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    Augustan Succession Crisis

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AV aureus (20mm, 7.79 gm, 2h). NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5. Lugdunum, 2 BC-AD 4. CΛESΛR ΛVGVSTVS - DIVI F PΛTER PΛTRIΛE, laureate head of Augustus right / ΛVGVSTI F COS DESIG PRINC IVVENT, Gaius and Lucius Caesars, both togate, standing facing and resting hands on shield; behind each, shield and spear; above, simpulum and lituus; in exergue, CL CΛESΛRES. RIC 206. Calicó 176. Deeply struck on a broad, round flan, with considerable luster in fields.

    After the death of his favorite nephew Marcellus. Augustus turned his hopes for the succession to the young Gaius and Lucius Caesars, his grandsons via his daughter Julia and his close friend Marcus Agrippa. Gaius was born in 20 BC and Lucius three years later. Augustus formally adopted them both and gave them an accelerated progress up the cursus honorum, or ladder of public offices. There are hints that being showered with honors and adulation may have gone to their heads, but history will never know whether their reigns would have been superior to what did come after Augustus, for they both suffered untimely ends. Lucius fell ill during a state visit to Gaul and died at Massalia in AD 2. Two years later, Gaius suffered a wound during a skirmish with the Parthians on the eastern frontier and died in Lycia. Augustus was thus forced to "settle" for his talented but dour stepson, Tiberius, as his eventual successor. Starting in 2 BC, the coinage of Augustus paid extensive homage to the intended heirs, including vast numbers of silver denarii struck at the new Imperial mint of Lugdunum (Lyon) and this attractive aureus type from the same mint. The issue continued for some time after the death of Lucius, but ceased with Gaius's demise in AD 4.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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