Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 101   |   24 October 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 83

Estimate: 3'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'400 CHF Price realized: 2'400 CHF
Octavian as Augustus, 27 BC – 14 AD. C. Sulpicius Plaetorinus. Denarius 13 BC, AR 3.87 g. CAESAR – AVGVSTVS Bare head of Augustus r. Rev. M AGR[IPPA] PLATORINVS III VIR Bare head of M. Agrippa r. C Agrippa and Augustus 3. BMC 112. RIC 408. CBN 533.
Very rare. Lovely light iridescent tone, struck on a narrow flan, otherwise good very fine
Ex Glendining’s 27 May 1941, Rev. W. L. Gantz, 709 and M&M 81, 1995, 208 sales.
Marcus Agrippa was the architect of Augustus’ military success for more than three decades, and otherwise was his greatest supporter in all realms of public life. Agrippa was wise to attach himself to Augustus rather than to Mark Antony, and wiser still in subsequent years to control his ego and to accept a position second to Augustus, for it he was awarded with a lifetime of rewards and eternal fame. Though there can be no doubt Augustus was the genius behind the transformation of Rome from a republic to an empire, Agrippa’s influence and importance in the process should not be underestimated.
On this coin Agrippa is honoured with an imperial portrait, which not only marked him as the heir-apparent to Augustus, but which identified his position within the dynasty. The occasion was the joint-renewal of tribunician powers of Augustus and Agrippa in 13 B.C. The ceremony and its related celebrations were held in Rome, to which both men had recently returned – Augustus from Gaul and Agrippa from the East. It was a moment of peak glory for Agrippa, though it would not long endure, for he died the following year. On this coin Agrippa is shown bareheaded, in the same fashion as Augustus. Two other denarii – one from this moneyer of 13 B.C. and another from the moneyer Lentulus in 12 B.C. – show Agrippa wearing a crown of city walls and ship’s rams that represent his numerous military achievements on land and at sea.

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