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Author Topic: Die Münzprägung unter Kaiser Augustus – Einblicke in eine Umbruchszeit zwischen  (Read 4510 times)

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Offline Joe Geranio

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Offline Andrew McCabe

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Re: Die Münzprägung unter Kaiser Augustus
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 12:23:14 pm »
Die Münzprägung unter Kaiser Augustus – Einblicke in eine
Umbruchszeit zwischen später Republik und früher Kaiserzeit

by

Bernhard Weisser

Thanks Joe. It's a pretty light article, with no new research, summarising how most people would view the coinage of Octavian/Augustus, but it is coincidental considering an on-list comment I made yesterday that summarised my views on the silver coinage of Augustus:

Consider as a parallel Octavian / Augustus. His first decade after 44BC was limited to sporadic poorly made issues as triumvir. Then he produced a magnificent, complex and artistic series of themed coins on very large flans between 33 and 27BC. Then he produced nothing for a decade. Then, from 19BC, he allowed Republican-style moneyers to produce interesting coinage that seemed pretty independent of central government for another decade. And finally for the last 20 years of his reign, output was limited to some dreadfully boring and large volume silver issues (but some very nice bronzes). Take any one of his five decades in power, and you'd see a series of unpredictable switches from sublime to monotonous to complex and back again. I'm sure none of these reflected his own wishes, unless he had schizonumismatic tendencies.

Weisser's article seems to give the much same views, but spread over five pages. Half of his article is on the coins of 33-27BC (he dates them 31-27 but I think they started earlier) which are evidently the most interesting of the 50 years. He ignores those of the pseudo-Republican moneyers between 19 and 12BC, perhaps because he didn't consider them as reflecting on Augustus' power, but, in a way, their absence of references to the supreme power is in fact a reflection of the relative modesty of Augustus as compared say with Pompey, Antony or Caesar. And the last two decades of his reign, as I'd indicated above, had little numismatic interest, treated by Weisser in a couple of paragraphs about a couple of coin types.

In relation to the comment on the Domitian thread (what magnificent coins might we have expected, had Domitian or Probus lived longer??), it would have perhaps been far better for Rome had Augustus died before 12BC; Agrippa would have taken over, and we would have no Julio-Claudian succession line, but perhaps something that looked a lot more Republican, and, assuming continuity of coinage, with Republican style coinage too. We numismatists would however have missed the wonderful dynastic sestertii of the first century BC, perhaps among the most beautiful coins ever minted.

Offline Joe Geranio

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Andrew states:  "hen he produced a magnificent, complex and artistic series of themed coins on very large flans between 33 and 27BC. Then he produced nothing for a decade. " 

These are the ones I try and collect and they are not cheap $$.  Thanks for the comments as always!

Joe
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Offline Andrew McCabe

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Re: Die Münzprägung unter Kaiser Augustus
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 04:47:10 pm »
In my tiny pen-portrait of Augustus' silver I omitted to mention a few issues of the late 20s e.g. the Spanish denarii from Emerita. Still, in a 50 year period, the series struck around 30BC is what really shines out. So well made, and so clever in the alternate pairing of reverse and obverse themes.

 

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