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528364
528364.

Julia Augusta (Livia). Augusta, AD 14-29. Æ (24mm, 6.69 g, 12h). Augusta (Cilicia) mint. Dated CY 48 (AD 67/8). Draped bust right / Tyche seated right on throne, holding grain ears; below, river-god Sarus swimming right. RPC I 4013; cf. SNG Levante 1238. Green patina, a few marks. Good VF. An attractive portrait.


During the power struggle that marked the latter stages of the Second Triumvirate, one of Octavian’s canniest decisions was to divorce his first wife, Scribonia, and marry Livia Drusilla, a member of the prestigious Claudian gens whose keen political instincts and vaulting ambition matched his own. That Livia was already married to Tiberius Claudius Nero, by whom she already had a son (Tiberius) and was pregnant with another, proved only a minor impediment, as Nero was easily persuaded to divorce her in return for his life. The partnership of Octavian (later Augustus) and Livia was an immediate success and brought them both to the pinnacle of Roman power, where they remained for an unprecedented five decades. During the reign of Augustus, Livia was granted prestige and powers greater than any Roman woman before her, and these continued into the reign of her son Tiberius, who bestowed upon her the new name of Julia Augusta, providing the title used by future Roman empresses. Decades after her death, her image and name were still appearing on coins issued in distant Roman provinces, including this issue of a city named in her honor, Augusta in Cilicia.