Denarius with head of Julius Caesar (obverse) and Venus seated holding Victory (reverse) - ROM2015_14548_28


Denarius with head of Julius Caesar (obverse) and Venus seated holding Victory (reverse)

Maker: L. Aemilius Buca as moneyer
Medium:Struck silver
Geography: Minted in Rome, Italy
Date: 44 BCE (before March 15th)
Period: Roman Republic, under Julius Caesar
1.98 cm, 3.29 g
Object number: 998.137.2
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. The inscription on this side, which reads CAESAR DICT(ator) PERPETUO, 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 making him a Perpetual Dictator, unlike the usual Roman Republican Dictator which was temporary office granted only for the length of a time of crisis.

On the reverse (the 'tails' side) is an image of Venus the Roman goddess of love in her aspect of Venus Victrix. She is shown seated on a throne and holding a long sceptre in her left hand and a small figure of winged Victory, now almost completely worn away, in her right hand. Venus held a particular significance for Julius Caesar since his family claimed to be descended from the goddess through her grandson Iulus (son of Aeneas). The inscription on this side indicates that the coin was minted under the moneyer Lucius Aemilius BUCA, one of the Roman magistrates in charge of minting coins in 44 BCE.

Roman World
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.