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    Description

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AV aureus (20mm, 7.92 gm, 2h). NGC XF 5/5 - 2/5. Pergamum, 19 BC. AVGVSTVS, bare head of Augustus right; linear border / SIGNIS above, RECEPTIS below, capricorn right, foreleg raised; linear border. RIC 521. Calic├│ 272. BMCRE 680. BN 976, 979-980. Very Rare.

    This reverse type has a dual purpose: It celebrates the recovery of the legionary standards lost to the Parthians through the disastrous campaigns of Crassus (53 BC) and Mark Antony (36 BC), and also celebrates Augustus' natal sign of Capricorn. Augustus recovered the standards in 20 BC through diplomacy backed by military muscle. According to Suetonius, Gaius Octavius, later known as Augustus, was born the morning of September 23, 63 BC, under the sign of Capricorn. Later in life, he placed great stress on his natal sign, as related in this account by Suetonius: "In his retirement at Apollonia (a Greek colony in Illyria), Augustus went with his friend Agrippa to visit Theogenes the astrologer in his gallery on the roof. Agrippa, who first consulted the fates, had great and almost incredible things predicted of him. Augustus therefore did not wish to make known his nativity, and persisted for some time in the refusal, from a mixture of shame and fear, lest his own fate should be predicted as inferior to that of Agrippa. When Augustus had been persuaded, however, after much importunity, to declare his nativity, Theogenes started up from his seat and paid him adoration. Not long afterwards, Augustus was so confident of the greatness of his destiny that he published his horoscope, and struck a silver coin bearing the image of Capricorn, the sign under which he was born." While Capricorn was indeed a common motif on Augustus' silver denarius, it is much rarer on his gold issues.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2019
    25th-29th Thursday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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