Author Topic: Marcus Junius Brutus, AR Denarius, Rome mint, 54 BC, Sear 397, Syd 906, Cr433/1  (Read 60 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Marcus Junius Brutus, AR Denarius, Rome mint, 54 BC, Sear 397, Syd 906, Cr433/1, Junia 31 (3.59 g, 19 mm)

The family of the Bruti had a connection with libertas stretching right back to the beginnings of Rome, which Cicero often emphasised in his speeches (e.g., Cicero ad Att ii.24.2-3). The gens were famous for their murder of tyrant kings at the beginning of Rome's history.

Before Caesar's assassination, Brutus had emphasised this family heritage while a moneyer. The precise date he held this office is in dispute. Crawford (1974: 455-456) argued for 54 BC, while more recently dates of 55 or 59 BC have been suggested (Cerutti 1993/4). This coin types (RRC 433/1) displays the head of Libertas, while the reverse shows Brutus' ancestor L. Iunius Brutus as consul, preceded by two lectors and an accensus (aide). L. Iunius Brutus, according to Roman legend, drove the Tarquin kings from Rome and became the first consul in 509 BC after correctly interpreting an oracle from Delphi (Cicero, Brutus 53). (Text source: Libertas: The Coins of Brutus - The Coins of Julius Caesar - Australian Centre)

Obverse: Bust of Libertas right; LIBE[RTAS] downward behind
Reverse: Consul L. Junius Brutus, between two lictors, preceded by accensus, all walking left; [BRVTVS] in exergue

Offline Figleaf

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Massively interesting piece of history, illustrating an important part of Brutus' thinking and his admiration for Gaius Servilius Ahala. Brutus' life was convoluted, in particular his relation with Pompey and Caesar. He was not simply a political murderer, as Shakespeare pictures him and this coin makes the case against that approach very eloquently.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.