New Eastern Sestertius of Augustus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    AVGVSTVS - bare head of Augustus right / CA (within laurel wreath)
    Orichalcum Sestertius, Pergamum 27-23 BC
    34 mm / 24,91 gr
    RIC 501; Cohen 791; BMCRE 713; RPC 2233; Howgego, “Coinage and Military Finance: the Imperial Bronze Coinage of the Augustan East”, in NC 1982, p. 7, Class 2a, pl. 1, 9
    ex Savoca Online Auction 88, 25.10.2020, lot 228


    The exact meaning of the "CA" on this coinage, which included Asses, Dupondii, and the first orichalcum Sestertii, is not known. RPC suggests that C(aesar) A(ugustus) is perhaps the best explanation, although it could also stand for C(aesare) A(uctoritate). Some believe that CA is a representation of honorific wreaths to Augustus by the stabilised (C)ommunitas (A)siae.

    This CA in wreath type circulated in Asia and also in Cyprus and Northern Syria but is thought to be attributable to the mint at Pergamum.

    Following the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra, Augustus returned to Italy via Asia, most likely personally sanctioning at Pergamum the temple dedicated to himself and Rome. At the end of the civil war, Augustus sought to restore peace to the empire and to reinforce her frontiers. This was achieved by establishing diplomatic relations with the surrounding rulers, and the placement of Agrippa as proconsul of Asia Minor once Augustus had returned to Rome in 19 BC.
    Augustus spent the winter 21/20 BC on the island of Samos, opposite Ephesus, and travelled the province of Asia in the spring of 20 BC. According to Dio he then travelled north to Cyzicus and southeast to Syria.

    The coinage circulating in Asia may have well have inspired him to introduce orichalcum Sestertii in Rome as well, namely the influential series featuring the great altar of Lugdunum and portraits of Augustus and his successor Tiberius:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-10-28 um 17.59.27.png

    TI CAESAR AVGVSTI F IMPERATOR V - bare head of Tiberius left /
    ROM ET AVG - The great Altar of Roma and Augustus at Lugdunum, flanked by columns surmounted by statues of Victory right and left, the altar ornamented with row of uncertain objects along the top and three wreaths on the front panel.
    Ochichalcum Sestertius, Lugdunum AD 10-11 (under Augustus)
    36,43 mm / 22,06 gr
    RIC (Augustus) 240; BMCRE (Augustus) 572-3; CBN (Augustus) 1737; Cayon (Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano) 4; Cohen 28; Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values I) 1753

    Back in 38 BC Augustus, then still known as Caesar Divi Filius, had already introduced a prototype series of large bronze portrait coins, albeit made of reddish copper onstead of the yellow Orichalcum usually associated with Sestertii of the first Century AD:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-10-28 um 18.11.24.png

    CAESAR DIVI F - bare head of Octavian right
    DIVOS IVLIVS - wreathed head of Julius Caesar right
    Bronze Sestertius (?), southern Italy, 38 b.C.
    30,21 mm / 19,71 gr
    RPC 620; Crawford 535/1; Sear (Roman Imperators) 308; FITA, pp. 49-50 and pl. i, 14; Sydenham 1335; BMCRR Gaul 106; Babelon Julia 98-9; Cohen I, p. 22, 3.

    The last Sestertii featuring the portrait of Rome´s first Princeps were the largest AE denomination of the "Restitution" issue struck by the 13th Caesar, Nerva:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-10-28 um 18.24.25.png

    DIVVS AVGVSTUS – Laureate head of Augustus right
    Sestertius, Rome 96 a.D.
    34 mm / 20,4 gr
    Cohen 570, Sear 3076, RIC (Nerva) 136, BMC (Nerva) 149, CBN (Nerva) 141

    My gallery of the various Sestertius emissions of and for Augustus is only of budget quality, but high grade large portrait bronzes of his will cost a fortune.

    Please show your Augustan Sestertii (with or without portrait) and let me know if you have any further information about the CA issue!

    Attached Files:

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  3. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice Sestertius. These large-size coins are cool to own. :happy:
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Nice portrait on your new coin! And some really interesting information. I always just assumed the CA was for Caesar. But now I wonder...
    Anywho, here's some of my bronze Augustus coins:
    share237564393831303174.png 20190326_113902_A475C04F-3F88-4BF3-807B-61D128F4F709-406-0000008E85D006B5.png share3840727504783886034.png
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter


    After he had died of natural causes.

    Divus Augustus, 27 BC - 14 AD.
    Roman Æ as, 9.30 g, 28.4 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, issued under Tiberius, AD 22-30.
    Obv: DIVVS·AVGVSTVS·PATER, head of Augustus, radiate, left.
    Rev: PROVIDENT S C, Altar-enclosure with double paneled door; surmounted by uncertain ornaments.
    Refs: RIC 81; BMCRE 146; Cohen (Augustus) 228; RCV 1789.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Those are really some nice coins @Julius Germanicus - and quite historical as well. I just have an As, so I won't show it.
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  7. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    Congratulations for you new sestertius ! , unfortunately I don't have a coin to post.
  8. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Thank you for showing! What is the size / weight of that coin and where was it struck?
    Ryro likes this.
  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Thanks so much! I love your coins:singing:
    You caught me! I was posting while working so I cut corners:happy: 2 of the three have cool CMs with stories:cigar:
    In order,

    SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. 27 BC-AD 14. Æ As 24mm,. Struck circa 27-25 BC. Bare head right / AVGVSTVS within laurel wreath. McAlee 190; RPC I 4100. Good VF
    Former: fortunancient


    Hispania, Julia Traducta. 27 B.C.-A.D. 14 Æ 25 (24.9 mm, 10.27 g, 4 h). PERM CAES AVG, bare head left / IVLIA TRAD, in two lines within wreath.
    Countermarked “DD” (Decreto Decurionum) RPC 108; SNG Copenhagen 459.

    Augustus with Divus Julius Caesar
    (27 BC-14 AD) MACEDON. Thessalonica. Obv: ΘEOΣ.
    Wreathed head of Julius Caesar right; uncertain c/m on neck.
    Bare head of Augustus right; Δ below. RPC I 1554.
    Fine. 12.3 g.21 mm.

    The D has been interpreted as either a denomination mark (four assaria) or, more likely, a date - year four of the Actian era (28/7 BC). The ligate NK monogram has been generally accepted as a reference to Nero (Nerwn Kaisar). This is problematic considering that Thessalonica had abundant coinages issued under Claudius and Nero, such that countermarking these quite older coins would be unlikely. Touratsoglou(p. 105) follows Kraay's suggestion that the NK is an abbreviation for Nike (NiKh), and was applied to the coins during celebrations of the city's 50th anniversary of its grant of liberty by the Romans. All but two of the known specimens of this countermark occur on the coins of this first issue of Thessalonica, and the wear on the countermarks is nearly identical to that of the coins, suggesting that the countermarks could not have been applied very long after the coins entered circulation.
    Edessa, DonnaML and Julius Germanicus like this.
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