Rome 31-29



TYPE: Bust of Pax



TYPE: Octavian, full, adlocutio


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On the following pages you will see a set of six programmatic silver coins with a similar visual message: the coins are paired so that one of the pair depicts the bust of a deity on the obverse and Octavian full on the reverse (as above); the corresponding coin depicts the bust of Octavian on the obverse and the full length deity on the reverse (see next page). Each pair is intended to associate Octavian as closely as possible with a divine image and, by extension, with the virtues or mythological genealogy the deity symbolizes.

The message of the images is not only one of confidence in Octavian's military leadership in bringing the civil wars to an end, but also of confidence in divine favor the city now enjoys.

Pax = peace. The message of the coin?: the ideal goal of Roman warfare is peace. The virtue had been personified as a female deity.

Octavian is depicted in the first set of coins addressing his troops before the battle; the pose is called adlocutio. Notice the progression in the coins that follow: Octavian leading his troops into battle and Octavian victorious after battle.