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Bruto e le Idi di Marzo
6 maggio 2002
rev. il 13.5.2012
Ciao, mi chiamo Giuseppe e sono della provincia di Lecce. Possiedo una moneta romana ma siccome sono incompetente in materia vorrei delle delucidazioni. Assieme a degli amici abbiamo fatto delle ricerche ed è emerso che la moneta risale all'imperatore Brutus. Sarei felicissimo di ricevere delle informazioni o essere indirizzato per approfondire l'argomento. La moneta con la calamita non si attacca, il peso non ho potuto constatarlo ma credo sia all'incirca quello della "10 lire". 
Se mi saprai dare qualche risposta vorrei sapere anche il suo valore. Aspettando tua risposta ti porgo cordiali saluti.
fig. 1
6 aprile 2006
Salve gentile Giulio, le chiedo un parere su questa moneta romana di cui le allego 2 foto (fronte e retro) vorrei sapere quanto può valere e la rarità della moneta.

Peso: 3.324 g
Diametro (min-MAX): 18.86-20.28 mm
Spessore max: 2.27 mm
Colore: grigio non lucido

Posso fornirle eventualmente delle foto al microscopio.
Grazie mille e la ringrazio per la collaborazione e la risposta.

fig. 2
Assemini, 11.11.2009
Egregi Lettori,
di seguito riporto gli elementi che ho potuto  raccogliere sulle vostre monete (figg. 1 e 2)

Denario1, 43-42 a.C., zecca itinerante, Crawford al n° 508/3 (pag.  518), Sydenham 1301 (pag. 203), indice di rarità "(9)".

Descrizione sommaria:
D. Testa di Bruto2 a destra, barbato; attorno, in alto, in senso orario BRVT IMP3 attorno, in basso a sinistra, in senso antiorario, L PLAET CEST4. Bordo perlinato
R. Pileo tra due daghe; sotto EID MAR. Bordo perlinato.

La ricerca nel web di monete di tipologia simile ha prodotto i seguenti risultati:: 

