Augustus and Julius Caesar Bronze Dupondius or Sestertius 29mm (20.53 grams) Southern Italian mint, 38 B. Reference: Crawford 535/1; CRI 308; Sydenham 1335; RPC I 620 Certification: NGC Ancients.
F 4375823-115 Bare head of Octavian right; DIVI F behind, CAESAR before. Wreathed head of Divus Julius Caesar right; DIVOS before, IVLIVS behind. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus.23 September 63 BC - 19 August 14 AD was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, ruling from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian Octavii family. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir, then known as Octavianus (Anglicized as Octavian).
He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.
After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator.By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.
He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana (The Roman Peace).
The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia ; expanding possessions in Africa ; expanding into Germania ; and completing the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy.He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75. He may have died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius. Augustus was known by many names throughout his life. At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius (or Octavian) between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC (after Julius Caesar's death).
Upon his adoption, he took Caesar's name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards. He quickly dropped "Octavianus" from his name, and his contemporaries typically referred to him as "Caesar" during this period; historians, however, refer to him as Octavian between 44 BC and 27 BC. In 42 BC, Octavian began the Temple of Divus Iulius or Temple of the Comet Star and added Divi Filius (Son of the Divine) to his name in order to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers by following the deification of Caesar, becoming Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius. In 38 BC, Octavian replaced his praenomen "Gaius" and nomen "Julius" with Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, officially becoming Imperator Caesar Divi Filius. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, the Roman Senate voted new titles for him, officially becoming Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus.
It is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia, Illyria, when Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC. He rejected the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia and sailed to Italy to ascertain whether he had any potential political fortunes or security.Caesar had no living legitimate children under Roman law, and so had adopted Octavius, his grand-nephew, making him his primary heir. Mark Antony later charged that Octavian had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favours, though Suetonius describes Antony's accusation as political slander. After landing at Lupiae near Brundisium, Octavius learned the contents of Caesar's will, and only then did he decide to become Caesar's political heir as well as heir to two-thirds of his estate. Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name Gaius Julius Caesar. Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form e. Octavianus for one who had been an Octavius, Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius, etc. However, though some of his contemporaries did, there is no evidence that Octavius ever himself officially used the name Octavianus, as it would have made his modest origins too obvious. Historians usually refer to the new Caesar as Octavian during the time between his adoption and his assumption of the name Augustus in 27 BC in order to avoid confusing the dead dictator with his heir.
Octavian could not rely on his limited funds to make a successful entry into the upper echelons of the Roman political hierarchy. After a warm welcome by Caesar's soldiers at Brundisium, Octavian demanded a portion of the funds that were allotted by Caesar for the intended war against Parthia in the Middle East.This amounted to 700 million sesterces stored at Brundisium, the staging ground in Italy for military operations in the east. Octavian made another bold move in 44 BC when, without official permission, he appropriated the annual tribute that had been sent from Rome's Near Eastern province to Italy. Octavian began to bolster his personal forces with Caesar's veteran legionaries and with troops designated for the Parthian war, gathering support by emphasizing his status as heir to Caesar. On his march to Rome through Italy, Octavian's presence and newly acquired funds attracted many, winning over Caesar's former veterans stationed in Campania. By June, he had gathered an army of 3,000 loyal veterans, paying each a salary of 500 denarii.
In a meeting near Bologna in October 43 BC, Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus formed a junta called the Second Triumvirate. This explicit arrogation of special powers lasting five years was then supported by law passed by the plebs, unlike the unofficial First Triumvirate formed by Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Licinius Crassus. The triumvirs then set in motion proscriptions in which 300 senators and 2,000 equites allegedly were branded as outlaws and deprived of their property and, for those who failed to escape, their lives.
The estimation that 300 senators were proscribed was presented by Appian, although his earlier contemporary Livy asserted that only 130 senators had been proscribed. Rewards for their arrest gave incentive for Romans to capture those proscribed, while the assets and properties of those arrested were seized by the triumvirs. Contemporary Roman historians provide conflicting reports as to which triumvir was more responsible for the proscriptions and killing. However, the sources agree that enacting the proscriptions was a means by all three factions to eliminate political enemies.
Marcus Velleius Paterculus asserted that Octavian tried to avoid proscribing officials whereas Lepidus and Antony were to blame for initiating them. Cassius Dio defended Octavian as trying to spare as many as possible, whereas Antony and Lepidus, being older and involved in politics longer, had many more enemies to deal with. This claim was rejected by Appian, who maintained that Octavian shared an equal interest with Lepidus and Antony in eradicating his enemies. Suetonius presented the case that Octavian, although reluctant at first to proscribe officials, nonetheless pursued his enemies with more rigor than the other triumvirs.
