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Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., L. Aemilus Buca
"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar, but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."
Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.SH89754. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/7b, Sydenham 1062, Sear CRI 104a, RSC I Julius Caesar 24, Russo RBW 1682, BMCRR I Rome 4155, SRCV I 1410, aEF, toned, light marks, off center, irregular flan with edge splits , weight 3.780 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, struck by L. Aemilus Buca, Rome mint, lifetime issue, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse Venus seated left, Victory in extended right, long transverse scepter in left hand, L:BVCA downward behind; ex CNG e-auction 353 (17 Jun 2015), lot 409; rare; $1350.00 (€1188.00)
Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Posthumous, 42 B.C., Moneyer L. Livineius Regulus
L. Livineius Regulus had served with Caesar in North Africa.SH87936. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1425, Crawford 494/24, Sear CRI 115, Sydenham 1106, RSC I 27, BMCRR Rome 4274, F, iridescent rainbow toning, well centered, banker's mark, weight 3.462 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 42 B.C.; obverse wreathed head of Julius Caesar right, laurel branch behind, winged caduceus before; reverse L LIVINEIVS / REGVLVS, bull charging right; rare; $610.00 (€536.80)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., Struck by Octavian
According to Livy, the caduceus, a symbol of peace, was sometimes carried by diplomats sent to negociate a treaty. Antony and Octavian allied to defeat Caesar's assassins, but after defeating Brutus and Cassius, each was determined to obtain absolute power. While Antony was in Egypt, his brother and his wife gathered an army to remove Octavian but they were defeated. Antony and Octavian met with their armies at Brundisium, but the legions, both Caesarian, refused to fight. The two men reached an agreement. This is when this coin was struck by Octavian's mint with Antony's portrait on the obverse. It appeared that peace was finally reigning in the Roman world, but it only was a short calm before another storm. RR89740. Silver denarius, Crawford 529/3, Sydenham 1328, Sear CRI 303, BMCRR II Gaul 94, Russo RBW 1817, RSC I Mark Antony 5, F, uneven toning, light marks, weight 3.488 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 270o, travelling mint with Octavian mint, 39 B.C.; obverse ANTONIVS IMP, bare head right; reverse CAESAR - IMP (counterclockwise below), winged caduceus; rare; $500.00 (€440.00)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C.
The coin was struck by a mint traveling with Antony in Greece, between autumn 32 and summer 31 B.C., perhaps at Petrae near Corinth. The countermark was applied for Vespasian at Ephesus between 1 January 74 and 23 June 79 AD. CM89794. Silver denarius, cf. Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27 ff.; countermark: Howgego 839, coin: Fair/Poor, countermark: aVF , weight 2.873 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - [...], aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; countermark: MP VES (IMP ligate appears as MP, and VE ligate); $150.00 (€132.00) ON RESERVE
The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 B.C.
THE HISTORY AND COINAGE OF THE ROMAN IMPERATORS 49-27 BC by David Sear
The brief period covered in this book witnessed the violent transition of the Roman state from a republican constitution, presided over by the Senate, to a full military autocracy under the control of one man, the Emperor Augustus. In reality, the events of these years were merely the culmination of a movement which had been gathering strength over the preceding half-century, since the rise of men such as Marius and Sulla. Caesar had put events into motion by his invasion of Italy and his challenge to Pompey's dominant position in Roman politics. With his assassination on the Ides of March, 44 B.C., Caesar's role was inherited by his youthful great-nephew Octavian who, against seemingly hopeless odds, succeeded in eliminating his rivals for supreme power, notably Mark Antony and his ambitious consort Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. This book traces in detail the unfolding of this drama. Each of its six chapters includes a comprehensive catalogue listing of all the relevant coin types and varieties, each with a full discussion of its significance in the interpretation of the events of the period. Information on the rarity of each type, including estimates of current value, is presented in a separate table. The numerous, though less precisely understood, local coinages of the Imperatorial period are listed in an extensive appendix. Whilst providing a comprehensive numismatic reference work for the age of transition from Republic to Empire the author has also aimed to heighten the historian's awareness of the vital role which may be played by the numismatic evidence in the detailed chronicling of event.BK43171. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 B.C. by David R. Sear, a detailed survey including valuations for collectors, 1998, 360 pages, illustrated throughout, hardback; $140.00 (€123.20)
Roman Republican Moneyers and Their Coins 63 B.C. - 49 B.C.
