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Portrait Denarii of Julius Caesar


John060167
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Hi everyone!

 

Hope y’all are doing well, I would just like to share a new pickup of mine, a type of coin that is among one of my favorites out there to collect. 

 

I am talking about the portrait denarii of Julius Caesar, especially the lifetime issues struck between Jan and March 44BCE, especially the DICT PERPETVO types. These coins are particularly significant because they are known as “the coins that killed caesar”. Not to mention they are also the first proto-Roman Imperial coin issues too, as no Roman coin ever before beared a portrait of a living man nor did anyone before Caesar ever put such a powerful title on their coinage such as dictator for life, or even held such power like Caesar. This trend that Caesar started would be continued by his successors Octavian and Mark Antony (as well as others including Caesar’s asssassin, Marcus Junius Brutus, ironically ) and would be used in the Roman Empire for the rest of its history.

 

Here is the coin anyway:

 

Late Roman Republic

Julius Caesar (d. 49-44BC)

AR denarius, 17mm, 3.88g

struck mid Feb-mid March, 44BCE , Rome mint

RRC 480/8

Obv: CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, Laureate head of J. Caesar facing right, border of dots around.

Rev: L. BVCA, Venus standing left, holding Victory in right hand and long sceptre in left hand. Border of dots around.

9386B913-D06D-48FB-9F0D-F2AB4E632F9B.jpeg.a98269da5ab01eb1f9e4fdb1d8610f98.jpeg33247FBC-AD6C-4CC1-A465-EDE20FA92048.jpeg.e7e5f9fe9dc6164a1b0cae4f5724f05c.jpeg

(and here is a video: https://imgur.com/a/pGuZJja)

This coin was issued by one of the 4 moneyers that year, Lucius Aemilius Buca. An interesting  fact is that typically there were only 3 moneyers during the republican period (this system was called this tresviri monetales, meaning the three moneyers). However, in preparation for Caesars anticipated parthian war, the mintage output was increased and so Caesar appointed 4 moneyers that year. It is clear production was high that year based on the known coinage as well as the quality of the coins themselves, ie weight tolerances were fairly large and the dies/striking quality was not always the best. 

 

My example is fairly high grade , but is struck on a thick flan and slightly off center so a portion of Caesars portrait and the legends are off. It has really nice surfaces and metal, and no bankers marks. The die itself seems to have some wear as evidenced by the die cracks present on the obverse and reverse.

 

The RRC 480/8 denarius I picked is an upgrade to another DICT PERPETVO type I already have, specifically an RRC 480/13, which is a veiled head type struck by P. Sepullius Macer, another of the 4 moneyers for 44BC. This coin is well struck but fairly beat up, it has been well circulated, scratched up, bankers marked, etc. but still a decent example of the type.

Late Roman Republic

Julius Caesar (d. 49-44BCE)

AR denarius, 19mm, 3.15g

struck mid Feb-mid March, 44BC, rome mint.

RRC 480/13

Obv: CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled head of J. Caesar facing right. Border of dots around.

Rev: P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, holding victory in right hand and sceptre in left with shield at bottom. Border of dots around

090BC001-C4E5-4E19-8437-4669C5BAAF12.jpeg.22563f7c6e6a8461af6d211ee7fd1c33.jpeg

18E3A90E-2B17-41F9-954A-62BA75029405.jpeg.fa874d516d05830b8269428de1400cdb.jpeg

(a video: https://imgur.com/a/05lAB0Z)

 

Anyway, do you have any coins of Caesar? If so please share, would love to see what you got! If not, share something you have that you feel is relevant!

 

Cheers!

Edited by John060167
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Nice coin, much better than the old one ! Congratulations !

 

I don't have a livetime :classic_sad:

1494741365_Marc_Anthony_Caesar(1).jpg.3d9351276304021d790632efa385f384.jpg

Marcus Antonius
AR-Denar, ca. 43 v.C.
mint in Gallia
Obv: M ANTON IMP Head of Marcus Antonius r., lituus behind
Rev: CAESAR DIC Laureate head of Julius Caesar r., jug behind
Ag, 3.81g, 18mm
Ref: Cr.: 488/1, Sydenham: 1165, Sear 118

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, shanxi said:

Nice coin, much better than the old one ! Congratulations !

 

I don't have a livetime :classic_sad:

1494741365_Marc_Anthony_Caesar(1).jpg.3d9351276304021d790632efa385f384.jpg

Marcus Antonius
AR-Denar, ca. 43 v.C.
mint in Gallia
Obv: M ANTON IMP Head of Marcus Antonius r., lituus behind
Rev: CAESAR DIC Laureate head of Julius Caesar r., jug behind
Ag, 3.81g, 18mm
Ref: Cr.: 488/1, Sydenham: 1165, Sear 118

 

 

 

ohh thats very cool, love that issue! my favorite thing is that it has a double portrait of caesar and antony, you can see here how antony was really trying to come off as caesars true successor, even if octavian was his real designated heir lol.

 

thanks for sharing!

Edited by John060167
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That's a nice pair! I don't have one of the veiled ones yet. I've got two DICT PERPETVO with laureate Caesar, BVCA and Macer. Both have very rough reverses (otherwise I couldn't have afforded them!), especially the BVCA, but I actually find the portrait quite nice:

image.jpeg.dcbc1c7542b610de0544ec6432e6cc6d.jpegimage.jpeg.b1c5aa472a57da698313ca42b748fa35.jpeg

 

 

 

Edited by Curtis JJ
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On 8/14/2022 at 11:52 AM, Curtis JJ said:

That's a nice pair! I don't have one of the veiled ones yet. I've got two DICT PERPETVO with laureate Caesar, BVCA and Macer. Both have very rough reverses (otherwise I couldn't have afforded them!), especially the BVCA, but I actually find the portrait quite nice:

image.jpeg.dcbc1c7542b610de0544ec6432e6cc6d.jpegimage.jpeg.b1c5aa472a57da698313ca42b748fa35.jpeg

 

 

 

 

lovely coins! both still of nice quality for the type, not sure which i prefer! i remember you showed em to me on reddit, i dont see you there too often anymore.

