Gold Aureus of Marcus Junius Brutus

23 May 2022  Mon

Coins with the portrait of Brutus are among the most desired of all objects from the Roman world. Here we have a remarkable aureus with a realistic portrait of the conflicted nobleman, who forged the plot to murder Julius Caesar.

Brutus placed his own portrait on coinage when Brutus came to lead his own political movement. He like Caesar before him placed his image on circulating coins. This aureus was probably struck in the late summer or in the fall of 42 B.C Brutus struck two issues of aurei with his portrait.

The coin depicts the bare head of Brutus facing right within the laurel wreath on the obverse. The reverse features a trophy, with a curved sword and two spears on the left and a figure-of-eight shield on the right which is mounted on a post set on a base formed by two prows back to back. Two shields are placed on the front of the prows and a sword with a square handle extends to the right.

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