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  • Print publication year: 2018
  • Online publication date: October 2018

5 - Representing the Augustan Principate (31 BC–AD 14)

Summary

An analysis of coinage of the principate. The divine nature of the ideology used by Octavian before and after Actium is demonstrated. This is followed by a shift to more sobre imagery, in which Octavian is presented as the 'first man' (princeps) among the Senate, and as restorer of the Republic. The accumulation of the honours provided to Augustus by the senate and people of Rome is explored. Augustus' building programme also receives a discrete subsection. The role of coins in the saecular games of 17 BC is detailed. Close analysis of the coins struck outside of Rome highlight the problem of distinguishing between imperial and provincial coinage in this period, and demonstrate how provincials actively interacted with and enhanced Augustan messages. The role of coinage in communicating the problem of succession is demonstrated. The chapter ends with an exploration of how Augustus' image continues to have a presence in the reign of Tiberius.