  1. Sale: CNG 69, Lot: 1367. Closing Date: Jun 08, 2005. BRUTUS. Late Summer-Autumn 42 BC. AR Denarius (3.51 gm, 12h). Mint moving with Brutus in northern Greece. L. Plaetorius Cestianus, magistrate. Bidding Closed Estimate $50000 BRUTUS. Late Summer-Autumn 42 BC. AR Denarius (3.51 gm, 12h). Mint moving with Brutus in northern Greece. L. Plaetorius Cestianus, magistrate. Bare head of Brutus right / EID • MAR, pileus between two daggers. Crawford 508/3; Cahn 22d (same dies); CRI 216; Sydenham 1301; RSC 15. EF, minor edge crystallization. Rare and popular type. ($50,000) Marcus Junius Brutus was the son of Marcus Junius Brutus and Julius Caesar's former mistress, Servilia. By 59 BC he acquired the alternative name Quintus Caepio Brutus through adoption by his uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio. Brought up by Porcius Cato, he was educated in philosophy and oratory and long retained a fierce hatred of his natural father’s murderer, Pompey. He began his political career in 58 BC by accompanying Cato to Cyprus. As triumvir monetalis in about 54 BC he issued coins illustrating his strong republican views with Libertas and portraits of his ancestors L. Junius Brutus (who overthrew Tarquinius Superbus, the last Etruscan king of Rome) and Servilius Ahala (the later fifth century BC tyrannicide) (Crawford 433/1 and 2, respectively). In 53 BC Brutus served in Cilicia as quaestor to Appius Claudius Pulcher, whose successor, Cicero, found that ‘the honourable Brutus’ was extracting 48 per cent interest on a loan to the city of Salamis in Cyprus, contrary to the lex Gabinia. Brutus, the principled student, stoic, and Platonist who wrote a number of philosophical treatises and poems, seems an unlikely tyrannicide, quite dissimilar to the vehement Cassius. Despite his hatred of Pompey, he followed him in the Civil War of 49 BC against Caesar, but after the former’s defeat at Pharsalus he sought and was granted Caesar’s pardon. He proceeded to enjoy Caesar’s favor and was appointed governor of Gaul in 46 BC, praetor in 44 BC and consul designate for 41 BC. Perhaps under the influence of his second wife Porcia, Cato’s daughter, Brutus joined the conspiracy against Caesar, becoming the leader alongside Cassius. The reaction of the populace in the aftermath of the Ides of March compelled Brutus to leave Rome in April 44 BC. The Senate’s resolution to declare him a ‘public enemy’ on 28 November 44 BC was soon repealed and in February 43 BC he was appointed governor of Crete, the Balkan provinces and later Asia. Suspecting the intentions of Antony and Octavian, Brutus went to Macedonia and won the loyalty of its governor, Hortensius, and there levied an army and seized much of the funds prepared by Caesar for his Parthian expedition. Successful against the Bessi in Thrace, he was hailed imperator by his troops, but after the establishment of the triumvirate in November 43 BC he was outlawed again and joined forces with Cassius at Sardes. In the summer of 42 BC they marched through Macedonia and in October met Octavian on the Via Egnatia just outside Philippi and won the first battle. Cassius, as his conservative coins show, remained true to the old republican cause, while Brutus followed the self-advertising line of Antony in the new age of unashamed political propaganda and struck coins displaying his own portrait. Brutus’ estrangement from Cassius was effectively complete when this remarkably assertive coin was struck extolling the pileus or cap of liberty (symbol of the Dioscuri, saviors of Rome, and traditionally given to slaves who had received their freedom) between the daggers that executed Caesar. In the ironic twist of fate, Brutus committed suicide during the second battle at Philippi on 23 October 42 BC, using the dagger with which he assassinated Caesar. This extraordinary type is one of the few specific coin issues mentioned by a classical author, Dio Cassius, Roman History 47. 25, 3: “Brutus stamped upon the coins which were being minted his own likeness and a cap and two daggers, indicating by this and by the inscription that he and Cassius had liberated the fatherland.” The only securely identified portraits of Brutus occur on coins inscribed with his name; all others, whether on coins or other artifacts, are identified based on the three issues inscribed BRVTVS IMP (on aurei) or BRVT IMP (on denarii). A careful study of Brutus’ portraits by S. Nodelman segregates these inscribed portraits into three main categories: a ‘baroque’ style portrait on the aurei of Casca, a ‘neoclassical’ style on the aurei of Costa, and a ‘realistic’ style on the ‘EID MAR’ denarii, which Nodelman describes as “the soberest and most precise” of all.
  2. (Hammered down at 120,000DM plus 15% buyers fee.) Subject: Re: [Moneta-L] Eid Mar (Different Topic) Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 09:54:29 +0100 (BST) From: "T.V. Buttrey" < t i v b 1> To: Grzegorz Kryszczuk < h i v e 2> CC: Some thoughts. (1) The EID MAR coin is one of the very few Roman issues actually referred to in an ancient text, Dio Cassius 47.25.3: "In addition to these activities [fooling around in northern Greece in 42 BC] Brutus stamped upon the coins which were being minted his own likeness and a cap and two daggers, indicating by this and by the inscription [EID MAR] that he and Cassius had liberated the fatherland." [a] Dio wrote in the late 2nd /early 3rd cent. AD, so obviously used others as sources. He may be right or wrong, but he clearly believed that the coin was a symbol of eleutheria/LIBERTAS, not of suppression of the Republic. He also gives Brutus and Cassius equal credit (which Brutus himself didn't always), which is nicely suggested by the coin: there are several reverse dies, on all of which the two daggers differ. [b] Where Dio clearly didn't get the point is seen in his casual reference to Brutus' portrait on the coin. Dio was familiar with the imperial coinages of a couple of centuries; in 42 BC Brutus' coin portrait was astonishing, and might well have raised questions as to his intentions, since thitherto [a word I hardly ever get the opportunity to use] there was only Caesar's brash innovation, and then the portraits of the Second Triumvirate guys. However you read Brutus, this is striking -- even more so on the aureus where he pairs his portrait with that of his (putative) ancestor, Lucius Junius Brutus, the greatest hero of the Republic. -- Note that Cassius never portrayed himself on his own coinage. (2) As to IMP, the title is certainly a problem with Caesar. In ordinary Republican usage it ought to mean "acclaimed as victorious general", and the acclamation, by the troops