The Brutus Coin

As in minted by Marcus Junius Brutus, assassin of Gaius Julius Caesar, complete with a crystal clear image of his ignominious mug.

The Brutus coin, minted 42 BC

Brutus and his conspiratorial friends assassinated Julius Caesar on March 15th, 44 BC. On March 20th he cleverly observed that everyone hated him for having killed the most popular man ever, and he hightailed it out of town to Greece.

He whiled away a couple of years studying philosophy and raising money for an army which would lose to Antony and Octavian at the Battles of Philippi in 42 BC. How better to raise money than to mint it? Hence the Brutus coin, one day’s wages for a foot soldier, dated 42 BC.

This amazing coin was unearthed under highly shady looting-like circumstances, and sold to a British coin dealer. The Greek government caught the sellers on their way out of the country, confiscated the ill-gotten gains, and then scored the coin back from the British dealer.

I actually feel a little bad for the poor dealer who gets neither a refund nor the coin, but them’s the breaks when you’re dealing with suspicious provenance. Especially nowadays. Countries like Greece and Italy are seriously hounding other countries to turn over stolen artifacts, and they’ve been remarkably successful.

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8 Comments »

Comment by Dingfodius Minimus
2006-06-28 12:23:55

Beware of the Dimes of March.

Warren

P.S. Love the blog.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2006-06-28 12:40:13

He he… Dimes of March…

Thank you! But you’ve got your cognomen wrong. It should be Maximus.

 
Comment by Ashamed
2006-06-30 01:46:51

If it won’t fit in the laundry machines downstairs, I don’t care how old the coin is! =P

 
Comment by naisioxerloro
2007-11-28 10:52:52

Hi.
Good design, who make it?

 
Comment by livius drusus
2007-12-10 11:34:11

Thank you, naisioxerloro. I got the template from http://www.template-help.com/. :)

 
2008-05-14 12:06:28

Rare United States Coins

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

 
2011-07-18 03:12:37

[...] One of the first entries I ever wrote for this here blog back in June of 2006 was about an EID MAR denarius, a silver coin commemorating the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, 44 B.C., struck by assassin Marcus Junius Brutus. That particular Brutus coin had been returned to Greece by a British coin dealer who had purchased it from two Greek looters. [...]

 
2011-07-21 02:02:02

[...] One of the first entries I ever wrote for this here blog back in June of 2006 was about an EID MAR denarius, a silver coin commemorating the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, 44 B.C., struck by assassin Marcus Junius Brutus. That particular Brutus coin had been returned to Greece by a British coin dealer who had purchased it from two Greek looters. [...]

 
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