This book covers the moneyers who minted between 63 and 49 B.C. Michael Harlan describes the fascinating details of historical events and the social context of the period, the moneyers' family histories, and how all these influenced the coin types.BK20047. Roman Republican Moneyers and Their Coins 63 B.C. - 49 B.C. by Michael Harlan, 206 pages, illustrated, 1995, only one copy available; $80.00 (€70.40)
Political Propaganda in the Coinage of the Late Roman Republic
Part I. The use of political propaganda in the struggle for power in the year 44 B.C.
Part II. The roles of the army and of propaganda in the formation of political positions in the year 43 B.C.BK13862. Political Propaganda in the Coinage of the Late Roman Republic by Leslaw Morawiecki, 1983, 108 pages, 8 plates, out of print, paperback; $70.00 (€61.60)
Gnaeus Pompey Junior, Imperator, 47 - 45 B.C., Son of Pompey the Great
After the murder of his father, Gnaeus Pompey Magnus Junior and his brother Sextus joined the resistance against Caesar in Africa. Together with Metellus Scipio, Cato the Younger and other senators, they prepared to oppose Caesar and his army. Caesar defeated Metellus Scipio and Cato, who subsequently committed suicide, at the Battle of Thapsus in 46 B.C. Gnaeus escaped to the Balearic Islands, where he joined Sextus. Together with Titus Labienus, former general in Caesar's army, the Pompey brothers crossed over to the Hispania, where they raised yet another army. Caesar soon followed and, on 17 March 45 B.C., the armies met in the battle of Munda. Both armies were large and led by able generals. The battle was closely fought, but eventually a cavalry charge by Caesar turned events to his side. In the battle and the panicked escape that followed, Titus Labienus and an estimated 30,000 men of the Pompeian side died. Gnaeus and Sextus managed to escape once again. However, this time, supporters were difficult to find because it was now clear Caesar had won the civil war. Within a few weeks, Gnaeus Pompeius was caught and executed for treason.RR88024. Leaded bronze as, Crawford 471/1, Sydenham 1040, RPC I 486, BMCRR Spain 84, RBW Collection, 1646, Sear CRI 53, Cohen I 16, SRCV I 1386, aF, dark patina, porous, earthen encrustations, weight 23.210 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 240o, Hispania probably Tarraco (Tarragona, Spain) mint, 46 - 45 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Janus, I above; reverse prow of galley right, I right, CN MAG (MA ligate) above, IMP below; scarce; $60.00 (€52.80)
Thessalonica, Macedonia, 88 - 31 B.C.
King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C. RP88127. Bronze reduced as, AMNG III 20, pl. XXIII, 10; SNG Cop 370; SNG ANS 805; BMC Macedonia p. 112, 37, aVF, compact flan cutting off legend and edges types, areas of weak strike, some corrosion, weight 5.160 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 88 - 31 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Janus; reverse ΘEΣΣAΛO/NIKHΣ, two Centaurs prancing, back to back, each holding a branch; $45.00 (€39.60)
La monetazione di Roma durante la Repubblica col prezzario delle monete
BK50735. La monetazione di Roma durante la Repubblica col prezzario delle monete by Cesare Gamberini di Scarfèa, special order, Bologna, 1973, 145 pages, 6 plates, Forni reprint; $36.00 (€31.68)
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Carson, R. Principal Coins of the Romans, Vol. I: The Republic, c. 290-31 BC. (London, 1978).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
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Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 2. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
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