and/or the Senate, meant the right to conduct a Triumphal parade in Rome, the greatest of all military honors. Caesar had 5 such, and ought to have labelled himself something like IMPERATOR QUINTO. But on some of the denarii of 44 BC he is CAESAR IMP. This has long been worried over. It can hardly be military in sense. My own guess is that it has nothing to do specifically with the military, but reflects his assumption in 44 BC of the totally unconstitutional title DICTATOR PERPETUO, and means something like "Permanent Possessor of the Imperium [i.e. both military and civil]". You then find Antony as ANTONIUS IMP, following Caesar's murder, I think necessarily meaning "I am Caesar's successor as the head of state" -- not DICTATOR, because that title was by now discredited. There was certainly no military victory against non-Romans (those were the rules) which could have justified Antony's assumption of the title IMPERATOR. But skip ahead a few years, and you get his coins with a military trophy and ANTONIUS IMPERATOR TERTIO -- purely Republican. I think what happened was that Antony's claim to be Caesar's successor (and in Caesar's own terms) was so thoroughly undermined by Octavian, Caesar's civil heir, and by clever manipulations the political heir, that he reverted to a pseudo-Republican stance to set against Octavian's plainly dynastic direction. This was then spoiled by his alliance with Cleopatra, but that's another story. (3) Back to Brutus as IMP. With Caesar as antecedent you could argue that Brutus was claiming the same power (and the same as Antony's claim). But I can't believe that. Insensitive he was, and not very smart, but to claim the supreme power -- and that means over all his colleagues in the tyrannicide, who never gave any indication that they saw him in these terms -- is so totally unrealistic: he was, in law, a provincial governor at the time. Here too we have Dio, in the passage just preceding the one cited above, 47.25.2: "he invaded the country of the Bessi, in the hope that he might at one and the same time punish them for the mischief they were doing and invest himself with the title and dignity of IMPERATOR..." Again, you can accept Dio or not, but he doesn't seem to be bothered by the title here, and actually gives it a sensible Republican context (again note the rules: you couldn't claim the title in civil war, in fighting fellow-citizens: so you go out and find some non-Romans to massacre, then claim the title which was indeed particularly prestigious [strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, though they didn't seem much impressed by it: see Philippi]). To me Brutus' coin, types and title are no more sinister than that. Ted Buttrey
  4. Cr-508/3, Syd-1301 (R9), [ Guarantee] C-15 (350 Fr.); Cahn, [] Quaderni ticinesi 1989, no. 10b, pl.II (this coin). Obv: BRVT IMP L PLAET CEST Head o... read more Minimum Bid: $110,000.00 (No Reserve) Estimate: (110000 - (In U.S. 150000) Dollars) Closes In: Closed. Seller: hjbcoins See more by this seller Number of 0 (starting Bids: bid: $110,000.00) Description (guaranteed) Ides of March Denarius, the Nelson Bunker Hunt specimen, 43-42 AD, Cr-508/3, Syd-1301 (R9), C-15 (350 Fr.); Cahn, Quaderni ticinesi 1989, no. 10b, pl.II (this coin). Obv: BRVT IMP L PLAET CEST Head of Brutus r. Rx: EID MAR Liberty cap and two daggers. Ex Sotheby's, New York, 19 June 1990, N.B.Hunt, 119; Sternberg, 30 Nov. 1973, 10; Stack's, 20 Nov. 1967, H.P. McCollough, 1032; and Naville Ars Classica XV, 1930, Woodward, 1315. Also published in the Hunt exhibition catqalogue, Wealth of the Ancient World, no. 119. With this famous reverse type Brutus commemorates his assassination of Julius Caesar on the notorious Ides of March, 44 BC, and claims that the deed was done to secure liberty for the Roman people (the liberty cap). This sentiment does not prevent him, however, from placing his own portrait on the coin, like a Hellenistic monarch and like Caesar himself shortly before his death! This coin commemorates the most important single day event in ancient history. There is barely a person living in the Western world today who doesn't know the words written by William Shakespeare, "Et Tu Brute" or the words Eid Mar inscribed on the rx of this coin. The fact that a man would commit a political murder and put the date of that murder and the implements used to do it on the rx of the coin between which is a cap representing Liberty and freedom and on the other side, his portrait and his name with the inscription IMP or imperator is remarkable. On this coin, he not only commemorates the act and the day that he saved the Republic, but contradicts the meaning and spirit of the rx of the coin by placing his portrait on the obv and saluting himself as emperor. Somewhat more than 50 of these remarkable coins exist. The fact that far more than 50 people would like to own one, along with the additional fact that most of these coins are in museums, has created the justifiable price structure that exists today. Condition: This coin is nearly EF on the obv, save a hairline scratch from in back of Brutus' head to the tip of the T, which I noticed when I viewed the coin in 1990 at the Hunt Sale. The rx has two old hairlines above and to the left of the Liberty cap, but is otherwise EF. With its pedigree, this is one of the most famous of all the Eid Mar coins. Additional Specifications Number of Items in Lot: 1 Weight: 3.72g.
Concludo osservando che la moneta originale, piuttosto rara, è preziosa perché costituisce un vero e proprio monumento storico. Quanto alle monete di figura esse sono invece delle riproduzioni moderne, come si può rilevare agevolmente dalla piccola "R" sul rovescio, al di sotto del pileo. Esse fanno parte della serie dei riconî moderni che negli anni 80 accompagnavano le confezioni dei biscotti Mister Day - Parmalat. Concludo ricordando che le monete in esame fanno parte di una serie emessa negli anni 80 dalla Parmalat come gadget pubblicitari di una linea di prodotti dolciari (biscotti/merendine per bambini) denominata Mister Day (v. link). Tutte le monete della serie recano una piccola "R" sul rovescio ad indicare che sono riproduzioni. Un'ultima osservazione è che, essendo le monete in esame il risultato di una produzione industriale, presentano caratteristiche fisiche più o meno identiche (peso, diametro e forma del contorno) e in ciò si differenziano dalle monete romane autentiche che, prodotte semiartigianalmente, non garantivano elevati standard di uniformità. In considerazione della larga diffusione di queste monete e del loro contenuto didattico, ritengo utile farne oggetto di trattazione in questa rubrica.

