Coins of the Twelve Caesars – AUGUSTUSUS- read online

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THE TWELVE CAESAES (JULIUS TO DOMITIAN) ILLUSTRATED BY READINGS OF 217 OF THEIR COINS AND MEDALS

Twelve Caesars – AUGUSTUS COINS

[Of the twelve Caesars who exercised imperial authority at Rome from B.C. 47 to a.d. 96 Auqustus was the second. The one who preceded him was Julius Caesar, who ruled B.C. 47-44. The ten who succeeded him under this title were Tiberius, a.d. 14-37; Caligula, 37-41; Claudius, 41-54; Nero, 54-68; Galba, 68-69; Otho, 69; Vitellius, 69; Vespasian, 69-79; Titus, 79-81, and Domitian, 81-96.]

Caius Octavius Julius Caesar Augustus, second of the Caesars, Emperor of Rome B.C. 31 to a.d. 14, was born at Velitrae, twenty miles cast of Rome. September 23, B.C. 63. The rulers of the nation were SI Tullius Cicero, the orator, and C. Antonius, Consuls. Wonderful signs, it was asserted, preceded and followed his entrance into the world so long subjected to his control. His father was Caius Octavius, who in his time filled the offices of Military Tribune, Questor, Plebeian Aedilc, Judex Questiomim and Praetor. lie died when Augustus was a child. The mother was Atia, daughter of Julia, sister of Julius Caesar, who, upon the death of her first husband, married M. Marcius Philippus, Consul, B.C. 56. This grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, the subject of our sketch, was early thrust forward by doting friends upon the field of action. He was sufficiently precocious that at the immature age of twelve he delivered the funeral oration of his grandmother, Julia, who had conducted his education with the greatest care.

In his sixteenth year (viz. a.d. 46) he assumed the toga virilis, and was made a member of the College of Pontiffs, of which, many years later, he became Pontifex Maximus. In the great triumph of Julius Caesar, for his African victories, a.d. 46, which lasted several days, Augustus, then but sixteen years of age, was permitted by his great-uncle to ride on horseback behind the triumphal car. Vespasian imitated this, 117 years later, by admitting his son Domitian to his triumph. Augustus was with the army in Appollonia when the news of the assassination of Julius Caesar (March 15, B.C. 44) reached him.

He immediately departed for Italy and learned of his adoption into the Julia Gens, the family of which Julius was a member, and that the Dictator himself had made him his heir. The soldiers saluted him “Caesar,” and he assumed the name which is at the head of this sheet, save that the word “Augustus,” as an imperial title, was afterward added, Senatus Consulto, “by Decree of the Senate.” January, b.c. 43, Augustus was appointed to the command of the army, enjoying the title and insignia of Praetor, with peculiar privileges. Circumstances, always favorable to this son of fortune, soon threw the entire command into his hands. In August of that year he was made Consul by special ” S. C,” ten years earlier than the legal period. The first triumvirate between Augustus, Mark Antony and Lepidus was formed b.c. 43, for five years. The full expression of this combination was triumviri rei publicae constituendae, “a triumvirate for constituting the Republic.”

Their first act was to proscribe their personal enemies and destroy the Republican party, 2,000 Knights and 300 Senators perished. The triumvirs confiscated the estates of the murdered men for their own benefit and for bribes to the soldiers. In all this Augustus was equally cruel and rapacious with the others, and in this general storages the great Cicero fell. The battles of Philippi, October, b.c. 42, were gained by Augustus and Antony. These sealed the fate of the assassins of Caesar. B.C. 37 the office of triumvir was renewed for a second term of five years. November 13, b.c. 36, Augustus celebrated an ovation at Rome for his numerous successes. B.C. 33 he was again elected Consul, but resigned within one day. Lepidus was by this time quietly dropped from the triumvirate, and in b.c. 31 the final struggle began between Augustus and Antony.

The double fight (by sea and land) at Actium, September 2, b.c. 31, resulted in the complete success of Augustus and the ruin and speedy death of Antony. And now, for forty-five years, the life of Augustus, as the head of the Roman world, was comparatively quiet. The Senate and people vied with each other in devising for him new honors and distinctions, as they had done to Julius before him. Many extraordinary privileges were conferred. Augustus twice closed the temple of Janus, viz. B.C. 29 and 25 because peace had been restored throughout the empire.

