Octavian & Julius Caesar

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ken Dorney, May 10, 2018.

  1. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Saw this thread pop back up and hoped Ken Dorney was back!.. oh darn... miss his posts.
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  3. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Thank you so much for your answer. You put me out of my misery :) Dupondius it is, ... at least for me.

    I kept searching and found that the weight of a Dupondius should be about 2 As, which is more or less the weight here.
    octavius likes this.
  4. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter


    18,38 g - 30 mm

    The word sestertius sometimes used for this coin is not correct; the denomination sestertius in fact only applies to large bronzes, from the monetary reform of Augustus, around 23 BC.
    Its usual weight rather leads to compare it to the rare tressis/tripondius (three asses) struck by Marcus Antoninus the same year. For convenience, however, these coins are most often qualified as dupondius, like the large bronzes struck in Gaul at the same period.
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Augustus 9.jpg
    AE Dupondius
    OBVERSE: CAESAR DIVI F, bare head of Octavian right
    REVERSE: DIVOS IVLIVS, wreathed head of Julius Caesar right
    Gallic or Italian mint 38 BC
    30mm; 17.90 g
    CR535/v1, RPC620v
  6. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    I think that is the best explanation.

    A weight of three Asses would put this emission (just like the largest denomination of Antonius´ AE coinage) right in the middle between a Dupondius and a Sestertius. Calling it a Sestertius would be an anachronism, as the brass Sestertius with a nominal weight of 27 grams was only introduced 15 years after 38 BC.

    The proto-Dupondius Julius Caesar struck in 45 BC (RPC 601) however was made of yellow orichalcum and had an average weight of 14,8 grams, just like the bronze Dupondii Antonius struck in 38 BC.

    This coin here was clearly a different denomination, as is was made of reddish bronze and had an average weight of 20,0 grams (just like the largest bronze coins of Antonius´ fleet coinage, RPC 1453). Therefore I would call this a "Proto-Sestertius".
    It was the first bronze coin featuring the single portrait of a living or (in this case and) a deceased ruler, and was therefore the obvious model for all portrait Sestertii to come.
    It was also struck in large numbers (at least 23 obverse dies were used and dozens more for contemporary imitations) and remained the predominant large bronze coin until it was replaced by the familiar brass Sestertii of Augustus and his successors.

    I got mine at this week´s Roma auction:
    It may not be the highest grade, but it has clean surfaces, is well centered, of fine style, and does not look tooled (a combination rarely found in affordable specimens).
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