Cordiali saluti.
Giulio De Florio


(1) Denario (argento). Raccolgo in tabella le caratteristiche fisiche dei denari di Marco Giunio Bruto tratte dai link di cui sopra e dal sito dell'ANS (American Numismatic Society):

Riferimenti Peso (g.)  Diametro (mm) Asse di conio (h)
Link1 3,51 - 12
Link3 3,72 - -
ANS7 3,79 19 1
ANS10 3,72 18 12
La moneta del secondo lettore (3,32g, 19-20 mm) presenta caratteristiche fisiche sostanzialmente non dissimili da quelle delle monete autentiche del periodo.
(2) La moneta fu coniata in Oriente, dove Marco Giunio Bruto e Caio Cassio Longino, gli assassini di Cesare, erano andati ad occupare, per nomina senatoriale, il posto di governatori, rispettivamente della Macedonia e della Siria, dopo una fuga precipitosa da Roma determinata dall'esigenza di sfuggire alla vendetta dei cesariani. I due si erano ricongiunti a Sardi, città della Lidia (Turchia) ad Est dell'odierna Smirne e lì si erano accordati per raccogliere truppe da opporre, in nome degli ideali repubblicani, ad Antonio e all'astro nascente della politica romana, Ottaviano, erede designato di Cesare. Lì avevano ricevuto dalle truppe l'acclamazione e con l'approvazione del senato del diritto di fregiarsi del titolo di "imperator", che veniva concesso ai generali vittoriosi.
(3) BRVTus IMPerator. Il titolo di "imperator" concesso a Bruto dopo l'acclamazione delle truppe è cosa diversa da quello di "imperatore" oggi utilizzato per indicare gli "Augusti", i principi cioè o i governanti che si succedettero nella Roma imperiale da Ottaviano in poi. In epoca imperiale il titolo di imperator veniva spesso conferito agli Augusti e aggiunto alla loro titolatura per evidenziare le capacità militari del principe. Ciò comporta che quando noi oggi chiamiamo "imperatore" il principe attribuiamo impropriamente all'aspetto militare del comando maggiore importanza che alla funzione civile.
(4) Lucius PLAETorius CESTianus è il magistrato monetale, al seguito di Bruto, responsabile della zecca itinerante che batteva le monete necessarie per pagare le truppe. La moneta in questione, con lugubre simbolismo, recava sul dritto l'immagine di Bruto e sul rovescio il pileo (il berretto simbolo della libertà) posto tra due daghe, le armi con le quali i congiurati avevano colpito Cesare nelle Idi di Marzo (15 Marzo) del 44 a.C. Il messaggio della moneta è trasparente: Bruto rivendicava a sé il regicidio e la libertà riconquistata con la forza delle armi (Brutus imperator).
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