Marcus Agrippa’s Coinage in Gaul in 38 BC

Tariverdieva Sabina E.

The matter at issue of this article is golden and silver coinage of Marcus Agrippa during his governorship in Gaul in 38 BC. Comparison of this coinage with contemporary Italian bronze coins shows that the main ideological motive was probably determined by Octavian, but its specific realization belonged to Agrippa. Caesar holds a special place on these coins and his connection with Octavian is stressed by combining the portrait of Caesar with the legend referring to his son, portraits of Caesar and Octavian face to face on the same obverse, Octavian’s beard, legend DIVI F, the title IMP, which was inherited by Octavian from Caesar. The image of the sidus Iulium above the forehead of Caesar, just as it was on his statue erected by Octavian in his honor, also appears for the first time on these very coins. A modest reverse bearing only the name of Marcus Agrippa and his title as COS DESIG serves as a foil to the importance of the obverse. This coinage had to remind the legionaries serving in Gaul that this province had been conquered by Caesar and that Octavian was his true heir. Besides, this coinage also served as a counterbalance to the coinage of Sextus Pompeius. Also coins of Agrippa would help to restore Octavian’s renown as a military leader, which had suffered damage in the war with Sextus Pompeius. 

Keywords: Marcus Agrippa, Caesar’s star, sidus Iulium, Octavian, Agrippa’s governorship in Gaul, coinage of 38 BC, monetary propaganda, Caesar’s portraits on coins, imperator

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