Some authors say it was closed a third time about the period of the birth of Jesus. The title of ” Emperor forever ” was granted to Auguslus, also the name of Augustus (sacred, venerable, august), which was afterward conferred upon his successor, and continues in use among some of the European monarchs to the present day. . B.C. 23 he entered upon his eleventh and last Consulship. Then he accepted the imperittm proeonsulare for life, by which he became the highest authority in the Roman provinces; also the Iribunitia potestas for life, by which his inviolability was legally established and he was practically invested with the kingly power. He was formally exempted from the penal operation of all the laws of the Empire, and B.C. 12, on the death of his ancient partner, Lepidus, he entered upon the office of Pontifex Maximus.

Augustus constructed roads and works of public utility. The standards and prisoners lost in Purthia. by Antony, were restored under his rule. Every ten years he went through the form of resigning the Empire, but resumed it again at the formal request of the Senate. He adopted Tiberius, his step-son, to be his son and successor. He died in the arms of Livia, his faithful wife, at Nola, in Campania. August 29, a.d. 14, aged 76 years. In his last moments he inquired of his friends ” whether he had acted his part well in the drama of human life.” The first wife of Augustus was Clodia. the second Scribonia. by whom he had one daughter, Julia. Divorcing Scribonia, for cause, he took from her husband Livia Drusilla and made her his third wife. She was the mother of his successor, Tiberius.

The licentious behavior of his only daughter, Julia, was a source of great unhappiness to Augustus, and in general we may indorse the views of a distinguished writer, that “he was one of those unhappy men whom fortune surrounds with all her outward splendor and who can yet partake but little of the general happiness which they establish or promote.” The disaster to the legions in Germany under Varus, a d. 9, was the most serious misfortune that Augustus ever encountered. This subject is treated in the coin-sheet of Tiberius. A great celebration under the head of Seculares was held by Augustus B.C. 17, to commemorate the establishment of Rome e.c. 753. There are but few coins commemorating this event, and we must refer to the coinsheet of Domitian for engravings illustrating a similar celebration.

The birth of Jesus Christ, which occurred (according to the received era) e.c. 4, during the government of Augustus, has no recognition upon coins, nor should we expect it. But nine centuries later the portrait of the ” Child of the Star and long ” was impressed upon the money of Constantinople as “the King of Kings I ” Augustus was the earliest numismatic collector of whom we have the record. He made up a fine cabinet of coins from which he conferred presents upon his friends. This collection was probably burned with the library a.d. 80, in the reign of Titus. It is to the lasting fame of this Emperor that, in a great and munificent spirit, he gathered around him such a company of poets, historians and men eminent in the arts as no other Roman ruler had.

The names of Virgil, Horace, Ovid, etc., do not appear upon his coins, although ” The temples of the gods, The fanes of heroes and Cyclopean halls, His liberal hand adorned.” The denarius struck by Augustus was worth the ten asses which its name denotes. It contained about forty-five grains of pure silver, valued at fifteen cents Federal currency; but in the time of Gordianus Pius, 238- 244, the metal was adulterated by two-thirds of its value, having only fifteen grains of pure silver. Under Diocletian, 286-305, it recovered nearly its original purity. The appearance of the Wolf and Twins upon the coins of Roman Emperors for many centuries recalls the nervous lines of Byron, referring to the great bronze image of the wolf at Rome, that has been smitten with lightning: “And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome, She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart The milk of conquest yet, within the dome Where, as a monument of antique art, Thou standest! Mother of the mighty heart.

Where the great founder sucked from thy wild teat, Scorched by the Roman Jove’s ethereal dart. And thy limbs black with lightning,— dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge forget?” — ( Childe Harold, Hi., 88.)14 COINS OF AUGUSTUS. During the reign of Augustus, were born Caligula, Claudius, Galba and Vespasian, afterward Emperors. At the funeral of Augustus his body was borne to the pile on the shoulders of Senators, as was that of the good Nerva, eighty-four years later, and the ashes of those two princes were mingled in the same sepulcher. Compare this with the last decree of the Senate concerning Nero, viz., ” that he should be put to death more majorum” (in the manner of the fathers) that is, his head should be fastened in a fork (furca), and he be whipped to death 1 The Praetorian Guards, or body-guard of the Emperors, so often alluded to upon coins, first acquired their importance under the organization of Augustus.

