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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., Ancient Counterfeit

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
 
RS99187. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 207, RSC I 43, BMCRE I 533, BnF I 1651, Hunter I 217, SRCV I 1597 (official, silver denarius, Lugdunum mint, 2 B.C. - 4 A.D.), gVF, toned, core exposures, light scratches, weight 3.484 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial, counterfeiter's mint, c. 2 B.C. - 4 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE, laureate head right; reverse C L CAESARES AVGVSTI F COS DESIG PRINC IVVENT, Caius and Lucius Caesars stand facing, togate, each resting hand on a round shield with spear behind, above center on left a simpulum right and on right a lituus left; ex CNG e-auction 500 (22 Sep 2021), 735 (part of); ex Mercury Group Collection; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


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|
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.
JD98808. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6359; Meshorer TJC 314; RPC I 4956; Sofaer, pl. 219, 6; BMC Palestine p. 249, 20, VF, applied patina, weight 2.047 g, maximum diameter 17.1 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 an Israeli collection; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00 ON RESERVE


Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 5 - 4 B.C., Legate P. Quinctilius Varus

|Antioch|, |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |5| |-| |4| |B.C.,| |Legate| |P.| |Quinctilius| |Varus||trichalkon|
Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman general and politician under Augustus. From 7 or 6 B.C. until 4 B.C. he governed Syria where he was known for harsh rule and high taxes. Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus in 4 B.C., against a revolt in Judaea following the death of Herod the Great. Varus occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2000 rebels. Varus is most infamous for losing three Roman legions in an ambush by Germanic tribes led by Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, at which point he took his own life. Upon hearing the news, Augustus tore his clothes, refused to cut his hair for months and, for years afterward, was heard, upon occasion, to moan, "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!" (Quintili Vare, legiones redde!).
RY99148. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 87; Butcher 50c; RPC I 4252; SNG Cop 92; SNG Munchen 640; BMC Galatia p. 159, 59; Cohen DCA 402 (S), gF, black patina, well centered, edge split, light earthen deposits, weight 6.816 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, legate P. Quinctilius Varus, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ANTIOXEΩ EΠI OVAPOV, Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, wearing chiton and peplos, palm frond in her right hand, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, ZK (Actian Era year 27) in the right field; scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Tiberius|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Commemorative| |Minted| |by| |Tiberius||as|NEW
Tiberius became Augustus' stepson when the emperor married Livia in 38 B.C. Augustus forced Tiberius to divorce the wife he loved and marry his daughter Julia. Tiberius hated his new wife and escaped her by going into exile at Rhodes in 6 B.C. After the deaths of the other possible successors, he was recalled in 2 A.D. and groomed to succeed Augustus, which he did on 19 August 14.
RB99553. Bronze as, RIC I Tiberius 83, BMCRE I Tiberius 157, Cohen I 249, Hunter I 16, SRCV I 1791, VF, brown patina, porosity/pitting, slightly off center, weight 10.150 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, struck under Tiberius, 14 - 15 A.D.; obverse DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER, radiate head left; reverse winged fulmen (thunderbolt), S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
There is another fouree specimen on Coin Archives struck with the same dies. Blundered legends are unusual on fourree denarii.
RS95665. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 418 (R5), RSC I 384, BMCRR II Rome 4677, BMCRE I 132, BnF I 567 (official, solid silver, Rome mint, 12 B.C.), F, very little silver plate remaining, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, c. 12 - 14 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTO SAPRCA (sic, or similar, counterclosckwise), bare head right; reverse L CANINVS (sic) GALLVS III VIR (L. Caninius Gallus triumvir), cippus inscribed in four lines: CC / AVG / xXT / T; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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|
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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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.
JD99338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6360; Meshorer TJC 315; RPC I 4957; Sofaer, pl. 219, 7; BMC Palestine p. 249, 21, F, dark patina, red earthen highlighting, pitting on obverse, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.765 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 10 - 11 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; from a private collector in New Jersey; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00







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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. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothque 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).

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