What is the Julius Caesar Denarius Silver Coin?
Julius Caesar’s most renowned minted currency is the Julius Caesar Elephant Denarius. The back of the coin shows a combination of spiritual emblems: a culullus, aspergillum, an axe with animal decoration, and an apex. On the obverse, the denarius features an elephant facing the right and the word “CAESAR” in the lower part.
It is estimated that around 22.5 million of the Julius Caesar Elephant Denarius coins were created, making it the third most common currency in the Roman Republic and enough to fund eight legions. The elephant denarius is usually assumed to be from 49 B.C, the year Caesar took gold and silver from the treasury in the Temple of Saturn in Rome, which was presumably used to finance his new currency. This dating is one of the numerous points of discussion surrounding the coin. Other unresolved matters include what the elephant is standing on.
During the days of the Roman Republic, coins were produced by private individuals and displayed designs related to Roman history or mythology. These coins, like the Julius Caesar Denarius had the depiction of deities, animals, and architecture. In the first century BC, the faces of people who had passed away started to be seen on coins, but never a living person. This changed when Julius Caesar came along; he was the first living individual to ever be represented on a Roman coin.
Starting in 44 BC, silver Julius Caesar Denarius coins were minted with an accurate representation of Caesar’s features on them; no flattering touches were added. Suetonius, writing in the 2nd century AD, described Caesar’s physical characteristics, such as a “lean” frame, long and wrinkled neck, a prominent nose, and thinning hair, all of which were depicted on the coins.
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Silver denarius of Julius Caesar | Julius Caesar Denarius