Monday, July 03, 2006

Brutus celebrates tyrannicide

Thanks again to Explorator, ABC News and AP, we have a story about a rare Brutus coin from the civil war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar. Brutus, the most famous of the assassins, gathered an army in Greece for the inevitable showdown with the Caesarian party. When he had to pay them, he had special coins made up, showing his own portrait and a commemoration of the Ides of March. On the right we have the words EID MAR, two daggers and what is probably a "liberty cap," the symbol of emancipation from slavery -- a symbol well-exploited in French Revolutionary times.

This is in the news because a new, illegally excavated example of the coin was exported to Britain. When it was proved that it had been exported without permission of the Greek government, it was returned to the country of origin.

ABC/AP says this coin was a legionary's day's pay. I wonder about the source of the coin. Was it part of a "horde" or buried treasure (a lot of people's substitute for a savings account)? Or did someone lose it?

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