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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.


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The two soldiers standing with branches may represent Tiberius and his brother Nero Claudius Drusus. The two generals brought peace (olive branch) to Augustus on the Danube and Rhine frontiers.
SH37562. Gold aureus, RIC I 164a, BMCRE I 443, Cohen I 132, SRCV I -, gF, weight 7.668 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVI F, bare head right; reverse IMP X, two soldiers, each holding parazonium, offering branches to Augustus seated left on stool set on platform; light punch on reverse, ex jewelry; rare (R2); SOLD


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Magnificent quality. Superb portrait of the finest Greek style. Rare in Greek style because most denarii of this type were struck in "Colonia Patricia" style.
SH16768. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1592, RIC I 541, BMCRE I 664, superb EF, weight 3.850 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Asia Minor mint, 27 - 20 B.C.; obverse laureate head right, dot border; reverse AVGVSTVS, capricorn left, holding globe, cornucopia above, rudder below; extraordinary high relief impossible to capture in a photograph, lustrous and nearly as struck; rare; SOLD


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In 8 B.C., Augustus selected Gaius Caesar, one of his grandsons, as his successor.
SH63911. Gold aureus, RIC I 198, Lyon 68, Calicó 174a 174, BMCRE I 498; BnF I 1457, Cohen I 39 (50 Fr.)., VF, ex jewelry, edge filed to make round for jewelry, weight 7.159 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, 8 - 7 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVI F, laureate head right; reverse C CAES AVGVST, Caius Caesar galloping on horseback right, wearing bulla around neck, sword in right, shield in left, aquila between two signa in background to left; very rare; SOLD


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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2)
SH28908. Silver denarius, RIC I 167a, BMCRE I 451, RSC I 137, BnF I 1373, Hunter I 197, SRCV I 1610, Choice EF, superb high-relief portrait, toned, weight 3.938 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVI•F, bare head right, dot border; reverse bull butting right, left foreleg raised, lashing tail, IMP•X in exergue, linear border; ex Pars Coins; SOLD


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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.
SH84736. Silver denarius, BnF I 1271 (same dies, attributed to auxiliary workshop, Colonia Patricia), RIC I 126 (R2), RSC I 21, BMCRE I 346, Hunter I 145, SRCV I 1592, Choice aMS, nearly as struck, mint luster, well centered and bold strike, a few light marks, obverse die wear, weight 3.809 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Spanish (Colonia Patricia?) mint, 16 B.C.; obverse bare head right, dot border, anepigraphic; reverse capricorn right, filleted cornucopia overflowing with grain and fruit on its back, celestial globe and rudder with tiller held between hooves, AVGVSTVS below; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; scarce; SOLD


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Augustus built the temple of Mars the Avenger on the Capitol to house the recovered legionary eagles, which had been lost by Crassus and Antony to the Parthians.
RR34983. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1623, RIC I 105a, BMCRE I 373, BMCRR Rome 4419-4420, BnF I 1202, RSC I 190, EF, beautiful coin, glossy even gray tone, weight 3.800 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Patricia (Cordoba, Spain) mint, 18 B.C.; obverse CAESARI AVGVSTO, laureate head right; reverse Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger), domed round hexastyle shrine with acroteria, set on podium of three steps, containing aquila between two signa militaria, MAR - VLT divided across the field; SOLD


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The reverse legend refers to sacrifices Augustus made to Jupiter prior to his departure for Gaul in 16 B.C. The reverse legend abbreviates, "Vota Publica Suscepta Pro Salute et Reditu Iovi Optimo Maximo Sacrata," which means, "public sacrifices have been made to holy Jupiter, the best and greatest, for the well-being and the [safe] return [of the Emperor]."
SH84730. Silver denarius, RIC I 150b (R4), RSC I 326, BMCRE I 438, BnF I 1242, Hunter I 187 var. (obv. head right), SRCV I 1641 var. (same), Nice EF, light toning with luster in recesses, nice portrait, reverse slightly off center, some obverse die wear, weight 3.922 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Patricia (Cordoba, Spain) mint, c. Jul 17 - 16 B.C.; obverse S P Q R CAESARI AVGVSTO, bare head left, linear border; reverse VOT P SVSC PRO SAL ET RED I O M SACR, Mars standing left, helmeted, nude but for cloak on shoulders and left arm, vexillum vertical before him in right hand, parazonium sloped over left shoulder in left hand, linear border; this is the first ever example of this rare type handled by Forum, from the Marcelo Leal Collection; very rare; SOLD


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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2)
RS85086. Silver denarius, RIC I 167a, BMCRE I 451, RSC I 137, BnF I 1373, Hunter I 197, SRCV I 1610, Choice near Mint State, well centered and struck, lustrous, very light rose-gold toning, some light marks and deposits, weight 3.606 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVI•F, bare head right, dot border; reverse bull butting right, left foreleg raised, lashing tail, IMP•X in exergue, linear border; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Divus Augustus Reverse

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Tiberius left his estate and the titles of the principate to Caligula and to Tiberius' own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 78 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people. Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the murder himself, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian. Seneca the elder and Philo, as well as Josephus, record that Tiberius died a natural death. Caligula had Tiberius' will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise he carried out Tiberius' wishes.
SH77011. Silver denarius, RIC I 2, RSC I 11, Lyon 157, BnF II 3, BMCRE I 4, SRCV I 1808, aVF, excellent portraits, light marks, light corrosion, small edge crack, reverse slightly off-center, weight 3.196 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 120o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 37 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT COS, bare head of Caligula right; reverse radiate head of Divus Augustus right, flanked by two stars; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex Vecchi Nummorum Auctiones 9 (NYC, 4 Dec 1997), lot 166; rare; SOLD


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A legatus Augusti pro praetore (literally: "envoy of the emperor - acting praetor") was the official title of the governor of some imperial provinces of the Roman Empire during the Principate era, normally the larger ones or those where legions were based. Provinces were denoted imperial if their governor was selected by the emperor, in contrast to senatorial provinces, whose governors (called proconsuls) were elected by the Roman Senate.
SH84737. Silver denarius, RIC I 2b (S), RSC I 401, BMCRE I 279, BMCRR Spain 112, BnF I 1033, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, Choice gVF, well centered on a very broad flan, light toning with luster in recesses, weight 3.867 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 135o, Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) mint, P. Carisius, c. 25 - 23 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head left, linear border; reverse P CARISIVS LEG PRO PR (P. Carisius Legatus [Augusti] pro Praetore), round shield with central boss within eight pointed star ornamentation with studs, spearhead with short shaft right above, machaira (curved short sword) right below, linear border; this is the first ever example of this rare type handled by Forum, from the Marcelo Leal Collection; rare; SOLD




  




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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 Sunday, June 16, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Augustus