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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Imperators| ▸ |Octavian||View Options:  |  |  | 

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 B.C., and between then and 27 B.C. was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar. After 27 B.C., 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|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|
Rare and important type commemorating the defeat of Antony and conquest of Egypt.

In "The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII, Marc Antony, and Augustus in Cyprus, Matt Kreuzer attributes this type to Paphos, Cyprus. Kreuzer notes, "After Actium, Octavian took over Antony and Cleopatra's minting operations at Paphos on Cyprus. A steady output of similar style denarii was maintained." The portrait style of this coin is the same style as the CA coinage. Kreuzer attributes both types to Paphos. He also identifies the small Capricorn below the bust, as "an apparent symbol that the coin came from Cyprus the personal possession of Octavian himself."

A similar denarii without the Capricorn was also struck by a western mint, probably Rome (S 1564, RIC 275).
SH17094. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1565, RSC I 4, RIC I 545, Vagi 247, BMCRE I 653, gVF, superb eastern portrait, clear capricorn, nicely done crocodile, minor porosity, weight 3.808 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Asia, Paphos? mint, 28 B.C.; obverse CAESARDIVI F COSVI, bare head right, capricorn right below; reverse AEGYPTO CAPTA, crocodile right; very rare; SOLD


|Octavian|, |Octavian,| |Triumvir| |and| |Imperator,| |Augustus| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|
After defeating Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, Octavian removed the last obstacle to supreme power by invading and capturing Egypt in August 30 B.C. The crocodile was a symbol of Egypt and this coin commemorated that event.
SH16776. Silver denarius, RIC I 275a, BMCRE I 650, Sear CRI 430, RSC I 2, VF, slightly flat strike, weight 3.530 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 90o, Italian (Rome?) mint, 28 B.C.; obverse CAESAR COS VI (starting upward on left), bare head right, lituus behind; reverse AEGYPTO / CAPTA, crocodile right; obverse die crack, two scratches obverse at 3:00; rare; SOLD


Octavian, Consul and Imperator, Autumn 30 - Summer 29 B.C.

|Octavian|, |Octavian,| |Consul| |and| |Imperator,| |Autumn| |30| |-| |Summer| |29| |B.C.||denarius|
On the obverse Octavian is depicted as a terminus, a boundary marker, thus proclaiming that he had restored the boundaries of the Roman Republic. These boundary markers were named for Terminus, the god who protected boundaries. Sacrifices were performed to sanctify each boundary stone, and landowners celebrated a festival called the "Terminalia" in Terminus' honor each year on February 23. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill was thought to have been built over a shrine to Terminus, and he was occasionally identified as an aspect of Jupiter under the name "Jupiter Terminalis."
SH73575. Silver denarius, RIC I 270 (S), Sear CRI 427, BMCRR 4362, BMCRE I 637, BnF I 43, RSC I 116, SRCV I 1562, VF, handsome portrait, toned, some porosity, scratch on reverse, flan crack, weight 3.787 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 270o, Italian (Rome?) mint, autumn 30 - summer 29 B.C.; obverse laureate bust of Octavian as a terminus (boundary marker) right, thunderbolt behind; reverse Octavian seated left on curule chair, togate, Victory holding wreath in his right hand, left hand resting on lap, IMP - CAESAR divided across field; ex CNG e-auction 343, lot 425; ex the Colin Kirk Collection; scarce; SOLD


Roman Republic, Second Triumvirate, Mark Antony and Octavian, Spring - Early Summer 41 B.C.

|Marc| |Antony|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Second| |Triumvirate,| |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Octavian,| |Spring| |-| |Early| |Summer| |41| |B.C.||denarius|
The moneyer M. Barbatius was a friend of Julius Caesar. In 41 B.C. he was a quaestor pro praetore to Antony in the East.

In 41 B.C., Lucius Antonius, Mark Antony's younger brother, and Fulvia, Mark Antony's wife, anxious to get her husband back from Cleopatra, raised eight legions against Octavian. Lucius marched on Rome, drove out Lepidus, and promised the people that the triumvirate would be abolished. On the approach of Octavian, he retired to Perusia in Etruria, where he was besieged by three armies, and compelled to surrender in the winter of 41 B.C. The city was destroyed but Lucius was spared, and was sent by Octavian to Spain as governor. Nothing is known of the circumstances or date of his death.
SH57461. Silver denarius, Crawford 517/2, Sydenham 1181, BMCRR East 103, Sear CRI 243, RSC I Mark Antony and Augustus 8, SRCV I 1504, gVF, flat strike areas, weight 3.816 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, military mint moving with Antony, Ephesus(?) mint, spring - early summer 41 B.C.; obverse M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P (MP and AV ligate), bare head of Antony right; reverse CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian right; scarce; SOLD


Roman Republic, Second Triumvirate, Mark Antony and Octavian, 40 - 39 B.C.

|Marc| |Antony|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Second| |Triumvirate,| |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Octavian,| |40| |-| |39| |B.C.||denarius|
In 40 B.C., with the Treaty of Brundisium, the Triumvirs agreed to divide the Roman Republic into spheres of influence. Gaius Octavian styled himself "Imperator Caesar" and controlled the Western provinces. Mark Antony controlled the Eastern provinces; the River Drin, the boundary between the provinces Illyricum and Macedonia, would serve as their frontier. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus controlled Hispania and Africa. The treaty was cemented by the marriage of Antony and Octavia, sister of Octavian.
SH65240. Silver denarius, RSC I Mark Antony and Augustus 1b; Crawford 528/2b; Sydenham 1193a; Sear CRI 261a; SRCV I -, VF, toned, area of weak strike on Antony, weight 3.740 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 90o, Italian mint, 40 - 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTON IMP III VIR R P C, bare head of Antony right, nothing below; reverse CAESAR IMP III VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian right with slight beard; ex Gemini auction X, lot 400; ex Randy Haviland Collection; ex CNG auction 72 (14 June 2006), lot 1345; ex Marc Poncin Collection; Spink auction 4013 (15 July 2004), lot 12; rare; SOLD


Octavian/Augustus and Julius Caesar, Thessalonica, Macedonia, c. 28 - 27 B.C.

|Thessalonika|, |Octavian/Augustus| |and| |Julius| |Caesar,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |28| |-| |27| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Gaebler (AMNG, p. 125) believed the Δ stands for 4 asses. Touratsoglou (p. 25) interprets it to indicate year four an era of beginning with the Battle of Actium, which would date the issue to 28 - 27 B.C.
RP86188. Leaded bronze AE 23, Touratsoglou - (V2/R4, unlisted die combination), RPC I 1554, Sear Imperators 675, SNG Cop 395, SNG ANS 824, Varbanov 5153, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 58, VF, nice green patina, cleaning marks, areas of light corrosion, small edge cracks, off center, weight 10.787 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, Emission I, 28 - 27 B.C.; obverse ΘΕOΣ, wreathed head of Julius Caesar right; reverse ΘΕΣΣAΛONIKΕΩN, bare head of Augustus right, Δ (year 4 of Actium era) below; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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