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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Augustus||View 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, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

|Roman| |Asia|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Uncertain| |Mint,| |Anatolia| |or| |Syria||AE| |27|
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.
RP111713. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, dark green patina, weight 18.142 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, c. 39 B.C.(?); obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it easier to acquire; $250.00 (230.00)


Ascalon, Philistia, Judaea, Late 1st Century B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Ascalon,| |Philistia,| |Judaea,| |Late| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Askalon lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, ten miles north of Gaza and about 40 miles south of Joppa. Herod the Great ruled all of Palestine, except Askalon, which remained a free city. Today, a national park at Ashqelon, Israel includes ruins of Canaanite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusader walls and buildings.
JD111091. Bronze AE 16, cf. RPC Online I 4873 (10 spec.); Sofaer 47; Baramki AUB 52; Rosenberger 79; BMC Palestine p. 110, 36, gF, green patina, earthen encrustations, irregular flan with part of the edge ragged, weight 2.831 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, late 1st century B.C.; obverse bare-headed and beardless young male head right; reverse prow of war galley left with ram, acrostolium, and oars, AΣ above (Σ in the form of a squared C); rare; $125.00 (115.00)


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
Date cultivation in Judea declined after the Roman period, especially during the Crusades, and completely collapsed due to climate change around the 14th century. The Judean Date Palm fell extinct. Excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in 1963-1965 uncovered a cache of date palm seeds preserved in an ancient jar. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the seeds were from 155 B.C. to 64 A.D. In 2005, three of the seeds were planted. Eight weeks later one of the seeds sprouted. The palm, a male, named Methuselah, was grown from the oldest known successfully germinated tree seed. After that success, additional palms from were sprouted from the seeds found at Masada. A female, Hannah, was pollinated by Methuselah and the Judean Date Palm has been recovered.
JD99334. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6358; Meshorer TJC 313; RPC I 4955; Sofaer, pl. 219, 3; BMC Palestine p. 248, 9, F, highlighting earthen deposits, irregularly shaped flan, weight 1.891 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 9 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), head of barley curved right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - ΛΘ (year 39) across field divided by trunk; from a private collector in New Jersey; $70.00 (64.40)


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
When the Romans invaded ancient Judea, thick forests of date palms up to 80 feet (24 m) high and 7 miles (11 km) wide covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south. The tree so defined the local economy that Emperor Vespasian celebrated the conquest by minting the "Judaea Capta", a special bronze coin that showed the Jewish state as a weeping woman beneath a date palm. The Qur'an describes how Maryam (the Islamic parallel of Mary (mother of Jesus)) was advised to eat dates to ease her labor pains; presumably, this would have been a Judean date.
MA111315. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6359; Meshorer TJC 314; RPC I 4956; Sofaer, pl. 219, 6; BMC Palestine p. 249, 20, F, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, porosity, obv. edge beveled, weight 2.342 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 9 - 10 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), barley head curved to right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - M (year 40 of Augustus) divided across lower field; $70.00 (64.40)


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalces I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D., Augustus Reverse

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Rhoemetalces| |I,| |c.| |11| |B.C.| |-| |12| |A.D.,| |Augustus| |Reverse||AE| |25|
When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
RP111777. Bronze AE 25, Youroukova 204; RPC I 1711; BMC Thrace p. 209, 4; SNG Cop 1188; SNG Tbingen 972; Weber 2743, aVF, green patina, rough, encrusted, edge splits/cracks, weight 8.882 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ POIMHTAΛKOY, jugate heads right of Rhoemetalces I, diademed, and Queen Pythodoris; reverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, bare head of Augustus right; $70.00 (64.40)


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
When the Romans invaded ancient Judea, thick forests of date palms up to 80 feet (24 m) high and 7 miles (11 km) wide covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south. The tree so defined the local economy that Emperor Vespasian celebrated the conquest by minting the "Judaea Capta", a special bronze coin that showed the Jewish state as a weeping woman beneath a date palm. The Qur'an describes how Maryam (the Islamic parallel of Mary (mother of Jesus)) was advised to eat dates to ease her labor pains; presumably, this would have been a Judean date.
JD99333. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6359; Meshorer TJC 314; RPC I 4956; Sofaer, pl. 219, 6; BMC Palestine p. 249, 20, F, tight squared flan, green patina, earthen deposits, porous, reverse off center, edge crack, weight 2.154 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 9 - 10 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), barley head curved to right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - M (year 40 of Augustus) divided across lower field; from a private collector in New Jersey; $50.00 (46.00)


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
Marcus Ambibulus was Roman Prefect of the province of Judea and Samaria. Originally a cavalry officer, he succeeded Coponius in 9 A.D. and ruled the area until 12 or 13 A.D. when he was succeeded by Annius Rufus. Josephus noted his tenure in Jewish Antiquities 18.31.
JD99891. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6360; Meshorer TJC 315; RPC I 4957; Sofaer, pl. 219, 7; BMC Palestine p. 249, 21, gF, green patina, heavy earthen deposits, irregular shape, weight 1.599 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 11 - 12 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), barley head curved to right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - MA (year 41 of Augustus) divided across lower field; $50.00 (46.00)







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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. Ripolls. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, 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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l 'atelier de Lyon, des origines au rgne de Caligula (43 avant J.-C. - 41 aprs J.-C.). (Wetteren, 1983).
Giard, J-B. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
KENOM Virtuelles Mnzkabinett- https://www.kenom.de
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 Cistophori of Augustus. (London, 1970).
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).

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