“Have I played the part well? Then, applaud as I exit.” Such were the dying words of Emperor Augustus as he lay dying in 14 A.D. after ruling over one of the most peaceful and stable periods in Roman history, a sharp contrast to the period of civil war after Julius Caesar’s assassination.
He was quite productive in expanding the Roman Empire and strengthening its political infrastructure. He developed a number of important public works, including a standing army, a police force, a courier system, a fire department, and an improved infrastructure. The month of August is named after him and one of the dictionary definitions of Augustus is, “Inspiring reverence or admiration, of supreme dignity or grandeur.”
Augustus struck coins in abundance, yet few have survived in high grade. As it is impossible to understand politics without understanding Augustus, the coins of his empire are routinely collected and generally very hard to find. A number of design types were produced under his rule, inspiring collectors to find them all.