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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.


Revolt Against Nero, Gaius Iulius Vindex, Governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, c. Late 67 - May 68 A.D.

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Struck by Gaius Iulius Vindex, the Roman governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, who rebelled against Nero's tax policy and declared allegiance to Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, as the new emperor. Vindex was defeated and killed in battle near Vesontio (modern Besancon), but the military continued to support Galba. On 9 June 68, deserted by the Praetorian Guard, Nero stabbed himself in the throat.
RS88405. Silver denarius, Unpublished, civil war restitution of Augustus, only three examples known to Forum, all share the same obverse die, two reverse dies known, VF, rainbow toning, lamination defects, porosity, scratches, edge split, weight 3.280 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Lugdunum?) mint, c. late 67 - May 68 A.D.; obverse [CAESAR], bare head of Augustus right; reverse AVGVSTVS, young bull walking right, head turned facing; found in Spain; $1350.00 (€1188.00)
 


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

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In 5 A.D., Tiberius conquered Germania Inferior. The Germanic Cimbri and Charydes tribes sent ambassadors to Rome.
SH91289. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 187; Prieur 57; RPC I 4158; BMC Galatia p. 169, 147; SGICV 107; Cohen DCA 401, F, dark toning with bright silver areas, weight 14.947 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 5 - 6 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, Augustus laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, city goddess seated on rock, palm in right, river-god Orontes swimming right below, ςΛ (year 36 Actian era) above, ∆N (year 54 Caesarian era) over (Antioch) monogram right; ex Numismatik Lanz; $360.00 (€316.80)
 


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

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In 2 B.C. Augustus was proclaimed Pater Patriae (father of the country) by the Roman Senate. The title was the logical consequence and final proof of Augustus' supreme position as princeps, the first in charge over the Roman state. His personal life did not go so well. His daughter, Julia the Elder, was exiled to Pandateria on charges of treason and adultery; her mother Scribonia accompanied her.
RY89755. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 185; Prieur 55; RPC I 4156; BMC Galatia p. 168, 144; Cohen DCA 400, F, dark toning, rough areas, scratches, weight 10.953 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2 - 1 B.C.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head right; reverse ETOYΣ Λ NIKHΣ (year 30 Actian victory era), Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm branch, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, YΠA monogram IΓ (13th consulship) over (Antioch) monogram in the right field; $240.00 (€211.20)
 


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; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Cyprus, Time of Augustus, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority. Tiberius (born Nov. 13) was a Scorpio.
RP88319. Bronze hemiobol, RPC I 3916; Bank of Cyprus 6; BMC Galatia p. 112, 4 (Commagene); SNG Cop -, F, dark patina, reverse off center, weight 2.487 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 270o, Cypriot mint, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse capricorn right, star with six rays above; reverse scorpion left, star with six rays above (off flan); ex Ancient Imports; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


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

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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.
RP88895. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 1718; Youroukova 194; BMC Thrace p. 209, 7; SNG Cop 1192; SNG Tüb 974; SNG Evelpidis 1124, VF, well centered, green patina, weight 4.515 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ POIMHTAΛKOY, diademed head of Rhoemetalces I right; reverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, bare head of Augustus right; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Roman Civil War, April 68 - December 69 A.D., Restitution of Augustus

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This type was struck in Spain or Gaul during the Roman civil war of 68 - 69 A.D., begun as a revolt against Nero and continuing through The Year of the Four Emperors, when Rome was ruled in rapid succession by Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. The type copies a denarius type struck by Augustus, at Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza, Spain) in 19 - 18 B.C. A comet, "The Julian Star," appeared in the sky during the funeral games for Julius Caesar in July 44 B.C. The Romans believed it was a divine manifestation of the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.The Roman Civil War AD 68 - 69

RS89182. Silver denarius, RIC I Civil War 92 (R3); RSC II Civil War 98a; BMCRE p. 301, 49 - 50; Martin AM A10; BnF -, Fair, weight 2.594 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, Spain or Gaul mint, Apr 68 - Dec 69 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS, head of Augustus left, wearing oak wreath (corona civitas); reverse comet of eight rays, a central dot and flaming tail upwards, DIVVS - IVLIVS horizontal divided flanking across the field at center; very rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Julia Traducta, Hispania Baetica; Hammered Edge - Protocontorniate

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A protocontorniate is a normal, large bronze coin, typically a sestertius, which was altered in antiquity by an individual hammering the edge to create raised rims. A common assumption is that protocontorniates were used as game counters. Andreas Alföldi argued that protocontorniates were New Year's gifts in the fourth century before proper contorniates were struck at the Rome mint. Augustus was among the favorite emperors for these.

Julia Traducta struck coins only during the reign of Augustus. It is not possible to precisely date this type but it may have been struck when Augustus visited the region in 15 - 14 B.C.
RP91039. Bronze Protocontorniate, cf. Villaronga-Benages 3357, RPC I 108, SNG Cop 459, Burgos 1760, F, edge hammered up in antiquity, weight 9.513 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 90o, Julia Traducta mint, 15 - 14 B.C.(?); obverse PERM CAES AVG, bare head left; reverse IVLIA TRAD, inscription in two lines within oak wreath; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


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

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Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in the plain to the west of the city in October 42 B.C. They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from legion XXVIII, to colonized the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 BC, Octavian became Roman emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 BC, when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate.
RP91917. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 1656; Varbanov III 3770 (R4); BMC Mysia p. 103, 86 (Parium); SNG Cop IV 282 (same), F, turquoise patina, some corrosion, weight 3.511 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Philippi mint, obverse bare head right, AVG upward behind; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $40.00 (€35.20)
 







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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 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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Augustus