Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. Denarius (Silver, 3.80 g 4), M. Sanquinius, 17 BC. AVGVSTVS DIVI F Bare head of Augustus to right. Rev. M SANQVINIVS III VIR Youthful laureate male head to right (Divus Julius Caesar) with comet above. BMC 71. Cohen (Julius Caesar and Augustus) 1. RIC 338. Toned. Two banker's marks on the obverse, otherwise, about extremely fine.
The representation above Divus Julius Caesar's head is a symbol for the most popular comet of ancient times, the Sidus Iulium, which is also used as a depiction on other Denarii struck under Augustus. A fascinating description of what had happened gives us Plinius the younger in his second book of the naturalis historia. It says, that the comet appeared at the beginning of Divus Augustus reign, just after his father died. It was during the games, which have been held in the name of venus genetrix. Augustus must have seen the appearance of the comet as a omen for his reign and salvation of the world when Plinius pass on 'interiore gaudio sibi illum natum seque in eo nasci interpretatus est. Et, si verum fatemur, salutare id terris fuit' (Plin. II, 94).