EID MAR silver denarius makes $517,000 in LA auction on June 4

An EID MAR silver denarius issued by Brutus in 42 BC following the assassination of Julius Caesar has sold for $517,000 at Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers in Los Angeles.

The coin, one of the finest surviving examples of its kind, achieved $517,000 at the June 4 sale.

EID MAR Caesar
Brutus issued the EID MAR denarius in 42 BC, two years after Caesar's death

"EID MAR" refers to the Ides of March, the date in 44 BC when Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate.

The issue is rife with symbolism, with a dagger and pileus (a cap presented to freed slaves) appearing on the reverse - indicating that the Roman people were now free from their tyrannical ruler.

Intriguingly, one of the grievances that sparked the murder was Caesar's issuing of coinage that featured his own name and likeness.

Never before had a living Roman appeared on a coin. This was seen as yet another attempt to extend his personal power.

Ironically, this coin features Brutus' likeness (the practise had become more common following Caesar's demise) and was issued to pay for the lengthy campaign to fill the power vacuum that opened up in the time after the assassination.

He was defeated in battle with Mark Anthony at Philippi in 42 BC and killed himself shortly afterwards. 

We have a range of rare coins available, including a number minted in renaissance-era Italy.

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