AUGUSTUS DENARIUS – CLIPEUS VIRTUTIS AND STANDARS EMISSION OF 19 BC – CHOICE AU FINE STYLE NGC GRADED ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN OF THE 12 CAESARS (Inv. 15459)
ROMAN EMPIRE. AUGUSTUS, 27 BC – AD 14.
Silver Denarius, 3.91 g, 18 mm. Minted at an uncertain Spanish mint, perhaps Colonia Patricia (Lyon), ca. 19 BC.
Obv. CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head of Augustus right.
Rev. SIGNIS RECEPTIS, aquila and standard on either site of the Clipeus Virtutis (“The Shield of Valor”) inscribed CL V, S P Q R in field.
RIC I 86a.
NGC graded CHOICE AU, Strike 4/5, Surface 5/5, FINE STYLE, struck in high relief.
The intricate reverse type refers to two widely celebrated events of Augustus’ reign – the return of the standards lost to the Parthians years before through diplomacy, and the “Shield of Valor”, a special award presented to the emperor by the Senate and People of Rome (S P Q R). A important subject for Augustan propaganda, the Clipeus Virtutis is among the many honors received by Augustus that he mentions his autobiography, the Res Gestae: “In my 6th and 7th consulships, after I had put an end to the civil wars, having by universal consent acquired control of all affairs, I transferred government from my own authority to the discretion of the Senate and people of Rome. For this service of mine, by decree of the Senate I received the name Augustus, and the doorposts of my house were publicly decked with laurels, a civic crown was fixed above my door, and a gold shield was set up in the Julian senate house, the inscription to which testifies that it was given to me by the Senate and people of Rome in honor of my fortitude, clemency, justice, and piety” [Res Gestae, 34, as translated in K. Chisholm, Rome – The Augustan Age]. Although the original Clipeus Virtutis from Rome has not survived, a marble copy of the monument is preserved in Arles, France.