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    Description

    Julius Caesar as Perpetual Dictator (44 BC). AR denarius (4.26 gm). P. Sepullius Macer, moneyer. Rome, February-March 44 BC. CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, laureate head of Caesar right / [P. SEPV]LLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, holding Victory in right hand and scepter set on star in left. Crawford 480/11. CRI 107b. RSC 40. Attractively toned and possessing a strong, pleasing portrait. Weakly struck to left of reverse, otherwise extremely fine.

    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 "perpetual dictator," appear on newly struck 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. Within a few years, even Caesar's assassins had no compunction about putting their portraits on their coins.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    2nd-3rd Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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