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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Imperators ▸ OctavianView 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.


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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 COS•VI, bare head right, capricorn right below; reverse AEGYPTO CAPTA, crocodile right; very rare; SOLD


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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.

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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







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Octavian