The Roman Empire
Estimate: 1'500 CHF
Starting price: 1'200 CHF
Price realized: 1'200 CHF
Octavian, as Augustus 27 BC – 14 AD
Sestertius, Pergamum circa 25 BC, Æ 25.44 g. AVGVSTVS Bare head r. Rev. CA within laurel wreath. C 791. BMC 713. RIC 501. Howego, NC 1982, Class 2 (Commune Asiae). CBN 953. RPC 2233.
Dark green patina, usual minor areas of weakness, otherwise good very fine
Privately purchased Tom Cederlind 2008 NYINC
The mint attribution of this sestertius as well as other “CA” coinage, has long been the subject of debate among scholars. The coins circulated in Asia and also in Cyprus and Northern Syria. However, the meaning of the CA has always remained ambiguous and the range of styles associated with this CA coinage make mint attribution problematic. As discussed in RPC Vol. 1, pages 380-381, the CA was initially thought to represent either the mint Caesaraugusta in Spain or Caesarea in Judaea, however other interpretations include Commune Asiae (as put forth by Howego), Caesar Augustus or Caesaris Auctoritate. Was the CA an indication of the mint or Commune Asiae or an ethnic relating to the emperor? RPC points out that both cases are possible and mentions potential imitations of the ethnic at both Sardis and Cyprus which could support each possibility respectively. Perhaps the fact that the only other reverse type is AVGVSTVS in a wreath makes it more likely that the CA relates to the emperor. The authors of RPC express a slight preference for Caesar Augustus while emphasising the inconclusiveness of interpretations to-date.