Q. Servilius Caepio (M. Junius) Brutus
AR Denarius. 3.56g, 20.5mm
MINTED: Rome mint, 54 BC
REF: Crawford 433/1; Sydenham 906; Sear 397
OBVERSE: Head of Libertas right; LIBERTAS behind.
REVERSE: The consul L. Junius Brutus walking left between two lictors, each carrying fasces over shoulder, preceded by an accensus; BRVTVS in exergue.
Ex Michael Kelly Collection
Very Fine. Beautifully toned with sharp, clear details. A couple of light scratches under toning on obverse and a small nick on reverse edge outside border and not affecting devices. An excellent example with a superb provenance.
This issue was struck by Brutus in his capacity as moneyer in 54 BC, when he was about 30 years old. At that time, Brutus was known as Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, as he had been adopted by his uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio. The types of the coin commemorate Brutus's semi-legendary ancestor, L. Junius Brutus, who was said to have overthrown the monarchy in 509 BC by driving the unpopular king Tarquinius Superbus from Rome, ushering in the Republican era of Rome and becoming one of the first two consuls of Rome. The obverse shows the head of Libertas, the divine personification of liberty and freedom, patriotic ideals that would guide Brutus ten years later when he became a leader of the Liberatores, the senatorial faction who conspired to assassinate Julius Caesar on the grounds that he was a tyrant who aspired to be king of the Romans.
Marcus Junius Brutus was born in 85 BC into one of Rome's most oldest and most illustrious families. While he was in his teens, his mother, Servilia, became Julius Caesar's longtime mistress, and later, Brutus and Caesar came to be on good terms with each other. During the civil war between Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar, even though Brutus chose to fight on the side of Pompey, Caesar ordered that he should come to no harm and be captured alive. After Pompey's defeat and death in 48 BC, Brutus apologised to Caesar and was pardoned.
In 46 BC, Caesar made Brutus the governor of Gaul, and in 45 BC, nominated him for the post of urban praetor, the second highest office in the Republic. It was around this time, however, that Brutus turned against Caesar again. A lifelong believer in the constitutional ideals enshrined by the Republic, Brutus feared that Caesar's ambition was to do away with the Republic and make himself King of Rome. After Caesar had himself appointed dictator perpetuo ("dictator in perpetuity") in early 44 BC, Brutus fatefully joined and became a leader of a group of Roman senators who plotted Caesar's murder.
On 15 March 44 BC, the conspirators executed their plan at a meeting of the Senate in the Theatre of Pompey, where they surrounded Caesar and stabbed him repeatedly with their daggers. Caesar's last words, said when he saw Brutus amongst his killers were, "You too, child?"
In the aftermath of Caesar's assassination, reconciliation would eventually prove to be impossible between the Liberators led by Brutus and his brother-in-law Cassius and those who wanted to avenge Caesar and claim power in Rome, chief amongst them being Caesar's friend and lieutenant Mark Antony and Caesar's legal heir, the 18-year old future emperor Augustus, then known as Octavian. Civil war broke out in late 43 BC and continued into 42 BC. Even though the Liberators had amassed a huge army of seventeen legions in Greece, they were ultimately defeated by Antony and Octavian. Brutus and Cassius both committed suicide.
ROMAN REPUBLIC . M Junius Brutus, 54 BC . Denarius . Assassin of Julius Caesar
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