Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Superb Caesar Portrait

    Julius Caesar, as Imperator and Dictator (49-44 BC). AR denarius (18mm, 4.18 gm, 2h). NGC Choice AU 4/5 - 4/5, flan flaw. Rome, March 44 BC. M. Mettius, moneyer. CAESAR · IMP, laureate head of Julius Caesar right; in left field, lituus and simpulum / M · METTIVS, Venus standing left, holding Victory and scepter, shield set on globe resting at side; in left field, I. Crawford 480/3. Sear 100. Sydenham 1056. RSC 34.

    For two centuries, Rome had spurned the Hellenistic practice of placing the ruler's portrait on the coinage of the realm, much as they rejected the concept of kingship altogether. So early in 44 BC, many Romans must have been stunned to see the image of Julius Caesar, recently appointed dictator for an unprecedented fourth time, on circulating silver denarii. Like a profusion of other honors and titles, the right to place his image on coins had been bestowed on Caesar by the Roman Senate. Caesar's enemies may have had an ulterior motive in approving the honor, as it almost certainly would fuel the growing suspicion that Caesar intended to name himself king of Rome. If this was the intent, it succeeded, for within three months a conspiracy had been formed and Caesar was duly assassinated at a meeting of the Senate on March 15, 44 BC. This silver denarius carries a startlingly realistic, warts-and-all portrait of Caesar on the obverse and the image of the dictator's patron goddess, Venus, on the reverse. The obverse legend acclaims Caesar as "Imperator," or victorious general. Within a few years, Caesar's successors and even his assassins would show no compunction about putting their portraits on their coins.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 372

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 18 days left to consign to the 2020 April 22 - 27 Central States US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Had we endeavored to sell it without your support, it would have taken us at least 10 lifetimes, i.e. it would have been impossible.
    Melinda L.,
    Greenville, SC
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED $122,082
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED $55,978.00
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    REALIZED $1,746,656