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    Description

    Lepidus, as Triumvir (43-36 BC), with Octavian. AR denarius (18mm, 3.73 gm, 6h). NGC VF 4/5 - 2/5, scratches. Military mint with Lepidus in Italy, November-December 43 BC. LEPIDVS•PONT•MAX•-III•V•R•P•C• (NT and MA ligate), bare head of Lepidus right / C•CAESAR•IMP•III•-VIR•R•P•C• (MP ligate), bare head of Octavian right. Crawford 495/2a. Sydenham 1323. RSC 2a.

    From the Morris Collection

    A wily and wealthy nobleman, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus parlayed his position as Julius Caesar's colleague in the consulships of 46 BC into the role of power broker between the rivals Mark Antony and Octavian after the great dictator's murder. He won wide-ranging Triumviral powers in the settlement of 43 BC, but took no part in the campaign against Brutus and Cassius and soon lost influence, becoming a "third wheel" in a dyarchy. He helped Octavian defeat Sextus Pompey in 36 BC, but afterward overreached and was easily outmaneuvered by Octavian and stripped of all real powers, retaining only the post of Pontifex Maximus, which he held until his death in 12 BC. Shakespeare calls him a "slight, unmeritable man, meet to be sent on errands," and most modern historians, novelists and screenwriters have agreed. This issue was struck by Lepidus to mark the foundation of the Second Triumvirate, composed of himself, Octavian and Antony. It was likely struck from specie looted from their political opponents in the bloody proscriptions of 43-42 BC.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    26th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 12
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