Gibbon says these bands, whose licentious fury was the first symptom and cause of the decline of the Roman Empire, were increased by Augustus to the number of 15,000. Sensible that laws might color but that arms alone could maintain his dominion, he gradually formed this powerful body of guards in constant readiness to protect his person, to awe the Senate, and either to prevent or crush the first motions of rebellion. He distinguished these favored troops by double pay and superior privileges, but as their formidable aspect would at once have alarmed and irritated the Roman people, three cohorts only were stationed in the Capitol, the remainder being dispersed in the adjacent towns of Italy. After fifty years of public serv’tude, Tiberius assembled them at Rome in a permanent camp, fortified with skillful care and placed upon a commanding position.

 

 

WHAT THE COINS TEACH CONCERNING AUGUSTUS

Of twenty-four coins, silver and bronze, of the Emperor Augustus, from the illustrations on the fourth page. [The student will observe in these Readings:

First, that the size of a Coin does not always agree with the size of the picture.

Second, that each metal is distinguished by an abbreviation,—AV(am-um) standing for gold; AR (argentum) for silver; AE (aes) for copper, bronze or brass, words indiscriminately used in Numismatics.

Third, that there are few punctuation points on Coins, though sometimes introduced by engravers to facilitate Readings.

Fourth, that we do not reproduce the old forms of Greek letters here, but substitute modern type; and,

Fifth, that these Readings are prepared as well for the use of Learners as experts.’]

No. 1, AE. A Medallion struck by the people of Caesarea Augusta. The symmetry of the sheet is preserved by removing the two faces to opposite corners. Obverse. Unlaureate head of Augustus to the right. Beardless; bust not draped. Inscription: AVGVSTVS. Reverse. A wreath of laurel inclosing a ring, within which are letters of large size, C.A., for ” Caesarea Augusta.” Salduba. a city of Tarracon, in Spain, changing its name, adopted this in honor of Augustus. When Spain was divided between the Emperor and the people. Tarracon was made into a colony and peopled by veterans of the fourth Legion (Scythia), the sixth (Ferrutae or Iron-armed), and the tenth (Fretensis). This colony was»Immunis, that is exempt by the Emperor from public contributions and duties. Hence this medallion to commemorate so many benefits received from their most munificent patron. His continued victories are suggested by the laurel crown. As late as the Popedom of John XXII this was the primary city of Arragon.

No. 2, AR. Obverse. The unlaureate head of Augustus to the right. Inscription (abbreviated): TR POT VIII CAESAR AVG; (supplicd)-Tribunitia Potestate 8; Caesar Augustus. The words “Tribunitia Potestate” upon coins are always read in the ablative case, and translated ” exercising the Tribunitian Power”; here ” for the 8th time.” Reverse. Two male figures, togated, standing; their right hands are joined over an altar. Upon some coins of this stamp is seen a hog about to be immolated Legend (abbreviated): C ANTIST VETVS III VIR FOEDVS P R CVM GABIN; (supplied)—Cains Antistius Vetus Triumvir Foedus Populi Romani cum Gabinio —”Antistius Vetus, the Triumvir, a covenant of the Roman people with Gabinius.” This type was struck by Antistius, mint-master, in memory of the father, seeing that the elder under the name of Antistius sprung out of the Gabians, from a Latin city. It will be seen that the privileges assumed by these mint-masters to put whatever they pleased on the money, expired with Augustus.

No. 3, AE. The Obverse has the laureate head of Augustus with Inscription, ” Caesar, Son of the deified Augustus, Father of the Country.” Reverse. An Altar. From each side a winged figure of Victory faces inwards holding a palm-branch in one hand and a laurel wreath in the other. The altar is highly ornamented. Underneath are the words (supplied) Romae et Augusta— “To Rome and to Augustus.” This altar is usually styled ” the Altar of Lyons..” At the time Drnsus was in Germany, B.C. 11, the barbarians were preparing to cross the Rhine. Drusus, then at Lugdunum (now Lyons, France) invited all the cities of the province to display their loyalty to Rome by erecting a stately altar at the confluence of the Rhine and Saone. Sixty of the communities accepted the invitation. The altar was dedicated to Augustus (a god, by decree of the Senate), and the names of the sixty states were inscribed upon it. The colossal statue of the Emperor himself was set up within the municipal emblems of the sixty communities. It was dedicated August 10. B.C. 11, and a festival was instituted, which continued for several centuries to be annually solemnized with shows and musical performances.

