Spain 19/15 BCE
Obverse (not shown) type: bust of Augustus
TYPE: Quadriga on triumphal arch flanked by soldiers
LEGEND: CIVIB(us) ET SIGN(is) MILIT(aribus) A PART(his) RECVP(eratis).
The senate had commissioned a triumphal arch, near the temple of the Divine Julius, for Octavian's victory at Actium (or perhaps for his earlier victory over Sextus Pompeius).
In 20 BCE, by diplomatic and military pressure, Augustus accomplished restoration of the Roman standards captured by the Parthians in three earlier campaigns (including M. Crassus in 54 BCE and M. Antony in 36). Loss of the standards had been humiliating; failure to recover them was perhaps an even worse embarrassment. The legend commemorates not only the recovery of the standards [SIGN(is)] but also the repatriation of Roman prisoners of war [CIVIB(us)/citizens]. The Parthians had been Rome's traditional enemy for a long time, thus the return of the captured standards became the most widely advertised of all aspects of foreign policy on the Augustan coinage (Sutherland, 14).