|Lot 174. Julius Caesar. 48-47 B.C. AR denarius (17 mm, 3.74 g, 7 h). Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa. Diademed head of Venus right / CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and bearing Anchises on his shoulder. Crawford 458/1; HCRI 55; Sydenham 1013; RSC 12. Gentle toning. Good very fine.
The Roman nobility was always at pains to claim descent from either the gods or from mythical heroes, or even more often from both. The Julia gens claimed mythical descent from Iulus, son of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who himself was the son of the goddess Venus and Anchises. Although not struck on as massive a scale as Caesar's well-known elephant type of 49-48 B.C., this type is considerably more common than any other coin of Caesar, and was struck to pay for Caesar's protracted North African campaign against the Pompeians.
Estimate: US$ 500