No. 4, AE. Obverse. Unlaureate head of Augustus to the right. Inscription (abbreviated): SPQR CAESARI AVGVSTO; (supplied)—Senatus Populusque Romanus Caesari Augusto—” The Senate and Roman People to Augustus Caesar.” Reverse. A soldier to the left, in fine military attitude, as if looking earnestly toward a distant object. In his right hand, alabarum; in his left, a parazonium. Legend (supplied): Pro Salute et Reditu Jovi Optimo Maximo Sacra Vota Publice Suscepta— “For the safety and the return (of Augustus) to Jupiter, the Greatest and Best, the Sacred Vows are publicly made.” This coin forcibly illustrates the deference paid by the early Romans to the Emperor. A matter of a brief absence from the Capitol, which would now serve for a newspaper paragraph, was impressed upon a whole mintage of coins, distributed through all the land.

No. 5, AE. Struck at Italica, a city of Spain. The Obverse has the head of Augustus, with the word ” Bilbihs.” Reverse. A mounted warrior, lance in right hand, armed cap-a-pie, galloping to the right. The attitude of steed and rider is superb. Beneath is the word “Italica.” This horseman was the symbol of the ancient city of Bilbilis, then called “Italica.” When Augustus bestowed upon the city very great privileges, they gratefully struck coins in acknowledgment.

No. 6, AE. Reverse. The temple of Jupiter Tonans (” the Thunderer “) upon the Capitoline Hill. Four columns in front. Beneath are the words 10VI DEO—”To the god Jupiter.'” In the field the letters S. C, “Senatus Consulto, ” by Decree of the Senate. Augustus constructed many public works, as, for instance, the Forum, the temple of Mars the Avenger (Mars Ultor); and that of Apollo on the Palatine Hill. The one here figured was built by Augustus in devout gratitude for deliverance from great peril in a thunder-storm. To the treasury of this temple he presented at one donation, gold, gems and pearls to an immense amount.

No. 7, AR. Obverse. Unlaureate head of Augustus to the right. Inscription: Caesar Augustus. Reverse. The Civic Wreath given a Roman who saved the life of a citizen; composed of oak-leaves and acorns. Inscription: Ob Cives Servatos, “for saving citizens,” or “for preserving the lives of citizens.” (The engraver of this cut erroneously makes the word cives, civis.)

No. 8, AE. Obverse. Victory to the left, standing upon a globe. In her left hand is a palm branch; in her right, a laurel wreath. Inscription (supplied): Victoriae Augusti—” To the Victory of Augustus” (properly, “to the goddess Victory, tutelary of Augustus”). Reverse. Three military standards erect. Legend (abbreviated): CHO (for COH) PRAE PHIL; (supplied)—Cohortis Praetoriae Philippensis—” Of the Praetorian Cohort at Philiopi.” The victories at Philippi over the assassins of Caesar are too well known for comment. These standards are not legionary, but those of the Cohorts or lesser divisions. Mark Antony struck a very large number of coins of this class, and so did Gallienus nearly three centuries later.

No. 9, AE. The Obverse has the head of Augustus like No. 4. Reverse. A she-wolf, hungry and gaunt, to the right. Inscription (abbreviated): MVN ILERDA, Municipium Ilerda—”The City Ilerda.” This place, now Lerida, in Spain, lies in the bend of the river Sycor. Whether our wolf was the emblem of the city, or a token of the general domination of Rome expressed by this beast, may be debated. There is something horrible in the air of this Pyrennean wolf.

No. 10, AE. The Obverse has the head of Augustus like No. 4. Reverse. A vexillum erected upon an altar. Inscription (abbreviated): CAESAR AVGVSTA M PORCI CN FAD II VIR (with a dash over the II); (supplied)—Caesarea Augusta. Marca Porcio et CneoFado Duuniviris— ” The Colony of Caesarea Augusta; Marcus Porcius and Cneus Fadus being mint-masters.” No. 1 refers to the colony Caesarea Augusta in Spain. The standard upon the altar indicates the Roman reverence to the gods, whom they worshiped as the authors of all their goods and givers of all their power. In forming a colony, they first constructed an altar and placed a standard upon it, the united indicia of Divine and Roman power.

No. 11, AE. Obverse has the head of Augustus, with inscription: ” To the deified Augustus.” It will be remembered that Augustus, like Julius Caesar, was made ” a present god,” as Horace expresses it, even in his life-time, and priests and temples were consecrated to him as a divinity. Reverse. Neptune standing to the left. A dolphin in right hand; a trident in left. Ilis right foot is on a prow. Legend (supplied): Btrytus. The Colony Julia Augusta at Berytus, (now Beyrout, in Syria,) is referred to in our coin No. 4 of Julius Caesar. Pliny calls it Felix Julia, ” the Happy Julian Colony,” from Julius Caesar. The Phoenicians, in whose territory Beyrout stood, gave good aid to Augustus with their ships, at Actium, and he in gratitude bestowed corresponding benefits upon their cities. Hence this coin.

