Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Numismatic Society of South Australia American Numismatic Society American Numismatic Association

Roman Imperational, Julius Caesar, as Dictator, AR Denarius, 49-44 BC, 'the coin that killed Caesar', struck February-March 44 BC

4,150.00 AUD

Origin:
Rome mint, moneyer P. Sepullius Macer
Authority:
Gaius Julius Caesar, as Dictator (in perpetuity)
Denomination:
AR Denarius
Composition:
Silver
Date:
44 BC
Obverse:
CAESAR DICT·PERPETVO, Head of Julius Caesar right, laureate, and veiled
Reverse:
[P·]SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus Victrix standing left, holding Victory on right and and leaning with left on sceptre, which rests on a shield
Size:
19.48mm, 4.1g, 6h
Grade:
aEF, irregular edges, boldly struck, lightly toned, attractive lustre, area of encrustation on reverse (can be cleaned, if desired)
Rarity:
rare
Provenance:
ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 114, Part II (7 May 2019), Lot 1360
Reference:
BMCRR I 4173-4175; Cohen I 39; Babelon (Julia) 50 and (Sepullia) 5; Sydenham 1074; RBW 1685; Crawford 480/13; Vagi 56; Sear Imperators 107d; RSC I 39; SRCV I 1414
Special Information:
'The coin that killed Julius Caesar'. An historically significant coin struck merely weeks before the assassination of Julius Caesar
This coin, issued by the moneyer P. Sepullius Macer, belonging to a series of coins issued just before the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44 BC (the 'Ides of March'). These coins broke with Roman tradition by featuring the face of a living roman. In this way, Julius Caesar is shown as a king. The legend 'DICT PERPETVO' translates literally as 'Dictator in Perpetuity' proclaiming himself as ruler of the Roman Empire for life. His veil most likely represents his position as Pontifex Maximus, the highest religious post. The coins were issued hastily, as evidenced by their less refined style and often off-centre strikes, to fund an upcoming war with Parthia. In the eyes of the Senate, these coins showed that Caesar had gone too far.
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