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    Description

    Octavian Rules the Waves

    Octavian as Sole Imperator (31-27 BC). AV aureus (22mm, 7.49 gm, 6h).  Italian mint, possibly Rome, 30-29 BC. Draped bust of Diana Siciliensis right, shoulders bare, the hair drawn back and coiled into two rolls on top and back of head; behind neck, bow and quiver / IMP • CAESAR on frieze, tetrastyle temple containing a naval and military trophy set on prow; in pediment, triskeles; above, at corners, aplustre. RIC I 273. CRI 418. Calicó 206 (this coin illustrated). BMCRE 643. BN 91. Extremely rare. A few minor surface nicks, but boldly struck on an exceptionally broad flan from dies of superior style. NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 3/5.

    From The Lexington Collection. Ex Triton XI (New York City, 8 January 2008), lot 651; Biaggi Collection, 105.

    The naval trophy depicted on the reverse of this rare and beautiful aureus celebrates the two great naval victories that secured Octavian's bid for supreme power-- off Naulochus Cape near Sicily over the "pirate king" Sextus Pompey in 36 BC, and over his rival triumvir Mark Antony and his Egyptian consort Cleopatra VII at Actium in 31 BC. The image on the obverse is likely that of Diana Siciliensis, an image of the huntress goddess worshipped on Sicily, and thus a further allusion to the defeat of Sextus Pompey. 




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
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