Roman Republic (Imperatorial Period)
Julius Caesar, Dictator 46 BC
Crawford 466/1; HCRI 56; Sydenham 1017; Calicó 36, Superb Extremely Fine
Rome. A Hirtius, praetor. C · CAESAR COS · TER, veiled female head (Vesta or Pietas?) right. Reverse: A HIRTIVS PR, emblems of the augurate and pontificate: lituus, jug, and axe.
Julius Caesar was nothing if not a man favored by the goddess Victory. He had pacified the wild and warlike peoples of Gaul, crushed Pompey and his adherents in a civil war spanning from the Greek East to Spain and North Africa, and defeated the Hellenistic kings Ptolemy XII of Egypt and Pharnaces of Pontus. The last was such a non-event that Caesar famously declared veni, vidi, vici (“I came, I saw, I conquered”). After years of hard fighting, Caesar returned to Rome in 46 BC to celebrate a grand triumph spread over four days. The cost of the great spectacle combined with reward money promised to his loyal troops was immense and partially underwritten by this large and somewhat hastily struck gold issue, possibly produced from the plunder of his defeated enemies.