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Ancient Coin - Augustus - Aureus

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Ancient Coin - Augustus - Aureus Laureate Head
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Subject Augustus
Reverse Type Gaius and Lucis Caesar
Denomination Aureus
Primary ID Type RIC
Primary ID 206
Material Gold
Earliest -17
Latest Possible Year 2
Mint Lyons
Size (mm) 20
Weight (gr) 139
Period Imperial
Culture Rome
Ancient Coin - Augustus - Aureus Gaius and Lucius Caesar

Notes: Laureate head right / Gaius & Lucius standing front, each togate and with a hand resting on a round shield, a spear, and in field above, a simpulum right & lituus left.

This coin, issued by the Emperor Augustus, was issued to promote the status of his two grandsons, Gaius and Lucius. He wished them to be his heirs and appointed them Princeps Juventutis.

Obverse: Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August 14 AD) was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, ruling from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He took power after defeating Mark Antony at Alexandria on August 1, 30BC (following the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Following the defeat of Antony, he spent the next three years setting up the legal structure for the Empire and formally took the title Augustus, transforming the Republic into the Principate and taking direct control of most of the Provincial legions.

Throughout his rule, Augustus focused on both stabilizing the Empire (which was in disarray due to the severity and frequency of civil wars preceding his ascesion to power) as well as consolidating control of the army and legislature under his personal direction.

On 19 August AD 14, Augustus died while visiting Nola where his father had died. Both Tacitus and Cassius Dio wrote that Livia was rumored to have brought about his death by poisoning fresh figs. This element features in many modern works of historical fiction pertaining to his life, but some historians view it as likely to have been a salacious fabrication made by those who had favoured Postumus as heir, or other of Tiberius' political enemies. Livia had long been the target of similar rumors of poisoning on the behalf of her son, most or all of which are unlikely to have been true.

Reverse: In 17 BCE, the emperor Augustus adopted Gaius and Lucius Caesar, his two grandons by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and his daughter Julia the Elder. Lucius died of a sudden illness on 20 August, 2 CE, in Massilia (modern day Marseilles), while traveling to meet the armies in Spain. His death was followed 18 months later by the death of his brother Gaius on 21 February, 4 CE.

Denomination: The aureus (pl. aurei - "golden") was a gold coin of ancient Rome valued at 25 silver denarii. The aureus was regularly issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, when it was replaced by the solidus. The aureus was about the same size as the denarius, but heavier due to the higher density of gold (as opposed to that of silver.)

Before the time of Julius Caesar the aureus was struck very infrequently, usually to make large payments from captured booty. Caesar struck the coin more frequently and standardized the weight at 1/40 of a Roman pound (about 8 grams). Augustus (r. 29 BC - 9 AD) tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 of an aureus. The mass of the aureus was decreased to 1/45 of a pound (7.3 g) during the reign of Nero (r. 54 - 68).

After the reign of Marcus Aurelius (r. 161 - 180) the production of aurei decreased, and the weight was further decreased to 1/50 of a pound (6.5 g). During the 3rd century, gold pieces were introduced in a variety of fractions and multiples, making it hard to determine the intended denomination of a gold coin.

From Wikiepedia

Mint: According to the historian Dio Cassius, in 43 BC, the Roman Senate ordered Munatius Plancus and Lepidus, lieutenants of the assassinated Julius Caesar and governors of central and Transalpine Gaul, respectively, to found a city for a group of Roman refugees. These refugees had been expelled from Vienne (a town about 30 km [19 mi] to the south) by the Allobroges and were now encamped at the confluence of the Saone and Rhone rivers. Dio Cassius says this task was to keep the two men from joining Mark Antony and bringing their armies into the developing conflict. The Roman foundation was at Fourviere hill and was officially called Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods. The city became increasingly referred to as Lugdunum (and occasionally Lugudunum). The earliest translation of this Gaulish place-name as "Desired Mountain" is offered by the 9th-century Endlicher Glossary. In contrast, some modern scholars have proposed a Gaulish hill-fort named Lug[o]dunon, after the Celtic god Lugus ('Light', cognate with Old Irish Lugh, Modern Irish Lu), and dunon (hill-fort).

Modern day Lyon or Lyons is a city in east-central France, in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, about 470 km (292 mi) from Paris and 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais. Lyon had a population of 500,715 in 2013 and is France's third-largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the capital of the department of Rhone and the region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes. The metropolitan area of Lyon had a population of 2,237,676 in 2013, the second-largest in France after Paris.

From Wikipedia

Period: Imperial Rome. As the Roman Republic began to implode because of corruption and infighting among powerful members of the Roman Senate, a new type of Roman Republican coinage emerges, that of the military strongmen who dominated and fought among each other before the final fall of the Republic. The drama surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic is a story full of political intrigue, military action, betrayal, murder and sex scandals. Different parts of this story have been told and retold by ancient historians, modern day scholars, dozens of Hollywood movies and even an HBO miniseries. All of the actors in this great drama, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and the last man standing at the end of it all, Octavian (later known as the first emperor of Rome, Emperor Augustus) all minted coins during this time bearing their names and propaganda images supporting their factions and political ideals.

Culture: Ancient Rome. A famous catch phrase "Rome was not built in a day" definitely applies to the Roman civilization. Rome stated as a series of small villages among the famous seven hills of Rome along the river Tiber. Eventually through conquest, diplomacy, wise policies of indirect rule and assimilation, the Romans were able to not only unify the Italian peninsula, but though a series of brutal wars against regional powers established a great Empire that spanned Europe, Asia and Africa, making the Mediterrean Sea and "Roman Lake."

All Roman coinage can generally be divided into eight time periods as described below. An interesting thing about Roman coins minted during these eight time periods is that you can literally see the "Rise and Fall" of the Roman Empire on its coinage as the sharp imagery and pure silver and gold coins of the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period gradually devolves into crude, illegible and heavily debased coins of the "Barracks Emperors" and "Barbarian" Period.

Item created by: Chance on 2016-08-12 07:48:02. Last edited by gdm on 2016-08-12 15:58:55

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