sabato 26 luglio 2014

Julius Caesar, the first of the Twelve Caesars

image of a Julius Caesar Denarius, exceptional style
Denarius with Laureate head,
exceptional style for era.
Deanius with laureate head

Picture of  Julius Caesar denarius with star behind bust
Denarius with Comet or "star"



One of the first words that come to mind when considering ancient Rome is the name Caesar.  The name has stood for conquering authority, imperial domination and absolute power for over two thousand years.  Today, the name is synonymous with that of Rome itself.

Gaius Julius Caesar was the nephew of the republican revolutionary general, Gaius Marius, and he married the daughter of Marius' compatriot, Lucius Cornelius Cinna.  Marius and Cinna battled Sulla for ruling power.  Marius died of natural causes, and Cinna was murdered by his own troops.  Resulting from these familial associations, Caesar was a marked man early in his military career, and had to proceed cautiously.
julius caesar denarius elephant type
Priestly implements
julius caesar denarius elephant type
Elephant crushing serpent
Caesar was gifted with great oratory skills, and a natural political acumen.  He rose in political standing, and sought alliances with like-minded generals, Pompey and Crassus, with whom he formed a ruling triumvirate. During this time period, Caesar conquered Gaul and invaded both Britain and Germany.

Power struggles within the triumvirate caused Pompey to flee to Egypt, where he was executed by Ptolemy, who was hoping to gain the favor of Caesar.  Caesar instead used the execution as a political tool to side with Ptolemy's wife, Cleopatra, whose goal was to rule Egypt as sole monarch.  Once this end was achieved, Egypt became a loyal ally of Rome during Caesar's time.

When Caesar returned to Rome in victory, he was made Dictator for Life.  Fear of Caesar making himself king caused the rise of a conspiracy against him, led by Brutus and Cassius.

The numismatic legacy of Julius Caesar is primarily minted in silver, with portrait coins in silver, but none in bronze.  Gold coins generally show female deities on the obverse.  Portraits of Caesar on coinage include those representing him in life, and the deified Caesar of the coinage of Augustus.  They also in some cases show the comet or "star" which was interpreted as a personal omen.

Many of the coins issued under Caesar's authority were coined by traveling mints during his military campaigns.


Portraits of Caesar are usually laureate and facing right.  They tend to show crepey folds of skin on a long neck, most likely to show him as a thin figure.  Depending on the quality of the portrait, he is usually depicted as confident and striving forward in his gaze.

Victory supported by Venus
Non-portrait coinage usually shows female deities such as Victory, Ceres, Venus, Minerva, Pietas, and the famous elephant crushing the serpent on the obverse.  Reverses commonly depict military trophies, priestly implements and images of Victory supported by Venus.


Victory, bronze
Image of a Julius Caesar Denarius with Ceres portrait
Denarius with Venus portrait


Image of a Julius Caesar Denarius with Ceres portrait
Denarius with Ceres portrait

lunedì 21 luglio 2014

Aste Estive - Portiamo la numismatica in vacanza

Stiamo entrando nel cuore dell'estate, ma la numismatica non va mai in vacanza! E ad Artemide Aste abbiamo ideato un programma per intrattenervi durante queste calde settimane.

Asta di letteratura numismatica

Questa settimana chiuderà un'asta dedicata alla letteratura numismatica, con un ampia offerta di libri di riferimento e di cultura numismatica. L'asta chiuderà elettronicamente il 23 luglio a partire dalle ore 20:00.



Artemide Aste - 27.2E Libri e letteratura numismatica
Informazioni evento


Asta senza riserva

Per la prima volta stiamo proponendo un'asta senza riserva in cui tutti i lotti partono a 1 euro. Quest'asta chiuderà con battuta live il 30 luglio a partire dalle ore 21:00. 


Artemide - Asta numismatica senza riserva
Live auction - Informazioni evento


Vi aggiorneremo a breve con altre novità per il mese di agosto!

Lo staff di Artemide Aste.


giovedì 3 luglio 2014

Marcus Aurelius, Auction 27E #262




Marcus Aurelius was born Marcus Annius  Verus.  His grandfather held the position of consul three times, and was also a senator and praetor.

Both Marcus and Lucius Verus were adopted by Antoninus Pius in 138 A.D. . Marcus was the nephew of Antoninus’ wife, Faustina the elder.  He later married Antoninus’ daughter, Faustina the younger.

Imperial power was given to Marcus  by Antoninus Pius on his deathbed.  Marcus went on to persuade the senate to grant equal power to Lucius Verus, thus creating joint emperors. 
This lasted until Lucius’ death in 169 A.D., at which point  Marcus ruled as sole emperor. During his reign, he wrote extensively in the form that today would be considered a diary, which was published after he died.  Today, he is considered the most philosophical of all the Roman emperors.

Marcus’ wife, Faustina, often followed him on military campaigns, and it was on one of these that she died.  Marcus proceeded to have her deified.

Due to long, extended military action during his reign, the economy experienced great stress, and this forced the debasement of Rome’s silver coinage.

Marcus named his son, Commodus as Caesar in 166 A.D,, and had him appointed as joint Augustus in 177 A.D., once again creating joint emperors.  Upon Marcus’ death in 180, Commodus reigned as sole emperor.

martedì 1 luglio 2014

Welcome to Auction 27E

Banner Artemide  - Asta numismatica 27E
Numismatic Auction 27E

We are glad to announce our next numismatic auction, Artemide electronic auction 27E. The auction will close live on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 July 2014, starting at 9.00pm Rome Time.


  • Wednesday 16 July, starting at 9.00pm: classical coins (greek coins, roman coins and large lots).
  • Thursday 17 July, starting at 9.00pm: medieval coins, world coins and medals.
This auction includes some interesting lots of Italian coins (Savoy and "Regno d'Italia") and a collection of Paulus VI medals.

As always it will be possibile to bid in real time using our live bidding software.

We hope you will enjoy bidding in our auction!