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Roman Military Mints in Macedonia
During the Republic, Roman military mints struck imitative types to make local payments. Examples struck in Macedonia include Thasian and Histiaia imitations. Because they are crude, these types were once mistaken for Celtic issues.
|Minted after his invasion of Italy and crossing of the Rubicon on 10 January 49 B.C. until his defeat of Pompey at Pharsalus, this was the first coin type issued in Caesar's name. The elephant was the symbol of the Caesar family. The obverse was long described as an elephant trampling a snake, symbolizing good triumphing over evil. For the Romans, however, the snake was a symbol of healing, not evil. The image to the right (click it to see a larger photo) is ornamentation on the side of the Gundestrup cauldron (c. 150 - 1 B.C.) depicting three Celtic warriors sounding their carnyx war trumpets. Clearly, Caesar's elephant is trampling a carnyx and the obverse symbolizes Caesar's victory over the Celtic tribes of Gaul. Also, Pompey had recently tried to enter Rome on a chariot drawn by four elephants, since the gate was too narrow, the entrance was a flop. This coin was a reminder both of Caesar's success and of Pompey's failure. The reverse refers to Caesar's office of Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, a title now held by the Pope.|