Denarius with head of Julius Caesar (obverse) and Juno Sospita in chariot (reverse) - ROM2011_11767_1


Denarius with head of Julius Caesar (obverse) and Juno Sospita in chariot (reverse)

Maker: M. Mettius as moneyer
Medium:Struck silver
Geography: Minted in Rome, Italy
Date: 44 BCE (before March 15th)
Period: Roman Republic, under Julius Caesar
1.83 cm, 4.07 g
Object number: 998.137.1
Credit Line: From the Estate of Elisabeth Alföldi Rosenbaum; Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur L'Exportation et L'Importation de Biens Culturels
Not on view

The obverse ('heads' side) shows a portrait of Julius Caesar wearing a wreath. He was the first living Roman to be granted the right to place his portrait on coins by the Senate - earlier Roman Republican coins could only feature the portraits of gods or dead heroes. Behind Caesar is the crook-like lituus, curved to the left, which signifies one of Caesar's official positions as Augur, an important Roman religious official who observed the flight of birds in order to predict the future. The inscription on this side, which once read CAESAR DICT(ator) QUART(tor), commemorates the fourth time that the Roman Senate granted Caesar the title of Dictator in 44 BCE. This time the appointment was for Caesar's lifetime, unlike the usual Roman Republican title of Dictator which was a temporary office granted only for the length of a time of crisis.

On the reverse (the 'tails' side) is an image of the goddess Juno Sospiter (Juno the Saviour), riding in a biga (a two-horsed chariot), holding a shield and spear and wearing her typical goat-horned headress. The inscription now missing from the reverse indicated that this was minted under the moneyer Marcus Mettius, one of the Roman magistrates in charge of minting coins in 44 BCE.

Roman World
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