The silver denarius, which was struck c27BC, depicts the new portrait of Augustus transformed into an ageless Apollo-like classical beauty on one side and an image of a heifer based on a long-lost masterpiece by a Greek sculptor on its reverse. The coin is a piece of numismatic genius celebrating the power of the man who founded the Roman Empire and laid the foundations of a regime that lasted for centuries.
The heifer is generally believed to represent a group of bronze statues cast in the fifth century B.C. After his victory at Actium, Augustus requisitioned from Athens four massive statues of cattle that had been created by the sculptor Myron. They were monumental prizes of great antiquity, but the Greeks could do little to object, and Augustus used them to adorn an altar in his Temple of Apollo on the Palatine. Interestingly, a cow that must also represent these sculptures appears on coins of Vespasian struck in 74 and 76, and since that emperor used Myrons cows to decorate his new Temple of Pax, completed in 74, we find a good explanation for the recycling of this attractive Augustan type.
Bare-head of Augustus Caesar, right
Heifer standing to right
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.