Rome 31-29 BCE



TYPE: Bust of Victory



TYPE: Octavian, full, nude, with foot on globe, holding stern of enemy ship in right hand and a lance in his left


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The last pair of coins celebrates Octavian's victory in battle.

The type is similar to one used in 36 BCE to commemorate Octavian's naval victory over Sextus Pompeius, who claimed Neptune as his divine ancestor and patron. The pose is that of Neptune; thus Octavian here associates himself with Neptune.

The lance identifies Octavian as general.

The posture with foot on a globe is a symbol of sole power. Observe that, although Octavian exploited images of power in commemorating his victory at Actium, the coins do not depict the defeated foe. It is a tricky matter to celebrate a victory without referring to the enemy, but many of the fallen at Actium were Roman citizens and, in any case, civil war was not the same as foreign war in Roman perspective. Octavian ran into no such problems, however, depicting his victories in the East following Actium! [see page after next]