Among the finest known portrait denarii of Augustus and Agrippa
Lot 304
Augustus, with Agrippa, 27 BC-AD 14. Denarius (Silver, 18 mm, 3.75 g, 10 h), C. Sulpicius Platorinus, moneyer, Rome, 13 BC. CAESAR AVGVSTVS Bare head of Augustus to right. Rev. M AGRIPPA / PLATORINVS III VIR Bare head of Agrippa to right. BMC 112. CBN 533. Cohen 3. RIC 408. An exceptional example of this rare issue, well struck, lightly toned and undoubtedly among the finest known. Tiny marks and with a few very minor areas of porosity, otherwise, good extremely fine.

This spectacular coin shows one of the most potent duos of Roman history, Augustus and his right-hand man, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Little is known of Agrippa's early life, though he was of relatively modest birth. He first came to prominence when he accompanied Octavian to Italy after Caesar's murder in 44 BC. During the ensuing struggle with Caesar's assassins and the vicissitudes of the Second Triumvirate, Octavian emerged as a political animal pur sang, while Agrippa proved himself to be a highly skilled military commander. His two greatest successes include defeating Sextus Pompey's fleet at Naulochus in 36 BC, and, of course, his victory in the Battle of Actium in 31 BC over the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, which signalled the end of a twenty-year long period of political unrest.

For his accomplishments, Agrippa was rewarded with political advancement, and eventually, in 28 BC, he married into the imperial family by taking Octavian's niece, Claudia Marcella the Elder, as his wife. In 21 BC, a new arrangement was made after Marcellus, Augustus' intended heir, passed away two years earlier, and Agrippa now married Julia the Elder, Augustus' only biological child, marking him as the emperor's new heir. Despite Julia's reputation for adultery, the marriage was happy enough to produce five children. In 18 BC, Agrippa received tribunician powers, almost putting him on equal political footing with the emperor. It was probably the renewal of these powers in 13 BC which prompted the emission of these fine denarii showing the portraits of the two men. Sadly, the next year, Agrippa unexpectedly died of illness while on campaign, not only leaving Augustus bereft of another heir, but also of a long-time friend and most loyal supporter. A grand funeral was held in which Augustus delivered the funerary oration, and the old general's ashes were interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus, ensuring that, as long as Rome stood, the emperor and his general would rest side by side.
7500 CHF
Starting price:
6000 CHF
Hammer price:
13000 CHF
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Closing time: 27-May-23, 06:00:00 CEST
All winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee.


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