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US Coins Signature Auction #1327 postponed to February 23 - 25. Get details.

    Description

    A Pair of Doomed Heirs

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AV aureus (20mm, 7.69 gm, 12h). Lugdunum (Lyon), 2 BC-AD 4. CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE, laureate head of Augustus right / AVGVSTI F COS DESIG PRINC IVVENT, Caius and Lucius Caesars standing facing, shield and spears between them; simpulum and lituus above; in exergue,  [CL CAESARES]. RIC 206. Calic├│ 176.  With an exceptional high-relief portrait, crisply struck, with lustrous fields. NGC MS 4/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    This outstanding aureus displays the succession arrangements Augustus hoped to implement for the Roman state. After the death of his favorite nephew Marcellus. Augustus turned his hopes for the succession to the young Caius and Lucius Caesars, his grandsons via his daughter Julia and his close friend Marcus Agrippa. Caius 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. He also carefully supervised their education and displayed them at public events to endear them to the populace and army. 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 in Massalia in AD 2. Two years later, Caius suffered a wound during a skirmish with the Parthians on the eastern frontier and died in Lycia. Augustus was devastated and spent the rest of his reign sunk in depression. Their deaths cleared the way for Tiberius, Augustus' dour son-in-law via his wife Livia, and rumors abounded that she had somehow conspired the deaths of Caius and Lucius, and possibly that of Marcellus as well. Such speculation makes for lurid reading and viewing (most notably in the novels and TV series "I, Claudius"), but the disparate circumstances of their deaths leaves for little doubt of Livia's innocence.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,598

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    I wish to extend our appreciation to you for over $925,000.00 realized from the above subject auction. This amount realized was approximately $110,000.00 more than we anticipated.
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