ROMAN EMPIRE. AUGUSTUS, 27 BC-14 AD.
Silver Denarius, 3.92 g., 20 mm., minted in Spain (perhaps Colonia Caesaraugusta), ca. 19-18 BC..
Obv. CAESAR AVGVSTVS, aureate head of Augustus righ.
Rev. DIVVS IVLIVS, comet with tail upward.
RIC 102; BN p. 196, 1339*, pl. LIV, citing a specimen from Munich.
Ex Birkler & Waddell II, 12/11/1980, 288.
NGC graded CHOICE XF, Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5. This historic coin depicts the comet that appeared in July of 44 BC just at the time when Octavian was commemorating Julius Caesar’s assasination with games. Octavian immediately interpreted the comet as a divine sign confirming the transformation of Caesar into a god and calling it the “Sidus Iulium” (“Caesar’s star”). The comet was quickly integrated into the iconography of Roman art as a symbol of the deification of Julius Caesar, and enabled Octavian to proclain himself a “divi filius” (“son of a god”).