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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640907
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 907. Estimate $1250. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

OCTAVIAN. Circa 29-27 BC. AR Denarius (3.67 gm). Italian mint. Bare head right / Laureate herm on thunderbolt. RIC I 269a; CRI 425; RSC 114. Toned VF. ($1250)

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

A herm was a rectangular or square pillar surmounted by a head (often that of the god Hermes, from which the term derives), and equipped with male genitals. These statues were thought to bring fertility and good luck and often served as boundry stones. To the Romans these were known as termini, and were associated with Terminus, the god of boundaries; the addition of the thunderbolt at the base assigns this function to Jupiter in his guise as Terminalis. Octavian's defeat of Cleopatra secured the eastern boundaries, brought an end to the period of civil war, and extended the empire to its furthest limit to that point.