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Loan Object
Ruler: Augustus, Emperor of Rome, 63 B.C.–A.D. 14, ruled 27 B.C.–A.D. 14
Mint: Rome
Artist: Unknown

Aureus of Augustus, Emperor of Rome from Rome

19 B.C.


8.03 g, 9:00, 19.7 mm
Promised gift of Ben Lee Damsky

This very rare aureus is perhaps the only gold coin from the mint of Rome in the United States. It portrays the emperor Augustus on the obverse and a chelys—a lyre fashioned from tortoiseshell—on the reverse. The activity of the mint magistrate P. Petronius Turpilianus can be dated securely to 18 B.C., and a reference to the death of the poet Virgil in the preceding year has been seen in this coin.

Made in Rome, Italy
1st century B.C.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.