No. 12, AE. Obverse. Dnlaureate head of Augustus to the left, an unusual facing. Behind it a Caducaeus, as an emblem of much good. Inscription (supplied): ‘ The Emperor Augustus, Son of the deified Julius.” Reverse. A Labyrinth, which recalls that at Thebes or Memphis. Here it suggests the conquest of Egypt under Cleopatra, as the Caducaeus, the glory of Augustus, victor of nations. In a coin of Marcus Aurclius (a.d. 161-180) the same attribution appears with the addition of a crocodile. Pliny also describes labyrinths at Crete, Lemnos and Italicus.

No. 13, AE. The Obverse is not figured here. Reverse. A colonist driving a yoke of oxen to the left, like coin No. 4 in Julius Caesar. Legend: tEmerita. Augusta Emerita was a city in Spain, on the Tagus, now called Merida. It was named from the meritorious character of the soldiery by whom Augustus colonized it, and they struck this coin in gratitude for favors received from the Emperor. After the battle of Actium. Augustus disbanded a large part of his legions, and with them formed numerous colonies along the frontiers of the Empire, all of which appear in coins.

No. 14, AE. A Greek Imperial, struck at Cydonia, at Crete. Reverse. A she-wolf, gaunt and hideous, suckling a boy. Legend (abbreviated): KYAON. (Supplied): KYAflNIA—” Cydonia.” The people of Cydonia, one of the principal cities of Crete, struck this coin to Augustus in gratitude for restoring their liberty. Like the Phoenicians, they had aided him in his contests with Antony, and in return received valued privileges.

No. 15, AE. A Greek Imperial, struck at Antioch, Cilicia. The Obverse has the head of Augustus, with inscription (Anglice): ” Caesar Augustus, the (High) Priest.” Reverse. An elegant and complicated crown. Legend: APXIEPATIKON ANTIOXEI2 —”The Pontificia (Pontifical condition) by the people of Antioch.” Upon the death of Lepidus, the Pontifex Maximus, B.C. 12, that office was assumed by Augustus, whereupon the magistrates of the pontifical college at Antioch struck this coin in commemoration. The crown is the one styled Corona Pontificia.

No. 16, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Cos. Reverse. The club of Hercules and a Serpent, wound about a wand to the left. Legend: 20*OKAH2 KSHfiN—”Sophocles: of the Cossans.” Sophocles — a common name in that region to this day — was praefeot, either of the temple of Hercules in the city of Cos, or of the island itself. The Cossans were devout worshipers of Hercules, whose club distinguishes the coin. The serpent, twisted about the rod, refers to a richlyendowed temple of Esculapius which stood on that island.

No. 17, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Segestes, in Sicily. The Obverse has the head of Augustus, with the words, ” Or the Segesteans.” Reverse. Aeneas to the left, carrying his father Anchises and his penates, or household gods, from the city of Troy. lulus, the youthful son of Aeneas, is seen following. The Legend, if there was any, is abraded. The affecting story of Aeneas bearing his aged father from the burning city is a familiar one.

No. 18, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Damascus, Syria. Reverse. The tutelary god of the city of Damascus seated, to the left, upon a pile of rocks, her head adorned with a turreted crown. In her left hand is an overflowing cornucopiae; in her right a couple of dates, the fruit of the palm, abundant in thai region, and an emblem of abundance; or, they may be prunes, for which Damascus is famous. Beneath her feet is the figure of a man, with his arms in the attitude of swimming. This is also an emblem of the neighboring city of Antioch, and implies that the two cities united in striking this coin to Augustus.

No. 19, AE. This is a Restoration Coin, struck in honor of Augustus, by the Emperor Titus (a.d. 79-81). Reverse. A funeral altar, styled “the Altar of Providence,” having horns at the corners. Legend (supplied): Imperator Titus Vespasianus Augustus Restituta—” The Emperor Titus Vespasian Augustus; a restored coin.” S. C, Senatus Consulto, “By Decree of the Senate.” Providentiae for Ara Providentiae, ” the Altar of Providence.” Titus did himself credit in his brief reign by restoring the coins of his more worthy predecessors.

