He knew he was hated—he dismissed his security detail anyway. He was warned with a note—he didn’t read it. His friend attempted to save him—but was too late. And then, they killed him, in a shocking act whose effects would ripple through history …
One fateful day over 2,000 years ago, Julius Caesar entered a senate meeting. He sat on his golden throne. A senator stepped toward Caesar and grabbed at his toga, signaling the start of the attack. A group of senators with daggers quickly surrounded Caesar and began attacking him, some literally stabbing him in the back.
Caesar received 23 blows in all, and collapsed, dead, at the foot of a statue of one of his enemies. As he lay there, his reddish-purple toga, embroidered with the gold of a ruler, soaked up his pooling blood. There he lay, the man who only one month before had been declared dictator for life. Felled by his foes—and former friends.
One of those “friends” was Caesar’s protégé Marcus Brutus, whom Caesar asked during the attack, “You, too, my child?” It seems Brutus felt no remorse, however, for after he helped kill Caesar, he issued coins celebrating the assassination.
The portrait denarii of Julius Caesar represent a tiny fraction of the surviving coins in the world, and feature lucid and vividly engraved glimpses of Julius’ physical appearance. The obverse features a beautiful and crisply struck head of Caesar, perfectly centered. The reverse legend L MVSSIDIVS LONGVS denotes that this coin was struck by moneyer Lucius Mussidius Longus in honor of the recently deceased dictator who died at the hands of Brutus. The design elements on the reverse celebrate Caesar’s mastery of land and sea – Cornucopia, globe, and caduceus (wand entwined by two snakes, that eventually became our symbol for medicine).
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