The Ides of March, 15 March 44 BC
|Above coin in the Fitzwilliam Museum Department of Coins and Medals (Hart coll.) is one of finest known of this uncommon issue, of which only about 60 are known, and genuine Coins sell for over US$100K.|
|Image of coin sent to me from Colombo, Sri Lanka.|
Seyone identifies it as Brutus #320 in a catalog he forgot to identify which says
O. BRVY.IMP.L.PLAET.CEST, Bare hd of Brutus r.
R. EID.MAR. Cap of Liberty between two daggers. C. 15 S. 1301
Metal :- Silver (AR) Diam :- 20.0 mm Weight :- 3.000 grams
Note Small R between the EID MAR probably indicates a Replica from
Museum Quality Reproductions of Great Britain which I understand
is no longer in Business.
See also Replica attributed to Slavey, an infamous modern Bulgarian coin replicator.
Wed Aug 15 22:10:24 2001
Kerry K. Wetterstrom, Editor/Publisher -- The Celator - Journal of Ancient and Medieval Coinage said
It is a modern replica and the identifying characteristic as such is the monogram above the legend EID MAR and below the pileus ("Cap of Liberty"). This is probably the maker's mark. As it is an extremely rare coin, copies are made of it all the time. Another indication that it is a copy is the weight, which should be at least 4 grams.
Wed Aug 15 06:33:35 2001
Ted Buttrey of Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge UK said
I know nothing of the history of it but it's certainly not ancient. The R may indeed indicate that it's a replica -- which it is, but most don't admit to it.
Tue Aug 14 16:35:56 2001
Alan Van Arsdale owner of Coin Forgery Discussion List said
Looks like a high quality forgery struck from a hand engraved die to me, but I can not be sure. A specialist would know quickly. I have no idea who might have cut the die, maybe someone in Western Europe, maybe even an old master (Italian maybe). The coin, from the photo, looks convincingly old to me, which suggests it is expertly aged or an old forgery. But I am only 90% sure it is a forgery, I would need to compare it to authentic examples to be more convinced. Probably it is published some place, if it is a forgery. Certain details of the engraving style definitely do not look Roman Republic period to me, which is typical for the old forgeries, the skill was very high often, but they did not have many modern concepts about forgery. I think Paduans if old can go for up to $200 or so. But do not present my findings as conclusive, as Brutus coins are way out of my league price wise, so I only see them as pictures, not in hand very often.
The Ides of March denarius, struck by Brutus in 43/2 BC, is easily the most famous of Roman Republican coins. It was famous in antiquity -- one of the few coin types mentioned in an ancient author (Dio Cassius). The reverse is the more striking face with the plain reference to Caesar's assassination -- the legend EID MAR with two daggers --, and the meaning of the assassination -- the liberty cap, worn by slaves on the day of their manumission. The importance of the cap here derives from the Republican claim that Caesar was aiming at the kingship, since in Roman political terms the relation of king to subject was that of master to slave. The murder of Caesar has set the Roman people free; and the multiplicity of the heroic murderers is indicated by the daggers which are always unalike.
See Also: wildwinds
On my trip to Lanka in 2001 Dec My Seyone showed me the coin and accepted the evaluation of it. On my next trip in 2003 May, he said that he had been able to return it to the dealer from whom he pad purchased it and recover the money paid for it.