Roman Republic, Denarius


Roman Republic, Denarius (obverse) Roman Republic, Denarius (reverse)

This denarius was minted at the time of the Roman Civil War from 49 to 45 BC. It belonged to a series produced in a mobile military mint in Africa as payment for the troops. The issuer was Julius Caesar, who struck his coins without an official permission by the Senate. These coins are describes as imperatorial issues (from Imperator for general).

The obverse depicts Venus, the goddess of beauty and fertility, of whom Caesar claimed descent. The progenitor was Julus, the son of Trojan prince Aeneas.

The reverse shows Aeneas himself, whose flight from Troy to Italy had led to the foundation of Rome. Aeneas is carrying a palladium and his old father Anchises. The design alludes to the legend after which Aeneas fled from burning Troy with his father and then sailed to Italy.

The Palladium was an ancient wooden cult statue that Aeneas had allegedly brought with him. It was kept in the temple of Vesta in Rome.


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