I just joined the Julius Caesar portrait club!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by johnmilton, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Last week one of our members was pleased to announce that he had just joined that select group of collectors who have a Julius Caesar portrait coin in their collections. I knew that this was in the works, but I didn't know if it would work out. As it turned out, it did.

    I know that this piece is quite off-center and that it was issued, probably in 43 BC, the year after Julius Caesar died. Still it's nice portrait of the Roman dictator, later to be hailed as an emperor. Furthermore it cost less than half the amounts that I had seen for "really nice" Caesar portrait coins in slabs. Some of them were not that nice at all, but still high priced.

    Julius Caesar.jpg

    As added bonus, Mark Antony is one the obverse. I know have this coin backwards, but I didn't buy it for the sake of Mark Antony.

    The history of this piece is rather interesting. Mark Antony had made at time when he was sort of down and out. It was probably made in a military camp somewhere in Gaul with a tree stump for an anvil. Here is what I've been able to learn about this period:

    This usual two headed denarius was struck while Mark Antony and Octavian were doing battle with the Roman Senate. Antony had suffered a military defeat at the hands of a Senate led army. The Senate, which was under the influence of Cicero, opposed the pro-Caesarian faction. Caesar’s nephew, Octavian, got command of eight Senatorial legions when both consuls were killed in battle.

    Although Antony had lost a battle, he had not lost the war. He retreated with his forces to Cisalpine Gaul where he waited while Octavian returned to Rome and dealt with Senatorial politics. Antony greatly strengthened his position when he formed another alliance with Marcus Aemlius Lepidus who was the governor of Transalpine Gaul and Spain. That alliance gave him 17 more legions.

    This coin, like so many Roman coins, served a political purpose. It reminded the soldiers and the civilians that Antony was loyal to Julius Caesar and his memory. Seven months later, Antony, Octavian and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat Caesar’s assassins.
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Huzzah! Congratulations on joining the hallowed halls. How's the air up there? :)
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coin, congrats.

    Julius Caesar (February-March 44 B.C)
    AR Denarius
    O: Wreathed head of Caesar right; CAESAR downward to right, DICT PERPETVO upward to left.
    R:Venus Victrix standing left, holding Victory in outstretched right hand and vertical scepter in left; L • BVC[A] downwards to right. L. Aemilius Buca, moneyer.
    Rome Mint
    Crawford 480/8; Alföldi Type XIV, 62–3, 67, and 69 (A13/R22); CRI 105; Sydenham 1061; RSC 23; RBW 1683.
    Cucumbor, Edessa, +VGO.DVCKS and 10 others like this.
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Congrats, @johnmilton

    Here is mine, pounded out 2 weeks before his Execution by the Senate for Crimes against the State, Killing the Republic, and Genocide.

    Roman Imperatorial - Death of the Republic
    Julius Caesar Lifetime
    P Sepullius Macer moneyer
    AR Denarius
    1st 2 weeks-Mar 44 BCE
    Venus Victory sceptre star
    Syd 1074a Sear Imperators 107e Cr 480-14
    R -2
    Cucumbor, Edessa, DonnaML and 11 others like this.
  6. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our club @johnmilton , I checked the by-laws and posthumous portrait issues are perfectly acceptable. Please remember to forward your initiation fee and first year's membership dues to me, as treasurer of the club :cigar: (Note for the humor-impaired: The previous sentence was a joke, the "club" is not a real organization and no money changes hands.) Guess I get to share my JC again:
    Julius Caesar.jpg
    Cucumbor, Edessa, DonnaML and 12 others like this.
  7. Gallienus

    Gallienus Well-Known Member

    Well here's mine but being poor I can only afford copper. One day though I'll look for a nice silver one but with the present coin frenzy I'm holding off. Also I need a new dive computer & an underwater camera.

    Octavian Caesar sestersius/dupondius
    issued 38 BC VF condition
    Obv: Portrait of Octavian
    Rev: Portrait of Julius Caesar
    (NFA: Numismatic Fine Arts Auction, ca.1990)

    I'd like to get more historical background on these. I should try to find the place of minting. These come in 2 styles: somewhat crude & cheap and really nice & expensive. This is a particularly nice one among the "somewhat crude & cheap" group.

    I should really find the exact provinance I hate to pay ex-nummis all that money just to look up a NFA listing though.
    zumbly, Cucumbor, Edessa and 11 others like this.
  8. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    And what a great coin to join the club with, @johnmilton! Two great portraits with a strong political message. Overall a very nice coin in my opinion and itt being off flan is just a minor detail. Interesting to note is that Mark Antony and Octavian were not the best of buddies when Octavian accepted the will of Caesar, and adopting Caesar's name. Mark Anotony continuously patronized Octavian, despite Octavian having the loyalty of many of Caesars former legionairs/veterans.

    In any case, here's my portrait coin of the dictator himself, before he was struck down by a mad bunch of blade-swinging senators.
    Julius Caesar portrait.png

    And i'll throw in the portrait issue of Mark Antony, below (off flan and reverse weakly struck. Nevertheless a powerfull portrait):
    Marcus Antonius bare head.png
    Cucumbor, Edessa, DonnaML and 15 others like this.
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  10. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Congrats on the purchase!!

    Mine is very worn but I love it..

    Large AE portrait of Julius Caesar. Imperatorial Era: Octavian/Augustus and Divus Julius Caesar, Orichalcum Sestertius, 29mm, 12.98 gm, 2h. Mint in Italy, 38 BC. Obv: CAESAR DIVI F bare head of Octavian right Rx: DIVOS IVLIVS laureate head of Julius Caesar right (here Caesar shown on the left).
    zumbly, Cucumbor, Edessa and 13 others like this.
  11. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Wellcome to the club, John. Great coin with both JC and M.Anthony depicted.

    These 2 are in my 12 Caesar sets (bronze & silver)

    @Gallienus , I think your bronze coin is excellent, mine is more rather cheap & crude


    P1230084 aaa (7) best.jpg
    zumbly, Cucumbor, Edessa and 10 others like this.
  12. Gallienus

    Gallienus Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I get a lot of mileage out of mine as I use it in my school presentations. I see that they're listed as an Italian mint. Is there any additional info beyond that?
    +VGO.DVCKS and TJC like this.
  13. HoledandCreative

    HoledandCreative Well-Known Member

    @Bing I like that gold plug.
  14. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I don't think it's gold; it just came out that color in the image. The coin was formerly holed and mounted. I suppose that is how I got it so cheaply.
    Alegandron likes this.
  15. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Nice OP caesar portrait coin! Congrats!!
    johnmilton likes this.
  16. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Not in the most wonderful condition, but I purchased this a decade ago from Harlan Berk because I appreciated the expressive portraits. The description of the coin included this note: "From a collection formed by a schoolboy in the 1950's, bought chiefly from Ben's Stamp and Coin Company in Chicago." Photo from Berk.

  17. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Great score @johnmilton

    Even though it's not a lifetime issue, I particularily like this type because of the dual portraits. And there are several at this time/period to be in search for. Here are some, in addition to the Caesar/MA one

    MA and Caesar :

    Octavian and Lepidus :

    MA and Octavian :

    MA and his brother Lucius Antonius :

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