Silver Comet Denarius of Augustus

24 May 2022  Tue

Roman Caesar Augustus issued a coin that depicts a famous celestial event on the reverse. A silver denarius of Augustus (also known as Caesar Augustus), issued a silver coin circa 19 to 18 B.C. featuring Julian star.

The comet on the coin type is believed to be related to Augustus’ plans to hold the secular games in 17 B.C. After the death of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., comets were viewed as an omen relating to the Roman emperor.

This coinage reinforced the deification of Augustus. Augustus is shown wearing the oak wreath in symbol of the senate honoring him with the “Corona Civica” an honor bestowed upon a Roman who saves another Roman’s life. In this case, Augustus saved untold Roman lives by ending the civil war then raging in the empire.

The reverse of the coin shows the “Julian Star,” a bright comet that appeared in the heavens during the summer of 44 B.C., a few months after the assassination of Julius Caesar.

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