ROMAN IMPERATORIAL. Julius Caesar, 44 BC.
Silver Denarius, 3.80 g., 18 mm.
Obv. Head of Venus right.
Rev. CAESAR, Aeneas fleeing from Troy carrying his father Anchises and the Palladium.
Cr. 458/1; Syd. 1013; RSC 12.
NGC graded CHOICE AU, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5. A historically important coin as it makes reference to one of the foundation myths of the Roman people as Aeneas and his family escape burning Troy and begin the journey to Italy:
“Come then, dear father, clasp my neck: I will carry you on my shoulders: that task won’t weigh on me. Whatever may happen, it will be for us both, the same shared risk, and the same salvation. Let little Iulus come with me, and let my wife follow our footsteps at a distance. You servants, give your attention to what I’m saying. At the entrance to the city there’s a mound, an ancient temple of forsaken Ceres, and a venerable cypress nearby,protected through the years by the reverence of our fathers: let’s head to that one place by diverse paths. You, father, take the sacred objects, and our country’s gods, in your hands: until I’ve washed in running water, it would be a sin for me, coming from such fighting and recent slaughter, to touch them.” So saying, bowing my neck, I spread a cloak made of a tawny lion’s hide over my broad shoulders, and bend to the task: little Iulus clasps his hand in mine, and follows his father’s longer strides.” (Virgil, Aeneid, II.705 ff. as per internet translation of A.S. Kline).
Julius Caesar was part of the Julii family who regarded Aeneas and his mother, the goddess Venus, as their mythological ancestors.