The Roman Republic
Estimate: 15'000 CHF
Starting price: 12'000 CHF
Price realized: 26'000 CHF
C. Iulius Caesar and A. Hirtius. Aureus, Roma 46, AV 8.11 g.
Description: C CAESAR – COS TER Veiled head of Vesta r. Rev. A·HIRTIVS·P·R Lituus, jug and axe. References: Babelon Julia 24 and Hirtia 2
Sear Imperators 56
Calicó 36 Condition:In exceptional condition for the issue and undoubtedly among the finest specimens known. Virtually as struck and almost Fdc Provenance: Heritage sale 3033, 2014, 23062
The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern Note: The early career of Iulius Caesar – certainly the most famous of all Romans – was far from remarkable. He followed the standard cursus honorum of a nobleman, and had he not been struck by great ambition in his 31st year, he may have been little more than a footnote in history. Caesar’s moment of clarity seems to have occurred while serving as a quaestor in Spain: he gazed upon a statue of Alexander the Great, who by age 31 had already conquered Greece and the Persian Empire. Within a few years Caesar had joined Crassus in a populist movement against the nobility, and a decade later was consul. From there his career spiraled to ever-rising heights, including the pacification of Gaul, the defeat of Pompey Magnus at Pharsalus, and receiving the unprecedented title dictator perpetuus from the senate. However, shortly before he was to ask for the title of king in advance of his campaign against Parthia (for the Sibylline Books prophesied that only a king could conquer Parthia), Caesar was murdered by a group of senators led by Brutus and Cassius. So ended Caesar’s life, but not his legacy, which was carried forth by Marc Antony and Octavian, and which survived in the form of the Julio-Claudians dynasty and the first six emperors of Rome.