Roman Empire

Augustus, Emperor 27 BC-AD 14

RIC 167a; BN 1373; BMCRE 451; RSC 137, Superb Extremely Fine

Lugdunum, ca. 15-13 BC. AVGVSTVS DIVI F, bare head of Augustus right. Reverse: IMP X, bull butting right.

The types and inscriptions of this denarius build on those of the preceding aureus. Here the bare head of Augustus, now of a less classicizing type, is surrounded by his name and an indictator of his descent (through adoption) from the deified Julius Caesar. Caesar is not explicitly named, but understood from the legend DIVI F (“Son of the God”). A bull appears again on the reverse, but now it seems to be preparing to charge, perhaps symbolizing the strength and power implied by the simple legend IMP X. One should be careful of a man acclaimed imperator by the army ten times just as one would be cautious in the face of a charging bull.