No. 20, AE. A Restoration Coin of Augustus, like No. 19, but struck by the Emperor Nerva (a.d. 96-98). Reverse. Thunder-bolts (fulmina). Inscription (supplied): Imperator Nerva Caesar Augustus Restorata, ” The Emperor Nerva Caesar Augusta; a restored coin.” S. C, Senatus Consulto, “By Decree of the Senate.” Nerva, like Titus, reigned but two years; but in that interval made himself a good name in the mint by restoring the coins of his honored predecessors.

No. 21, AE. A Restoration Coin of Nerva, like Nos. 19 and 20. Reverse. A globe, with the prow of a ship in front. Legend: the same as No. 20.

No. 22, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Smyrna. Obverse. The jugated heads of Augustus and his wife Livia to the right. His head is laureate, the only instance of the kind upon this sheet. Her bust is modestly draped. Inscription (in Greek): 2MYPNAIOI 2EBA2T0I2—”The Smyrneans to the Augustus’s” (or, ” to the Emperor and Empress”). Reverse. A Female Figure to the front, with turreted head. In her right hand a scepter, in her left a gloriola. Below her left arm an eagle stands upon a short piHar. Legend: AIONY2I02, KOAAYBA2I02 — “Dionysius Collybasius,” praefect of the city. The union of the two heads on the Obverse denotes concord. The group on the reverse, probably, represents the glory of Rome. Livia was the mother of Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus; also of the elder Drusus, by her first husband. She then married Augustus, and was made his executor.

No. 23, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Samos. The Reverse has the head of Augustus, like the preceding, with the inscription, ” the Senate of the gods.” Obverse. Head of Livia, wife of Augustus, to the right. Under her chin, a crescent. Head is most elaborately dressed. Inscription: MHNH 2AMION—”The Luna of the Sameans.” This crescent emblem, now the national attribution of the Moslem, is common enough upon ancient coins.

No. 24, AE. A Greek imperial, struck at Samos, like the last. The Reverse has the head of Augustus, with inscription as No. 23. Obverse. Head of Livia, wife of Augustus to the right. Drapery of bust fastened at right shoulder with a button. Head decorated much as in the last. Inscription: 0EAN PilMHN—” The goddess, Rome.”

The frequent appearance of standards upon the coin-cuts given in these sheets will excite the interest of the reader. An army, under the Romans, recalls the vivid language of the Hebrew,— it was emphatically “an army with banners.” The rabbinical writers describe the great standards of the twelve tribes of Israel with minuteness. They were all prominent objects, as the Crowned Lion for Judah, the ravening Wolf for Benjamin, etc. But those of the Romans were more simple. The oldest military standard was the manipulus, or bundle of hay fastened to the top of a pole. Hence the term maniple, applied to the company or smaller section of the forces. This was afterward changed for a spear adorned with shields, images of the gods and the figure of an open hand (see our coin No. 2 of Caligula).

The standard of the Legion itself was an eagle, ordinarily of silver, sometimes of gold (or gilt), perched, as it were, with expanded wings, upon the top of a spear. But various Legions had, besides their eagle, some distinctive objects, as the boar, the stork, the ox, etc. etc. The standard of the Cavalry (Vexillum) was square, as in Nos. 4 and 10 of our coins of Augustu s. The standards of various Legions are depictured upon the coins of the Antonia Gens, of which Mark Antony was chief. The Obverses of these denarii show a galley with ten or twelve oars on a side; the prow armed with a trident and bearing a vexillum; the epigraph is ANT AVG III VIR RPC.

The Reverses exhibit three military standards each, the center being an eagle with wings spread as for flight. The two on the sides are garnished with shields, the crescent moon, and other objects. In the field of the coin are the letters denoting the enrolled number of the Legion, viz.: LEG II; LEG IIII; LEG VI; LEG VIII, etc., up to XXIII. These Legions had served under Mark Antony with great devotion. His coins also present epigraphs complimentary to the Cohorts, as Cohortium Praetoriarum, and Cohortis Speculatorum. The naval forces are not forgotten in these numismatical compliments, as we see by LEG CLASSICAE. Two of the Legions are named as well as numbered, viz., the Lybica and Antiqua. In the coins of Gallienus, nearly three centuries later, every Legion has its peculiar name and is designated by some well-known object, which was selected by the Legions (corresponding somewhat to the modern idea of corps-badges), such as the Goat, Pegasus, the god Mars, the Wolf and Twins, the Boar, the Centaur, the goddess Minerva, etc.

Augustus coins

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