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Ides of March Coin, 44 BCE

Ides_of_March_Coin_Front

Ides of March Coin – Front

 

Ides_of_March_Coin_Back

Ides of March Coin – Back

Coin bearing the words “EID MAR” (Ides of March), commemorating the assassination of Julius Caesar on that date. The coin was minted by Brutus. On the reverse of the coin, along with the date, is a liberty cap, with a dagger on each side. The obverse of the coin features a portrait of Brutus. The inscription reads BRVT IMP L PLAET CEST, which means Brutus, Imperator, Lucius Plaetorius Cestianus. (Lucius Plaetorius Cestianus was the producer of the coin, or moneyer.)

Just as Marcus Junius Brutus’ name has become synonymous with treachery for the part he took in the assassination of Julius Caesar, his manufacture of this coin must be considered an astonishing act of hubris. Brutus’ message on this coin is succinct. As one of the leading conspirators he proudly identifies himself on the obverse and marks the reason for the murder, (the pileus [the Cap of Liberty]), the means (the two daggers) and the date (EID MAR [the Ides of March]) on its reverse. By having the coin bear his image Brutus once again belies his so-called beliefs. Prior to Julius Caesar, no Roman coin had borne the image of a living Roman. The Senate, after bitter debate, granted Julius Caesar this special dispensation. Brutus had been one of those who had vehemently opposed this issue.

Important Greek and Roman Coins. Sotheby’s Auction Catalog. Zurich. Oct. 26, 1993.

Posted in: Roman Period I

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