27 BC - AD 14
AR Denarius. 3.75g, 20.3mm
MINTED: Lugdunum mint, 2 BC - AD 12
REF: RIC 207; BMCRE 533; RSC 43
OBVERSE: CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE, laureate head right.
REVERSE: AVGVSTI F COS DESIG PR[INC IVVEN]T, Gaius and Lucius Caesars standing facing, two shields and two spears between them; simpulum and lituus above; C L CAESARES in exergue.
Very Fine. Bright, lustrous surfaces with a bit of granularity.
Interesting type featuring Gaius and Lucius, Augustus's grandsons, whom the emperor had once hoped would eventually succeed him. Unfortunately, both of them died before Augustus - Lucius in AD 2 at the age of 18, and Gaius in AD 4 at the age of 23.
Augustus, known earlier in his life as Octavian, was the founder of the Roman Empire. He was 19 years old when he was named the heir of Julius Caesar, his grand uncle, when the latter was assassinated in March 44 BC by a group of senators. The inexperienced youth had to walk a perilous path during that tumultuous period, but with the loyalty of Caesar's veteran soldiers, he and his ally Mark Antony were able to inflict total political and military defeat upon Caesar's assassins. In the ten years that followed their victory, Octavian consolidated his power base in Rome and surrounded himself with able generals and faithful followers, while Antony was left to rule the Roman provinces in the east.
Full scale civil war erupted between the former allies in 31 BC, and Octavian had the Roman Senate denounce Antony as a traitor and declare war on him and his lover, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the naval battle in 31 BC, and fleeing back to Egypt, they both committed suicide, leaving Octavian the sole ruler of the Roman world.
As Princeps Civitatis, or First Citizen of the State, Augustus, as he now called himself, carefully maintained the illusion of the old Republic, though he was in fact emperor in all but name. He spent the next decades overhauling the Roman bureaucracy, military, and economy, constructing public roads and buildings on an unprecedented scale. He expanded the borders and sphere of influence of his new Empire while establishing a long-lasting peace within. At the end of his life, he is said to have proclaimed, "I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble". He died in AD 14, at the age of 75, having ruled for 40 years.
AUGUSTUS . 27 BC - AD 14 . AR Denarius . Gaius & Lucius - Grandsons of Augustus
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