Augustus

Reece Period attributed: Period 1

Obverse image of a coin of Augustus

Member of the Julio-Claudians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from -31 until 14.

Augustus (born Gaius Octavius) was the great nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar. In the years immediately after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, Augustus and Mark Antony (Caesar's closest friend and ally) set out to avenge his murder. Within a decade, however, relations between the two had broken down and the Roman World was plunged into civil war. By 31 BC Augustus had emerged as the undisputed victor: Rome's first emperor.

Rome had been a republic for centuries since the fall of its kings and was ruled by the Senate (its supreme political body) and the Roman people. Augustus was anxious that his political position was acceptable to everyone. He based his powers on traditional political offices and presented himself as the "first man" of the Senate rather than as a king. In this way he cleverly preserved the ideals of the Roman Republic.

In about 23 BC, Augustus reformed the coinage. He continued to produce the gold aureus and the silver denarius, but introduced a series of new copper-alloy denominations. The new coinage system was more advanced than anything the ancient world had seen.

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 205 examples.

Record: YORYM-40C2E2
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A silver denarius of Augustus dating to th…
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Record: IOW-00DA32
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete Roman copper-alloy as of Aug…
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Record: DENO-9B1B99
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete silver Roman denarius of Aug…
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Record: LEIC-35CCA5
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman gold aureus of Augustus (31 BC-AD
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Other resources about Augustus

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Augustus.

Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Augustus
  • Full names:
    • Augustus
    • Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire, Consul of the Roman Republic, Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Religion, Consul of the Roman Republic, Emperor of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Julius Caesar
  • Successor: Tiberius
  • Definition: (For other people with similar names, see Gaius Octavius or Gaius Julius Caesar.) Augustus (Latin: Imperātor Caesar Dīvī Fīlius 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 was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian Octavii family. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir, then known as Octavianus (Anglicized as Octavian). He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward facade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana (The Roman Peace). The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia; expanding possessions in Africa; expanding into Germania; and completing the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75. He may have died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.
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  • Other title(s):
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
    • Consul of the Roman Republic
    • Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Religion
    • Julio-Claudian Dynasty
    • Consul of the Roman Republic
    • Emperor of the Roman Empire
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