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Curia Julia, Home of the Senate

Octavian as sole Imperator (30-27 BC). AR denarius (3.86 gm). Mint in Italy, 29-27 BC. No legend, bare head of Octavian right / Facade of the Roman Senate house (Curia Julia), IMP CAESAR on architrave, showing central door with three windows above, colonnade along stepped platform, statue of Victory on globe at apex and two other statues of standing figures to either side. RIC 266. CRI 421. RSC 122. Sharply struck from fresh dies of outstanding style. Beautiful iridescent toning over lustrous surfaces. FDC.

From the Rubicon Collection.

During its long and storied history, the Roman Senate convened in a series of buildings, most famously the Curia Julia commenced by Julius Caesar in about 45 BC and finished by his successor Octavian/Augustus in 29 BC. This coin, struck in 29 BC to celebration completion of the project, gives a good idea of what the building looked like: A tall, rather austere brick structure with three large windows, topped by a gabled roof, resting on a stepped platform surmounted by a colonnade. A statue of Victory atop a globe graced the peak of the roof, with statues of other deities or notable Romans to either side. Augustus noted completion of the Curia Julia among the accomplishments listed in his Res Gestae: "I built the Senate House... with the power of the state entirely in my hands by universal consent, I extinguished the flames of civil wars, and then relinquished my control, transferring the Republic back to the authority of the Senate and the Roman people."

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Auction Dates
September, 2011
7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
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