 

cheers!

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39 minutes ago, John060167 said:

lovely coins! both still of nice quality for the type, not sure which i prefer! i remember you showed em to me on reddit, i dont see you there too often anymore.

 

cheers!

@John060167! Totally didn't notice thre username lol. Good to see you! I love Reddit & the discord but something about keeping up with people on those interfaces kinda stresses me out sometimes. I like these kinda forums best for some reason.

Looks like you've made a wonderful addition with that great looking BVCA ! Pretty sure I recognize your veiled MACER now that I've put 2 and 2 together. This is a fun series. Personally I always refer to elephant denarius as the first of the "coins that killed Caesar" (plural), since he basically strolled over the Rubicon & iimmediately struck treasury silver in his own name with no Senate authority, at the point of a sword. What do you think? 

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Wow wow wow! Lifetime Caesar coins are bucket list - would love to just be able to hold one in hand one day. Actually owning one!? 🤯 Feel like it would look down on all my other coins 😂

0395964C-ACF1-4EAE-B21C-867ADB864DBA.gif.2a4e30b19e262ad967dd76852d8e352a.gif

Here’s the closest thing I have to Caesar, his heir! 

DEF61F95-EAC8-4679-9009-AB8C1B0595AC.jpeg.d082c9e7d708b8dd69bc7a22c280d898.jpeg

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On 8/16/2022 at 8:34 PM, Curtis JJ said:

@John060167! Totally didn't notice thre username lol. Good to see you! I love Reddit & the discord but something about keeping up with people on those interfaces kinda stresses me out sometimes. I like these kinda forums best for some reason.

Looks like you've made a wonderful addition with that great looking BVCA ! Pretty sure I recognize your veiled MACER now that I've put 2 and 2 together. This is a fun series. Personally I always refer to elephant denarius as the first of the "coins that killed Caesar" (plural), since he basically strolled over the Rubicon & iimmediately struck treasury silver in his own name with no Senate authority, at the point of a sword. What do you think? 

haha yeah thats a good point on that elephant denarius. Never thought of it that way….Lets just say these dict perpetvo denarii are the “coins that put a nail in caesars coffin”(well not coffin since he was cremated but!)

 

cheers!

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On 8/16/2022 at 10:47 PM, Octavius said:

 Great and desirable coins!

838590.jpg.af32bb9e28249683b115c51b1dfa9e3a.jpg

Silver denarius CAESAR IMP, minted in Rome by P. Sepullius Macer, January to February 44 BC.

sick quality example! wow! what good metal and handsome portrait on that issue.

thanks for sharing!

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10 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

No Ceasar lifetime issue in my trays, but 4 related to the dude

6fcd7479dbb44297916fb6dd67e4807e.jpg

Q

those are nice! id say those first three are lifetime issue caesars, just not lifetime issue portraits so more than good enough! high quality lovely specimens.

 

cheers!

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For a second I thought @Qcumbor's elephant used to be mine! From the coins-I-wish-I-could-get-back file (SOLD, c. 2013-5):

0-julius-caesar-elephant-imperatorial-re

Looks like the same obverse die, but not the same coin... @Qcumbor's is still better. These are amazing coins in great condition like that!

 

Edited by Curtis JJ
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2 hours ago, John060167 said:

those are nice! id say those first three are lifetime issue caesars, just not lifetime issue portraits so more than good enough! high quality lovely specimens.

 

cheers!

Yeah, I should have been more specific : "No Ceasar portrait lifetime issue"

😀 Q

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On 8/14/2022 at 6:20 AM, John060167 said:

These coins are particularly significant because they are known as “the coins that killed caesar”.

The idea behind this, of course, is that it was offensively king-like to put one's portrait on a coin.  But Clare Rowan, in her book From Caesar to Augustus: Using Coins as Sources makes (or perhaps repeats? I can't remember) the rather good point that since some of Caesar's assassins, including Brutus, put their portraits on coins shortly thereafter, this could hardly have been a significant reason for the assassination.

9781107675698.jpg

My lifetime portrait coin is one of the earlier ones (480/4):

image.jpeg.84ccce0edeb583c57c0873b4b7a73885.jpeg

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One of my favorites:

The Triumvirs. Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. 43 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.55g, 6h). Obv: M ANTO IM[P R P C]; Bare head of Mark Antony right, lituus in left field. Rev: CAESAR DIC; Wreathed head of Caesar right, pitcher in left field. Ref: Craw 488/2, Syd 1166, Sear Imperators 123. Fine, nicely toned, slightly off-center, banker's marks, good style for these. Ex Berk, with ticket which includes the following note: "From a collection formed by a schoolboy in the 1950s, bought chiefly from Ben's Stamp and Coin Company in Chicago". 

2012_3.jpg

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Congrats @John060167!

CAESAR

Lifetime, last 2 weeks of his life.
upload_2022-3-15_8-59-5.png
Roman Imperiatorial
Julius Caesar Lifetime
P Sepullius Macer
AR Denarius, 1st 2 weeks-Mar 44 BCE, 19 mm, 4.03g.
Obv: CAESAR – DICT PERPETVO Veiled and wreathed head of Caesar R.
Rev: P·SEPVLLIVS – MACER Venus standing l., holding Victory and sceptre resting on star.
Ref: Syd 1074a Sear Imperators 107e Crawford 480-14 R

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