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Aureus, struck 19-4 BC in Rome.
Obv.: TVRPILIANVS IIIVIR FERO, Feronia bust, diad., dr., r.
Rev.: CAESAR / AVGVSTVS, two laurel-branches flanking oak-wreath enclosing O C S.
RIC² 286 (R3); BMC 6
Picture: Numismatica Ars Classica

 Romanatic-ID: 372

Simon Wieland

19:23:37, 08.02.2009
Note by Numismatica Ars Classica:
As Rome’s first emperor, Augustus bridged the gap between Republic and Empire, from imperium to auctoritas. In terms of coinage, he initially retained two numismatic relics of the Republic: collegium of moneyers and the substantial issuance of non-Imperial portrait types. This aureus, issued in about 19 B.C., retains both of those Republican qualities, for the emperor’s portrait is absent and the moneyer’s name is prominent. This aureus names P. Petronius Turpilianus, clearly the dominant member of Augustus’ earliest collegium of moneyers to sign coins at Rome as about half of the more than forty issues of the collegium bear his name. Turpilianus struck aurei and denarii with obverses bearing the heads of Augustus, the Liber (Bacchus) and Feronia, a goddess worshipped by the Sabines and the Etrurians, and considered by the Greeks to be the goddess of flowers and of emancipation from slavery. The reverse type of CAESAR AVGVSTVS with O C S within an oak wreath harkens back to his being awarded the title Augustus by the Senate in 27 B.C., and to the privilege he enjoyed of decorating his doorposts with an oak wreath and laurel branches. This was a highly important distinction to Augustus, who was never shy about promoting his various honours, for he maintained the official line that his powers were derived through his influence, authority and prestige (auctoritas).