and on 21 February 4 A.D., at the early age of 24, died at Limyra in Lycia. Augustus' wife, their step-mother, Livia, was rumored to have arranged both of their deaths to advance her son Tiberius, who was later adopted as Augustus' son and heir.
RP87431. Bronze AE 23, Touratsoglou 160 (V46/R143 ); RPC I 1564 (10 spec.); BMC Macedonia p. 117, 73; SNG Cop -, VF, blue-green patina, light scratches, light corrosion/porosity, weight 9.708 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 90o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1 - 4 A.D.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONIKEΩN, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse ΓAIOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY YIOΣ, bare head of Gaius Caesar right; $185.00 (€157.25)
 


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; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Octavian, Triumvir and Imperator, c. 31 - 30 B.C., Colonia Julia, Cilicia

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The location of this mint has been the subject of some debate. The monograms on the reverse abbreviate the names of the two duovirs.
RP85834. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 4083 (21 spec.), SNG Levante 597 (Ninica), SNG BnF 778(Ninica), Lindgren-Kovacs 1553, VF, tight flan, bumps and scratches, light deposits, weight 5.626 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 135o, Colonia Julia mint, c. 31 - 30 B.C.; obverse PRINCEPS FELIX, bare head of Octavian right; countermark edge upper right: capricorn (or Pegasos?) right in a rectangular punch; reverse two humped oxen pulling plow left, COLONIA / IVLIA in two lines above and lower right, IIVIR (duovirs) in upper right field, VE and TER monograms in left field; countermark edge lower left: branch(?) in an oval punch; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Olba, Cilicia, Ajax, High Priest and Toparch, c. 10 - 15 A.D.

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Octavian divided rule of Cilicia between Amyntas of Galatia and the principality of Olba, which was ruled by Teucrid high priests. Ajax ruled Olba and its territories as high priest and toparch under Augustus and Tiberius, c. 10 - 15 A.D.
RP85942. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3726, Staffieri Olba 9; SNG BnF 801; SNG Levante 631; SNG Cop 187; BMC Lycaonia p. 119, 3; Waddington 4414, VF, green patina, bumps and marks, a little off center, weight 4.064 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Olba (Mersin Province, Turkey) mint, c. 10 - 11 A.D.; obverse TOΠAPX / KENNAT / ΛAΛAΣ / ET A (governor (toparch) of Lalassis and Cennatis, year 1) in 4 lines; reverse triskeles, flanked by ET - A (year 1), APXIEPE / AIANTOΣ / TEYKPOY (high priest (archiereos) Ajax, son of Teucer) in 2 lines above and one below; rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


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Although the title in the legend indicates three moneyers (III VIR) in this period their number was raised to four (Sisenna, Apronius, Gallus, Messalla).
RB85824. Copper quadrans, RIC I 461b corr. (R), BnF I 835, Cohen I 424, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, minor encrustations, corrosion, obverse slightly off center, some obverse legend weak, weight 3.051 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 5 B.C.; obverse SISENNA GALVS IIIVIR, garlanded altar with flat-shaped top; reverse APRONIVS MESSALLA A A A F F, around large S C; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 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.
RP85829. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 3127 (6 spec.); SNGvA 3486; Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 209, 13a; Waddington 5700; magistrates Dionysios Apolloniou and Meliton, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.334 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia mint, c. 5 B.C.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head right, aphlaston to right; reverse ∆IONYΣIOΣ AΠOΛΛΩNIOY MEΛITΩN AΠAMEΩN, facing cult statue of Artemis (with arm supports), meander pattern below; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Commemorative Struck by Caligula

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The reverse legend indicates the figure depicted is a statue that was dedicated to Augustus by the "general will of the Senate, equestrian order and people of Rome."
RB87467. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 56; BMCRE I Caligula 88; Hunter I p. 62, 1; Cohen I 87; BnF II Caligula 134; SRCV I 1811, aVF, well centered, reverse center weakly struck, obverse encrustations, porous, weight 13.479 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse DIVVS AVGVSTVS, radiate head of Augustus left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across lower half of field; reverse CONSENSV SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R (with the will of the Senate, the equestrian order, and the people of Rome), Augustus seated left on curule chair, laureate and togate, laurel branch in extended right hand, globe in left hand at side; ex Heritage Auctions Europe; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


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; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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; $80.00 (€68.00)
 




  



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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 Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Augustus