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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Julius Caesar, AR Denarius
Rome. The Imperators.
Julius Caesar, 49-44 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.93 g; 19mm).
Military mint travelling with Caesar, 49-48 BCE.

Obverse: Elephant walking right, trampling serpent; CAESAR in exergue.

Reverse: Simpulum, aspergillum, axe and apex.

References: Crawford 443/1: HCRI 9; Sydenham 1006; Julia 9.

Provenance: Ex Ploil Collection [NAC 101 (24 Oct 2017), Lot 10]; privately purchased December 1980.

Caesar’s “elephant” issue was massive, with Crawford estimating 750 obverse and 833 reverse dies. Stylistic variations range from elephants depicted accurately to elephants with pig-like characteristics. The CAESAR inscriptions on the well-executed elephant varieties typically have letters with serifs; while inscriptions on the piggish varieties have letters without serifs. Woytek believes the series was struck in Gallia Narbonensis and Hispania Citerior in circa 49BC during Caesar’s campaign against Pompey loyalists in Spain. Other scholars, like Crawford and Sear, believe the issue was commenced shortly after Caesar invaded Italy in 49 and continued until the defeat of Pompey at Pharsalus in 48 BCE. What’s clear is that Caesar struck these coins without authority, as he did not hold the office of moneyer or legate. As for interpretation of this coin type, many scholars, including Crawford and Sear, interpret the obverse (elephant trampling the serpent) as representing good (Caesar) triumphing over evil. Michael Harlan interprets the obverse as blaming the civil war on Pompey’s faction; the elephant representing Pompey’s supporter, Metellus Pius Scipio (whose family badge, frequently seen on Metellan coins, is an elephant), trampling the snake symbol of Salus, the health and safety of Rome. The reverse clearly depicts the emblems of the priesthood and alludes to Caesar’s office of pontifex maximus.
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Album name:Carausius / Imperatorial (49-27 BCE)
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Date added:Aug 19, 2018
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quadrans  [Aug 20, 2018 at 10:18 AM]
Great coin , and details,