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ID number:  BIRBI-R0874
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  G. Haines Collection
Collector:  Haines, Geoffrey
Maker:  Augustus (31 BC - AD 14)
Denomination:  As
Place made:  Mint of Rome
Culture:  Roman
Date made:  10-12
Metal:  Base metal
Weight (g):  11.20

Description:  Obverse: Bare head of Augustus.

As Augustus Caesar was never given an official rank as king of Rome he had to acquire titles which would justify his dominance over the Roman Empire, whilst upholding the idea that Rome remained a republic. Many of these titles are to be found on this coin. Imperator, which appears twice on this coin, was the traditional acclamation for a victorious general. Caesar was the adoptive name of Octavian (later Augustus) who had been adopted by Julius Caesar. Divi Filius is also a reference to Julius Caesar who was deified in 42 BC. Augustus is itself a title, specially granted to Octavian Caesar in 27 BC meaning divine or revered one. Pontifex Maximus, now the title of the pope, was the chief priest of ancient Rome. Tribunicia Potestate gave Augustus all the power of a Tribune of the Plebs. This meant that he could call an assembly of the people, sit in the Senate, veto any law, and that his person was sacred and inviolable.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: IMP•CAESAR•DIVI•F•AVGVSTVS•IMP•XX• (Imperator Augustus, Son of the Divine Caesar, Victorious General twenty times)
Reverse: PONTIF•MAXIM•TRIBVN•POT•XXXIIII (Chief Priest, [in his] thirty fourth Tribunician Power)) S C (Senatus Consulto, by permission of the Senate)

Bibliography:  Mattingly, H, and Sydenham, E. The Roman Imperial Coinage Vol I, Augustus to Vitellius (London 1948) Coin 219.

3 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
Haines, Geoffrey Colton
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