Plutarch described the proscriptions as a ruthless and cutthroat swapping of friends and family among Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian. For example, Octavian allowed the proscription of his ally Cicero, Antony the proscription of his maternal uncle Lucius Julius Caesar (the consul of 64 BC), and Lepidus his brother Paullus. Battle of Philippi and division of territory. On 1 January 42 BC, the Senate posthumously recognized Julius Caesar as a divinity of the Roman state, Divus Iulius.Octavian was able to further his cause by emphasizing the fact that he was Divi filius , "Son of God". Antony and Octavian then sent 28 legions by sea to face the armies of Brutus and Cassius, who had built their base of power in Greece. After two battles at Philippi in Macedonia in October 42, the Caesarian army was victorious and Brutus and Cassius committed suicide. Mark Antony later used the examples of these battles as a means to belittle Octavian, as both battles were decisively won with the use of Antony's forces. In addition to claiming responsibility for both victories, Antony also branded Octavian as a coward for handing over his direct military control to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa instead. After Philippi, a new territorial arrangement was made among the members of the Second Triumvirate. Gaul and the provinces of Hispania and Italia were placed in the hands of Octavian. Antony traveled east to Egypt where he allied himself with Queen Cleopatra VII, the former lover of Julius Caesar and mother of Caesar's infant son Caesarion. Lepidus was left with the province of Africa, stymied by Antony, who conceded Hispania to Octavian instead. Octavian was left to decide where in Italy to settle the tens of thousands of veterans of the Macedonian campaign, whom the triumvirs had promised to discharge. The tens of thousands who had fought on the republican side with Brutus and Cassius could easily ally with a political opponent of Octavian if not appeased, and they also required land. There was no more government-controlled land to allot as settlements for their soldiers, so Octavian had to choose one of two options: alienating many Roman citizens by confiscating their land, or alienating many Roman soldiers who could mount a considerable opposition against him in the Roman heartland. There were as many as eighteen Roman towns affected by the new settlements, with entire populations driven out or at least given partial evictions. There was widespread dissatisfaction with Octavian over these settlements of his soldiers, and this encouraged many to rally at the side of Lucius Antonius, who was brother of Mark Antony and supported by a majority in the Senate. Meanwhile, Octavian asked for a divorce from Clodia Pulchra, the daughter of Fulvia (Mark Antony's wife) and her first husband Publius Clodius Pulcher. Fulvia decided to take action. Together with Lucius Antonius, she raised an army in Italy to fight for Antony's rights against Octavian. Lucius and Fulvia took a political and martial gamble in opposing Octavian, however, since the Roman army still depended on the triumvirs for their salaries. Lucius and his allies ended up in a defensive siege at Perusia (modern Perugia), where Octavian forced them into surrender in early 40 BC. Lucius and his army were spared, due to his kinship with Antony, the strongman of the East, while Fulvia was exiled to Sicyon.
Octavian showed no mercy, however, for the mass of allies loyal to Lucius; on 15 March, the anniversary of Julius Caesar's assassination, he had 300 Roman senators and equestrians executed for allying with Lucius. Perusia also was pillaged and burned as a warning for others. This bloody event sullied Octavian's reputation and was criticized by many, such as Augustan poet Sextus Propertius. Sextus Pompeius was the son of First Triumvir Pompey and still a renegade general following Julius Caesar's victory over his father.
He was established in Sicily and Sardinia as part of an agreement reached with the Second Triumvirate in 39 BC. Both Antony and Octavian were vying for an alliance with Pompeius, who was a member of the republican party, ironically, not the Caesarian faction.
Octavian succeeded in a temporary alliance in 40 BC when he married Scribonia, a daughter of Lucius Scribonius Libo who was a follower of Sextus Pompeius as well as his father-in-law. Scribonia gave birth to Octavian's only natural child, Julia, who was born the same day that he divorced her to marry Livia Drusilla, little more than a year after their marriage. While in Egypt, Antony had been engaged in an affair with Cleopatra and had fathered three children with her.Aware of his deteriorating relationship with Octavian, Antony left Cleopatra; he sailed to Italy in 40 BC with a large force to oppose Octavian, laying siege to Brundisium. This new conflict proved untenable for both Octavian and Antony, however. Their centurions, who had become important figures politically, refused to fight due to their Caesarian cause, while the legions under their command followed suit. Meanwhile, in Sicyon, Antony's wife Fulvia died of a sudden illness while Antony was en route to meet her. Fulvia's death and the mutiny of their centurions allowed the two remaining triumvirs to effect a reconciliation. In the autumn of 40, Octavian and Antony approved the Treaty of Brundisium, by which Lepidus would remain in Africa, Antony in the East, Octavian in the West. The Italian peninsula was left open to all for the recruitment of soldiers, but in reality, this provision was useless for Antony in the East. To further cement relations of alliance with Mark Antony, Octavian gave his sister, Octavia Minor, in marriage to Antony in late 40 BC. During their marriage, Octavia gave birth to two daughters (known as Antonia Major and Antonia Minor). Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing.
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