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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Taking of Hostages

Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 854. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008. 
Sold For $6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. AV Aureus (7.81 g, 6h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck 8 BC. AVGVSTVS DIVI • F, laureate head right / IMP • XIIII in exergue, on right, Augustus, bareheaded and togate, seated left on curule chair set on low daïs, extending his right hand toward a cloaked Gaul or German on left, standing right, presenting a child held out in both hands toward Augustus. RIC I 200; Lyon 64; Calicó 235; BMCRE 492 = BMCRR Gaul 215; BN 1451-1452. VF, a few field marks.

As with many of the aurei of Augustus’ reign, this particular type celebrates a successful military operation. In 8 BC, while Augustus was in residence at Lugdunum, the Romans conducted a campaign against the German tribes along the Rhine. According to Dio (lv. 6), following these campaigns the subjugated tribes offered their young as hostages to Augustus in Lugdunum. This event was commemorated in this issue that was comprised of both aurei and denarii.