As Rome’s first emperor, Augustus bridged the gap between Republic and Empire, from imperium to auctoritas. In terms of coinage, he initially retained two numismatic relics of the Republic: the collegium of moneyers and the substantial issuance of non-Imperial portrait types. This denarius, issued in about 19 B.C., retains both of these Republican qualities, for the emperor’s portrait is absent and the moneyer’s name is prominent. The denarius names P. Petronius Turpilianus, who was clearly the dominant member of Augustus’ earliest collegium of moneyers to sign coins at Rome, as about half of the more than forty issues of the collegium bear his name. Turpilianus struck aurei and denarii with obverses bearing the heads of Augustus, the Liber (Bacchus) and Feronia, a goddess worshipped by the Sabines and the Etrurians, and considered by the Greeks to be the goddess of flowers and of emancipation from slavery.
This issue was hand struck in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (ancient Roman province Philippopolis). It goes without saying you always get the exact item in the picture.
Liber is an ancient Italic deity of germination and agriculture. Later he was assimilated with Bacchus, Greek Dionysus. Their names were used interchangably. Liber Pater [he was always called ‘Liber Pater’ Venerable] was an important deity. In Lavinium an entire month was given to his celebration which featured a procession of a phallus that was crowned by the most worthy of the matronae.
Additionaly his cult was to assure the the success of the crops and to avert evil; the phallus was a fascinatio of the fields much like Priapus was in the courtyards of homes to avert danger. For his protection of the wheat and fruits Liber always remained a deity of the plebeians.
In Rome, his temple, that of Ceres, Liber and Libera on the Aventine, was built in 493 B.C.E. by the consul Sp. Cassius, after the dictator A. Postumius vowed it, due to a famine, if the gods would bring abundance. This was the Greek cult and thus an official recognition of Greek Dionysus. Though Bacchus in his Greek form had long been worshipped in Italy. The ‘thiasos’ (Latin thiasus) was usually male or mixed with the female sacerdos presiding and were devoted to banquets and retelling of the god’s myth.
Bacchus was worshipped in the Roman way with collegia devoted to celebrating his feria with dinners much in the manner indicated by Ovid in his Fasti.
The Liberalia an ancient festival supposedly even more ancient than the Cerealia took place a.d XVI Kal. Aprilis (March 17th) The day was given to enjoyment while priests and priestesses of Liber sold small cakes, liba in honour of the festival. Also during this festival young males exchanged the toga praetexta of childhood for the toga virilis or toga libera; bullas and dolls along with the toga praetexta would be consecrated to the Lares.
Head of Liber or Bacchus, ivy-wreathed, right
P PETRON TVRPILIAN III VIR
Augustus standing in biga of elephants, left, holding laurel branch in right hand and sceptre in left
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.