Roman Republic, Aureus


Roman Republic, Aureus (obverse) Roman Republic, Aureus (reverse)

The issuer of this denarius was Aulus Hirtius. He was a brother-in-arms of Julius Caesar, who from 49 to 45 BC waged a civil war against his rival Pompeius Magnus. In 46 BC, Hirtius issued a series of gold coins that was used for the pay of Caesar's legions.

The obverse of these aurei depicted a goddess, either Pietas, the goddess of duty towards the state, or Vesta, whose cult secured the power of the Roman state. Whichever godess it was, Caesar announced with this image that he did by no means wage his war out of personal interests, but merely fought for the good of the Republic.

The inscription C CAESAR COS TER pointed out that Caesar held the office of a consul for the third time in 46 BC.

The reverse illustrates priestly instruments: a lituus, the curved augurial staff, a pitcher, and a sacrifial axe. They refer to Caesar's office as pontifex maximus, and specify that he was the highest Roman priest.


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