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    Description

    Choice MS Caesar

    Julius Caesar as Dictator (49-44 BC). AV aureus (20mm, 7.88 gm, 5h).  Rome, A. Hirtius, praetor, 46 BC. C • CAESAR COS • TER, veiled head of Vesta right / A HIRTIVS P R, lituus, jug, and axe. Crawford 466/1. CRI 56. Sydenham 1017. Calicó 36. Simply a magnificent aureus, with perfect strike, centering, and lustrous surfaces. NGC Choice MS? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Lexington Collection.

    Aulus Hirtius was a key supporter of Caesar who might have ended up as his successor in power, had events taken a different turn. An experienced soldier, he served as one of Caesar's legates in Gaul from about 54 BC and was an envoy to Pompey in 50 BC. He served Caesar loyally during the Civil War against Pompey and his successors 48-45 BC and was appointed as Caesar's mintmaster in Rome in 46 BC, when he struck the first truly large issue of gold aurei from the spoils of Caesar's campaigns. These aurei, which bear a rather enigmatic veiled female head on the obverse, were used to pay Caesar's soldiers after the great triumphal parade. After Caesar's assassination, Hirtius initially supported Mark Antony but, after taking over as Consul in 43 BC, he raised an army against Antony at the instigation of Cicero and Octavian. His army defeated Antony at Mutina in April of 43 BC, but Hirtius was killed in the fighting; his consular colleague Pansa died days later, leaving Octavian and Antony masters of Rome. Modern historians owe Hirtius a debt of gratitude for preserving and editing Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars. 

    While the Hirtius aurei in the name of Caesar are not rare, they are only rarely seen in high grade, and almost never in the Choice Mint State grade assigned to this extraordinary piece by NGC. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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