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Augustus Denarius 27 BCE-14 CE

Although Augustus was the second Caesar covered by Suetonius, he really was the first ruler of the new Roman empire. Originally known by the name Octavian, he became Augustus as the new ruler of the empire.

The coin below is special to me for two reasons. First, I love the

anepigraphic (no legend) obverse. I feel this gives an elegant look to the portrait and make the portrait the focus of the coin. Many emperors were very particular as to how their images appeared on their coins and Augustus was no exception. It is difficult to tell when a coin of Augustus was issued by the portrait alone because his portraits did not age very much from his beginnings as emperor until his death.

Another reason I like this coin is the reverse. It depicts a Capricorn with globe and rudder. These devices appear on other coins of Augustus, and other emperors used them as well. Augustus would be associated with the image of the Capricorn for much of his rule.

Although this is not a perfect coin because of its imperfect flan shape, the combination of a great portrait and the Capricorn meant I had to have it.

Augustus (27 BC-AD 14), Denarius, Uncertain Spanish mint (Colonia Patricia?), 17-16 BC, (19 mm 3.73 g).

Obv: Bare head right

Rev: Augustus, Capricorn right, holding globe attached to rudder between front hooves; cornucopia above its back.

RIC I 126; RSC 21 SRCV (2000) 1592.

Purchased October 28, 2016 from vcoins store London Coin Galleries Ltd.

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