Roma Numismatics Ltd > Auction XXVAuction date: 22 September 2022
Lot number: 901

Price realized: 700 GBP   (Approx. 789 USD / 803 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Julius Caesar AR Denarius. Military mint travelling with Caesar, 48-47 BC. Diademed female head to right, wearing oak-wreath; LII (Caesar's age) behind / Trophy of Gallic arms, wearing horned helmet, holding oval shield ornamented with thunderbolt and carnyx; securis to right, CAE-SAR across lower field. Crawford 452/2; CRI 11; BMCRR Rome 3955; RSC 18. 3.98g, 17mm, 4h.

Extremely Fine; attractive golden iridescence around devices.

From the inventory of a European dealer.

Caesar's conquest of Gaul, which the reverse of this coin alludes to, with its captured Gallic spoils (the typical shield, the Gallic 'carnyx' or war horn, and axe), was the springboard from which he was to take control of the Republic and become its Dictator. It allowed him to grow his power base through both fame as the conqueror of so vast a region and of so many peoples, and through strength as the commander of an army that grew ever more experienced and fiercely loyal. His allocation of the provinces of Gaul also granted him a magistrate's immunity from the prosecution his enemies intended to conduct upon his return to Rome, which would undoubtedly have stunted his career. It was from his province of Cisalpine Gaul that he invaded Italy across the Rubicon, and he did so with the Legio XIII Gemina, who had fought for him in the major battles of his conquest of Gaul.

The importance of this conquest of Gaul to Caesar's career, and his awareness of this, is demonstrated by this coin. It was minted some time after he had left Gaul behind, by the mint which had moved with his army across the Mediterranean and beyond as it chased down the Optimates, most likely in Greece shortly after the victory over Pompey in Pharsalus. Yet the type harks back to these Gallic victories, reminding those he paid with these coins of his past as a Roman hero - a conqueror not of his own people, but of his people's enemies.

Estimate: 500 GBP