Octavian as Augustus. 27 BC-14 AD. c. 12 BC

Octavian as Augustus. 27 BC-14 AD. c. 12 BC


AR Denarius, 3.81g (20mm, 12h). Bare head r. / Bearded barbarian, with cloak over shoulder, kneeling r. and offering vexillum.

Pedigree: Ex Sotheby sale 20 June 1979, P.A. Doheny, 189 and Spink & Son circular 89, 1981, 811

References: C 383. RIC 416

Grade: Nice large flan with dark cabinet toning. Incredibly good reverse strike. Good VF/aEF (re1095)

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This coin was struck in 12 BC already 15 years into Octavian’s reign as Augustus of Rome. It was the year of Haley’s Comet and also the year when his close ally and son-in-law Agrippa died. Agrippa’s last service for the empire was in 13 BC as the conquest of the Upper Danube (which would later become Roman Pannonia). The barbarian shown on the reverse of this coin could easily have been a remembrance of that event just 1 year earlier. Octavian/Augustus was so distraught by the death of Agrippa that he hosted a massive funeral for him and even had his remains put in his own mausoleum.