Arcus Octaviani or Actian Arch?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by cmezner, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Had been looking for one of this type, and I finally got it. So I started to do some research about the Actian Arch, as it is often called on descriptions; however, calls it Triumphal arch.

    The arch depicted on this coin was erected (one arch in Brundisium and one in Rome) by decree of the senate on the forum in remembrance of the triple victory of Octavian (over the Dalmatians in 35/34 BC and the return of the standard lost by Gabinius, over Antonius at the battle of Actium in 31 BC, and over Egypt in 30 BC). It is notable that the one arch monument is only known to us through this coinage: Octavian’s triumphal quadriga, on the spandrels were sculpted flying figures. According to Dio Cassio (51, 19, 1), it was a monument ornamented with reliefs from looted Egyptian trophies and from the triumph over Egypt. Appian (Civil Wars, Book V) who lists all the honors of Augustus, doesn’t mention a honorary arch at all.
    In contrast to the Parthian Arch, which actually was erected by the Romans, the Actian Arch is not unequivocally attested. Also, the location of the monument is disputed. Allegedly it was located spanning over a side arm of the Via Sacra, south of the Forum Romanum, between the temple of Divus Iulius and the temple of the Dioscuri, and it was replaced a decade later, in 19 BC, by the Parthian Arch of Augustus, which was built to celebrate the recovery by Augustus of the famous standards lost by Crassus to the Parthian empire at the battle of Carrhae, in 53 BC, also depicted on coins (RIC I 359). It is assumed that the reason for its replacement was the sinking of the site, which formerly was a swamp area.

    Quote from the Roman Forum Project: the exact location of the Actian Arch has not yet been determined and no fragments have been ascribed to it. The discussion of this monument is based upon secondary sources, literary works and the depiction of the arch on a contemporary coin.

    I'll call it "Triumphal arch" as does:)

    This is the coin:
    Uncertain mint in Italy (Rome or Brundisium?), Autumn 30 - Summer 29 BC
    19 mm, 3.62 g, 5h
    RIC I 267; RSC 123; CRI 422; Sear RCV I 1558; BMCRR 4348 (= BMCRE 624); Van Meter 29

    Ob.: Bare head right, anepigraphic
    Rev.: Triumphal arch showing a single span surmounted by a statue of Octavian in facing triumphal quadriga; IMP•CAESAR on the architrave.

    upload_2022-7-3_21-54-53.png upload_2022-7-3_21-55-8.png

    Please share your Triumphal arch coins and any information you may have about the Actian arch.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Nice coin with nice even wear.
    Two Thumbs Up.jpe
    cmezner likes this.
  4. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice!
    cmezner likes this.
  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great coin, it's good that you can read the inscription on the arch as they are usually hard to read.
    cmezner and Curtisimo like this.
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