2060 years ago on March 15th 44 BC, two of the most famous Romans in history Julius Caesar and Marcus Junius Brutus will forever be remembered for the event that happened on this day.

 

Civil War to Save the Roman Republic

During the time Caesar was fighting in Gaul (modern day France) the senate and Pompey order Caesar to return to Rome without his Army.

 

Julius-Caesar-Gallic-Trophy-Gold-Aureus

Diademed head of Venus CAE – SAR Trophy with Gallic shield and carnyx; on r., axe.

Roman coin celebrated Caesar’s military victories in Gaul

Caesar instead crossed the Rubicon River in 51 BC with his army, this led to civil war with Caesar defeating Pompey’s forces. He was then able to enter Rome unchallenged.

In 46 BC, Caesar is appointed dictator for ten years and for life on February 14, 44 B.C.

Julius Caesar was the first Roman ruler to imprint his bust on a coin.

Julius Caesar Dictator Life CoinDictator for Life issue, February-March 44

Caesar’s Assassination

Julius Caesars assassination

Vincenzo Camuccini, “Morte di Cesare”, 1798,

March 15, 44 BC Julius Caesar is murdered led by Brutus and Cassius with 60 to 80 conspirators.

The end of the Roman Republic

After Julius Caesar’s murder,  Marc Antony takes control and stirs up the Roman citizens causing Brutus and Cassius to flee to the eastern empire. Rome was then plunged into a bitter civil war as several factions fought for control of the empire.

Brutus and Cassius proclaim liberty and Brutus strikes the “Eid Mar” (Ides of March) assassination coinage with liberty Cap and two daggers. The coin was minted by Brutus in Macedon in 42 BC prior to the Battle of Philippi where he and Cassius were defeated by the combined forces Marc Antony and Octavian.

Brutus EID_MAR

Obverse: BRVT IMP L PLAET CEST    (Brutus, Imperator, Lucius Plaetorius Cestianus).
Lucius Plaetorius Cestianus was the moneyer who struck his name on the coin.

Any hopes of a renewed Roman Republic ended after the battle of Philippi.  It took another 15 years for the Roman Empire to develop under the leadership of Octavian
(renamed Augustus in 27 BC) after he defeated Marc Antony at the battle of Actium in 31 BC.

The phrase: “Beware of the Ides of March” is taken from Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”.

Coin Replicas | Colonial coins with rifle by Gene Austin

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