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Roman Republic, Marcus Junius Brutus, Most Famous of Caesars Assassins, 44 - 42 B.C.
This type, traditionally attributed to an otherwise unknown Dacian or Sythian king Koson, was struck by Brutus, c. 44 - 42 B.C., with gold supplied by the Senate to fund his legions in the Roman civil war against Mark Antony and Octavian. The obverse imitates a Roman denarius struck by Brutus in 54 B.C. depicting his ancestor L. Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic. The reverse imitates a Roman denarius struck by Pomponius Rufus in 73 B.C. The meaning of the inscription "KOΣΩN" is uncertain. KOΣΩN may have been the name of a Dacian king who supplied mercenary forces to Brutus, or BR KOΣΩN may have been intended to mean "[of] the Consul Brutus." SH85674. Gold stater, BMCRR II p. 474, 48; RPC I 1701A (Thracian Kings); BMC Thrace p. 208, 1 (same); SNG Cop 123 (Scythian Dynasts), Choice gVF, full circles strike, mint luster, weight 8.378 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, military mint, 44 - 42 B.C.; obverse Roman consul L. Junius Brutus (traditional founder of the Republic) in center, accompanied by two lictors, KOΣΩN in exergue, BR (Brutus) monogram left; reverse eagle standing left on scepter, wings open, raising wreath in right talon; $1700.00 (€1445.00)
Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
"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. SH85584. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/16, Sydenham 1067, Sear CRI 111, RSC I Julius Caesar 9, BMCRR I Rome 4185, SRCV I 1415, aVF, toned, weight 3.464 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, moneyer C. Cossutius Maridianus, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse C MARIDIANVS, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, resting left arm on shield at side on right; $1500.00 (€1275.00)
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.
The cistophorus was first struck by the Pergamene Kingdom was a tetradrachm (four-drachms coin) struck on a reduced Asian standard of about 3 grams per drachm. Its name was derived from the cista, a Dionysian cult snake basket that frequently appeared on the obverse. After the Pergamene Kingdom was bequeathed to Rome in 133 B.C., the Romans continued to strike cistophori for the Asia province, with a value equal to three denarii. The portrait of Augustus and later emperors replaced the cista on the obverse.SH85434. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Sutherland Group VI, RPC I 2215, RIC I 479, RSC I 33, BnF I 922, BMCRE I 694, BMCRR East 262, SRCV I 1587, VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, light uneven toning, light encrustations, small closed edge crack, weight 11.660 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesus mint, c. 24 - 20 B.C.; obverse IMP CAE-SAR (counterclockwise below), bare head right, linear border; reverse garlanded and filleted altar of Diana (artemis, ornamented on the front with two hinds standing confronted, AVGVSTVS above; $1200.00 (€1020.00)
Roman Republic, Aes Formatum, 4th Century B.C.
Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave but later than aes rude. Presumably, molten bronze-iron alloy was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat reverse. Broken examples are much more common than complete ones like this.RT11873. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, Haeberlin p. 4, pl. 2.7; 1.273kg, 124mm, Italian mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse convex obverse; reverse flat reverse; the denarius is included in the photograph to indicate the size, it is not included with the aes formatum; very rare; $800.00 (€680.00)
Roman Republic, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, 69 B.C.
The moneyer, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, was from Praeneste, in Latium, 23 miles east-southeast of Rome, home of the great temple to Fortuna Primigenia. Her sanctuary was an immense complex of buildings rising up the hillside on five vast terraces, connected with each other by grand staircases, visible even from the sea. The reverse likely depicts a pediment in the sanctuary. The epithet of Primigenia means "Original." She was represented suckling two babes, said to be Jupiter and Juno, and she was especially worshiped by matrons. The oracle continued to be consulted down to Christian times, until Constantine the Great, and again later Theodosius I, forbade the practice and closed the temple.SH76980. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3524 (same wheel control); Crawford 405/1b; Sydenham 800a; SRCV I 340, F, banker's mark, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 69 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Fortuna Primigenia right, hair in net, wheel (control symbol) behind; reverse temple pediment, ornamented with sculpture of an anguipede (snake legged) giant holding a club(?) in his left hand, M PLAETORI (AE ligate) on the architrave, CEST S C in exergue; very rare; $640.00 (€544.00)
Tutere (Tudor), Umbria, Italy, 280 - 240 B.C.
Todi was founded by the ancient Italic people of the Umbri, in the 8th - 7th century BC, with the name of Tutere. The name means "border," it being the city located on the frontier with the Etruscan dominions. It was conquered by the Romans in 217 BC. According to Silius Italicus, it had a double line of walls that stopped Hannibal himself after his victory at the Trasimeno. Christianity spread to Todi very early, through the efforts of St. Terentianus. Bishop St. Fortunatus became the patron saint of the city for his heroic defense of it during the Gothic siege. In Lombard times, Todi was part of the Duchy of Spoleto.SH73969. Bronze hemiobol, HN Italy 37, Campania CNAI 2, SNG Cop 75, SNG ANS 105; BMC Italy p. 39, 1, F, well centered, pitted, flan crack, weight 3.364 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tuder (Todi, Italy) mint, 280 - 240 B.C.; obverse bearded head of the satyr Silenus (Seilenos) right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse Umbrian: TVTEDE (downward on left, TVT top outward, EDE top inward), eagle standing left, wings spread; rare; $440.00 (€374.00)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XI
This may have been a legion raised by Antony and disbanded by Augustus. The XI Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian (and won the title Actiaca at the battle of Actium).SL79267. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/25, Sydenham 1229, BMCRR II East 203, RSC I 39, NGC F, strike 3/5, surface 2/5, banker's marks (2400602-008), toned, weight 3.48 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; NGC certified (slabbed); $400.00 (€340.00)
Macedonia, Under Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.
This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor. RP85676. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh group VI (O35), AMNG III 223, SNG Cop 1330, SNG Ashmolean 3305, SGCV I 1439, VF, attractive toning, well centered, light marks, weight 16.433 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, no pellets; ex Nomos Obolos 6 (20 Nov 2016), lot 339 (Nomos noted, from a European collection, formed before 2000); $380.00 (€323.00)
Pontus (Amisos?), Roman Quaestor (Lucius Lucullus?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.
The Q identifies the bare male head as a Roman Quaestor. This letter is not noted in RPC but is visible here and clear on other examples known to Forum. Perhaps the image is of Lucius Lucullus, an important Quaestor of Sulla, about whom Plutarch wrote. The reverse legend, the Latin FETIA, refers to the fetial ceremony, part of the treaty making process, during which a pig was sacrificed to sanctify the oaths. The mint location is unknown but Imhoof-Blumer placed it at Amisus, where Leypold acquired his specimen.SH71045. Brass AE 21, RPC I 2156, SNG Leypold I p. 24, 69; Imhoof-Blumer GRMK 281, VF/F, weight 6.826 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pontus (Amisos (Samsun, Turkey)?) mint, c. 80 B.C.(?); obverse bare male head right, Q (quaestor) below; reverse two men standing, holding a pig between them, each with a hand raised, taking an oath of fealty, FETA IA in exergue; rare; $300.00 (€255.00)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG V
This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.RS79795. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, SRCV I 1479, VF, obverse slightly off-center, banker's mark on obverse, weight 3.714 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; $280.00 (€238.00)
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Grueber, H.A. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910).
Haeberlin, E. J. Aes Grave. Das Schwergeld Roms und Mittelitaliens. (Frankfurt, 1910).
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Sear, D. R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Stannard, C. The local coinages of Central Italy in the late Roman Republic: provisional catalogue, Oct 2007.
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