Immediately after his great-uncle Julius Caesar’s assassination on the Ides of March, 44 B.C, Octavian was undergoing military service in Apollonia. When news of Caesar’s death reached Octavian, he went against the advice of army officers and sailed to Rome to determine his fate. Upon reaching Rome, he found that Caesar had adopted Octavian, making him his primary heir. After adopting his great-uncle’s name, Octavian set about carrying out his will. He needed massive funds to achieve Caesar’s wishes, and he demanded 700 million sesterces as the proportion of the funds set aside by Caesar for his Parthian Campaign. Using this fund to raise an army against the Senate’s enemy Mark Antony, Octavian found large support within the senate and Caesar’s veteran legionaries. While Octavian was enjoying rising popularity, tensions in the Senate ran high. Consul Mark Antony, another of Caesar’s former generals, was seeking the province of Cisalpine Gaul as his consulship was coming to its end. In the face of Octavian’s new army, he left Rome for Cisalpine Gaul. The previous governor of Cisalpine Gaul however, would not yield his province to Antony. After Antony laid siege against the Governor, military action was deemed necessary. On 1 January 43 BC, Octavian was made senator and granted propraetor imperium, or the power to lead an army. He led his army to relieve the siege of Cisalpine Gaul along with the two consuls, and eventually succeeded in defeating Antony’s forces in April 43 BC. However, in this battle both consuls were killed, leaving Octavian as the commander of their armies. After marching on Rome with his eight legions, he was elected consul on 19 August 43 BC along with his relative Quintus Pedius as co-consul. Octavian, AR Denarius. Military mint, 43 BC. 3.81g. C CAESAR IMP, Bare Head of Octavian right || SC, Equestrian Statue of Octavian left, right hand raised. Crawford 490/1, CRI 131, RSC 246 This issue of Octavian holds special significance as it was the first portrait of the young Octavian to ever appear on Roman coinage. Minted at a military mint traveling with Octavian in Cisalpine Gaul, these denarii would have seen usage as pay for Octavian’s earliest soldiers. This issue was minted during a crucial time for Octavian and Rome itself, during his first conflict with Antony, eventually a conflict that would foreshadow the fall of the republic itself. Post your Octavian Portraits!