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Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
Gaius Julius Caesar is one of the most famous men in history. At the end of his brilliant military and political career, he had gained control of the Roman state. His puppet senate heaped more and more honors upon him. In February 44 B.C. the senate named him dictator for life. Many senators, however, feared that he wished to become king, ending the Republic. On the 15th of March 44 B.C., 63 senators attacked him with knives they had hidden in the folds of their togas. This most famous of assassinations plunged the Roman Republic into 17 years of civil war, after which it would re-emerge as the Roman Empire.
|Minted after his invasion of Italy and crossing of the Rubicon on 10 January 49 B.C. until his defeat of Pompey at, this was the first coin issued in Caesar's name. The was long described as an trampling a snake, symbolizing 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 on the side of the Gundestrup cauldron depicting three warriors sounding their war trumpets. Clearly, Caesar's is trampling a and the symbolizes Caesar's over the tribes of Gaul. The refers to Caesar's office of , the high priest of , a title now held by the Pope.|