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Brutus, Denarius

This denarius of the Roman Republic was found about 20 years since by Ian Darke. On the obverse is the bare head of L. Junius Brvtus (Consul 509 BC) with BRVTVS behind. There is another bare head on the reverse, this one of C. Servilius Ahala (Master of the Horse, 439 BC) with AHALA behind.

This is an early coin of Marcus Junius Brutus, which was struck during his term as moneyer in 54 BC. His father having died when he was young, Brutus was adopted by his uncle, Q. Servilius Caepio, and his name was changed to Q. Servilius Caepio Brutus.

The heads and inscriptions on the coin refer the illustrious ancestry of Brutus, which included L. Junius Brutus and C. Servilius Ahala. Ten years after this denarius was struck, because of his name and reputation for integrity, Brutus was recruited by those conspiring against Julius Caesar and he became the leader of the assassins.

Caesar was assassinated on 15 March AD 44 but his friends saw to it that those responsible would pay for this deed. At the Battle of Philippi in October of 42BC an army led by Mark Antony and Octavian inflicted a crushing defeat on the army of Brutus and Cassius. Soon after this Brutus committed suicide.

In volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values Ian’s coin is listed as number 398. It’s not a particularly rare denarius but it is connected to the name of one of the best known personalities of the late Roman Republic.


Both sides have been struck off centre but the coin is otherwise in Fine condition. After checking the figures other specimens have sold for at auction I’d say this one shouldn’t be worth any less than £100.

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